Can You Change Your Life At 50?

I have been on a journey of self realization for the last year. I have been trying to figure out what I want for the second half of my life. I have been frightened and filled with stress many times as I examine the question:

Are you looking to change your life at 50? Many people entering midlife are seizing the day, finding purpose and enjoying the second half of their lives.

can you change your life at 50?

Yesterday I got a call from a friend that I haven’t heard from in a while. We’ve literally been friends since we were born. Her mother and my aunt were room mates in the hospital when both she and my cousin were born.

After a long conversation of catch up, and right as we were going to say goodbye, she says:

“Oh, by the way, I quit my job. My last day is Friday.”

Ah, hold on. I’m not letting you sign off after dropping that bomb.

Apparently, her revelation to others, had brought her a lot of bad reactions. She left it to the end of the phone call to curb, what she thought would be, a negative response.

“That’s freaking awesome!”, I exclaimed.

For many, the fifties are what I refer to as the sandwich years. Your own children are grown but not fully independent and you have senior parents who are requiring extra care. You are the meat, stuck in the middle, keeping the whole thing together.

Honestly, I always looked at her like superwoman. I felt inferior to her level of accomplished juggling. Apparently, it has taken a toll on her mentally and physically.

This is not a decision she took lightly. It will carry with it huge financial consequences. She did discuss with her boss going part-time or job sharing, but neither was an acceptable prospect.

So that’s that. She’s going cold turkey, jobless. She’s nervous and excited but relieved. She feels like she can finally take a breath.

I know how she feels, it’s almost exactly a year to the day that I stepped away from my working life. Yes, financially we have had to tighten our belts. Yes, I sometimes miss the sense of accomplishment my career brought me. Yes, I miss my fellow employees and the sense of purpose.

Do I regret my decision? Absolutely NOT!

I know it’s not for everyone. I know many can not afford to do it. But for me, I had a feeling that I had to make it happen.

Over the next few weeks, we have made arrangements to get together and strategize her next step but for now, what is her plan?

“I’m going to really do Christmas! I’m going to bake!”

I’m happy for her and look forward to helping her in her new journey. Can you change your life at 50? Life can change at any age. You must decide what is important to you, then make a plan. If it is what you truly want and need, you can make it happen.

I know it is scary. If you are not a risk taker like me, follow this 5 step plan for a life change.

Have you made a drastic life altering change late in your life?


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46 thoughts on “Can You Change Your Life At 50?

    1. I am so sorry to hear that. Last year was really hard for me with my mom being so ill and then passing away. I know what it is like to not be able to look forward to anything. Take time for yourself when you can and look after yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great inspiration! I’m packing it up next year moving back to my birthplace Canada with much enthusiasm I desire a fresh start as well as experiencing a new culture, learning French, finding a nice little place to call home, feeling relieved to do me. Wish me luck! From a bipolar pal!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is awesome post. I am 56 and I am contemplating my career change too. I have worked for the Public Sector for 26 years and I feel now is the time to reinvent myself live my life purpose.

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  3. “She did discuss with her boss going part-time or job sharing, but neither was an acceptable prospect.” At some point, stupid bosses are going to have to realize that their all-or-nothing demands are eliminating talent, productivity, brains, and energy from the workforce. I’m not just talking about older peeps (who then are vilified for sitting on their butts and soaking up Social Security). I’m talking about people who stay home to raise kids, too. Or provide caregiving. Anne-Marie Slaughter talks about this in her book, “Unfinished Business.” Very best wishes to your friend. (PS the topic of “purpose” after work ends is a whole nother topic!) Good post.

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  4. Yes! I’m a lifelong professional musician & teacher – empty-nester and happy grandma. I started taking some computer programming classes this year at the age of 50 (now 51), and guess what? There’s a whole crowd of Over 50s doing the same thing! I love the reinvention – and love it even more since there is such a large group of us out there supporting each other. Love your blog, Elena, keep writing!

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    1. Rhonda, I’m in the same situation as you. Lifelong professional musician and teacher…. now turning to a career in tech at age 59! I’ve been building websites for 15 years for fun, but decided to take it to the next level. Good luck to you!

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  5. I understand exactly why your friend wanted to get off that call so fast. I’m 50, and I quit my job 3 months ago. The why is a long story (I blogged about it, sort of) and I always steel myself for the WTF is wrong with you?????? reaction. It’s actually surprising, and deeply gratifying, that I don’t always get it.

    Just found your blog today, and look forward to reading more.

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    1. Welcome Brigette!I am so glad you found me! I am going to check out your blog too. Subscribe to my blog to be notified of the MidLifeLuv linky that I host. You can link up your blog posts with like minded individuals. I am so happy for you and wish you much success!

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  6. Elena-I’m so glad I found your blog. I too walked away from my full-time career 4 years ago. I’m sitting here stunned that I found your blog, this story, and the thread of comments all pointing to the same subject. I’ve recently been hemming and hawing about going back to a full-time job, a last hurrah so to speak. However, I really enjoy writing and sharing my stories, and it’s so encouraging to read about other women finding their place and just doing what they love to do. Lots of thoughts for me to ponder.

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  7. I remember the time I was in that position. What I did was to travel from Australia to the other side of the world all alone and start afresh. That adventure has lasted for the last 25 years. Now, I’m happily married in England.

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    1. I’m so glad to hear that. Change can be a wonderful thing. I’m not sure I could be as brave as you were, completely changing your life, but It sounds like you made the right decision. Thank you for stopping by!

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  8. Hi – I’ve just found your blog thru 50 Jewels linky and this post is my life right now! I’ve just quit my job and have no idea what the future holds but I have absolutely no regrets. I love knowing that I am not the only 50-ish year old woman to have a bit of midlife madness! I’ll be reading more of your posts!

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    1. Hi Leanne! I’m so glad you found me. It’s important to grow a community of like minded individuals. I’m so happy that you took the plunge! I’m sure you will find your new bearings but enjoy the journey to new horizons as well. I will be checking out your blog to find out what comes next. Thank you so much for dropping by.

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  9. That is great to hear! Sometimes drastic is the only way. I was fed up with how badly I was being treated by younger co-workers that I launched a roller-coaster legal battle against my employers. It was stressful but I stood up to every single one of them and left the organization in shock. Don’t mess with mid-life women!!!!!

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    1. Brave choices bring big rewards, or major screw-ups. Unfortunately you never know which till you jump. lol These definately are the best years with many more to come!

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  10. Love this post. The Midlife years are so different than they’ve been in the past. We have so many more choices, one of the being living the life that feels good. Congrats to your friend, she’s on a wonderful journey!
    Kimberly
    http://FiftyJewels.com

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    1. Thank you Kimberly! I expect it will take her a little time to figure it all out and get comfortable but it is so worth it. I have been telling her for years that I don’t know how she does everything she does. Of course that meant that we never seen each other and connected through a few texts and short phone calls. I am looking forward to re-kindling our friendship we’ve had since kindergarten!

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  11. Hi Elena! YES! you can definitely change your life at 50…or at 60 ….or at 70…. or at… As long as we are alive we have the option of reinventing ourselves. I’ve always believed than none of us came here to be “safe and comfortable.” Maybe that’s why my most favorite quote of all is Helen Keller saying, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing!” ~Kathy

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  12. Love this! It very accurately summaries so many of the thoughts/feelings/emotions that have surrounded my own decision to bid adieu to my career, of many years, and to venture out into the new frontier of choosing to live a life of purpose and joy, over impact on net worth. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I love hearing that! You are an inspiration to all midlife ladies. Thank you so much for linking to #MidLifeLuv. I consider you my kindred spirit of the blogging world and appreciate your support. I hope you have fun and find some new blogs and friends!

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  13. I like your concise style of writing here. I married again at 50. And then, divorced again within a year. Some life lessons are learned the hard way. It was my father’s death seven months into my second marriage—a relationship begun four years earlier—that was my wake up call that change had to happen. I had again married my father and I’d been in relationship with him in some form of another all of my life. In the four years since then, I realized that truly— every man all the way back to my first infatuation. I am happy to be rewiring my programming so that I will not repeat this “less than optimal choice” (you, see, it is my truth that there are no “mistakes”). It’s been arduous work, but clearing for what is to come. And by what is to come, I don’t mean what man is (or isn’t) to come. Thanks for the link opp!

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    1. I’m so glad you had the strength and the self-realization to be able to make clear choices (finally) lol. The future looks bright now, doesn’t it? Thank you so much for reading and sharing!

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  14. All I did at 50 was leave my husband (he was abusive and had BPD–Borderline Personality Disorder), my home of 21 years, my town, and my entire source of income (the business we had built together). Oh, and I have little connection to family, and our friends stayed loyal to him ’cause they’d known him longer, so I was 100% on my own. Sometimes change works out for the better. Sometimes change works out for the worse. Sometimes change brings you moments of joy, sometimes change is a huge hodgepodge that leaves you not knowing if you’ll be living under a bridge when you are too old to work anymore, and sometimes change is a mix of both. I’m living the latter.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. In my mid-fifties I decided to cut back on the paid job and begin writing the novels I’ve wanted to write since I was a child. Then I sold my big old house because it was gobbling up my earnings. I’m now living full-time in a motor-home while looking for a manageable sized house somewhere. Barb’s ‘hobbit-house’ sounds like my dream house!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I still have to get rid of the big money pit, hopefully by next year this time. I could definately do the motor home. My parents always owned one and I have so many wonderful memories living all summer long in them. But I never had to clean the septic system, that may be the deal breaker. Lol

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  16. I found my way here via Shawn’s reblog and I’m so glad I did. I’m another of those who walked away from a corner office and an executive salary in my fifties. Now, as my husband puts it, all my days are Saturdays. I’m living in another country, I’ve travelled the world, and I’ve published two books with books #3 and #4 about to be released. None of that makes much money, and we’ve downsized our lives from multiple houses to our little “hobbit house”. But I’ve never been happier. It’s not for everyone, but it’s heaven for me. Congrats to your friend, and to you as well for knowing yourself best. Happy Saturdays!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I know I did! My last day of regular employment was May 24th – six months ago today. Ironically, I’m working a lot harder and making a lot less money 😉 But actually, aging had a lot to do with the decision. It’s hard enough trying to change your life at any age, and I figured it would only get harder if I waited any longer. Sometimes you just have to take that leap, even if you’re not sure where you’re going to land.

    Liked by 2 people

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