Facing 50 Fearless Top 10 Tips

Facing 50 Fearless

I can’t believe how fast the years go by, in fact the older I get the faster they seem to go. At this point I find myself trying to hold onto time like Winnie the Pooh trying to hang onto Piglet in a brisk fall wind. It almost works but not quite. I decided that for my next 50 years I am going to try to do it a little differently. Here are my goals.

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1. Let Go and Let God!

This is my new mantra and because I am a slow learner I find I must repeat it about 22 times a day! In my 50th year I have finally come to the realization that I am a control freak. As a young woman I would diligently make elaborate plans, first I would do this, then this would happen, then that would happen. Except it never quite worked out that way. God has a way of getting his way sometimes in amazing ways. I never would have dreamed I would live in New York. In fact, if you had asked me at 20 if that would ever be a possibility I’d have emphatically said no. Yet, there I was at 30 years old, living in upstate New York for 5 years. Looking back on the seasons of my life, those 5 years ended up being pivotal years, packed with some exceedingly pleasant family memories and the creation of lifelong friendships. The same could be said of my realization over time that I am an adrenaline junkie. My 25 year old self would have laughed at that description of me, but again, thanks to God and his funny way of revealing things in layers, I now proudly identify with that moniker and actively seek out adrenaline surging pursuits like sky diving, rock climbing and rappelling! The lesson learned is that don’t waste time and energy plotting and planning every detail of your life, learn to embrace the journey and let God lead the way, it’s way more interesting this way.

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2. Do More of What Makes You Happy!

As a young woman my days were full of lists of things that had to get done before I could get to the rest of my life. I wanted to be successful, responsible, helpful, a good mom and a good wife and employee. Weighed down by all that heavy responsibility life felt like a never-ending list of laundry, dishes, cooking, shopping, homework, bills, toilets to clean and errands to run. My inbox was always overflowing. Now, I have decided I just don’t need all that clutter in my life. I still want to be successful and responsible but I seem to do it in a different way these days. I worry less about the dishes, I purposely create a much shorter to do list and I promise myself to do more of what makes me happy. It can be as simple as enjoying a cup of coffee outside while I watch the dew sparkle on the grass or spending a few minutes writing on my blog planning my next adventure but a few minutes everyday doing what makes me happy is now a prerequisite for my day. Be happy, happy people inspire others and spread joy and that is a good thing in this world.

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3. Make memories with the ones you love!

This has always been important to me but I think for my next 50 years I am going to focus on the little memories and not wait for the chance to make big memories! I have learned memories happen in lifes little moments just as much as the big vacations or accomplishments in life. I have learned we can make memories over simple little rituals and hopefully my children will pull these memories out of their treasure chest of special moments years from now. Slow down, put your energy into the ones you love the rest is all a distraction.

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4. Spend money on moments not things.

Life is backwards. As a young person you tend to focus on things you want, a drivers license, a car, a dress, a purse, a husband, a baby, a house, a couch and because of society the list just goes on and on. After awhile I started to realize that more stuff didn’t make me happier. I realized the things that made me happiest where moments, memories of family, friends, fun and adventure. Now I have decided to make simplifying life my mission. I would much rather spend money on a day trip to explore a local covered bridge or have an afternoon bike ride on a trail than another pair of shoes. Eating out just makes me feel over full and I never look back on that fantastic salad and soup I ate out last month the way I do when thinking about the day I spent at a mining museum panning for gold with my preteen. Moving forward I vow to make much more thoughtful decisions on how I spend my time, energy and money and I promise to value the moments much more than the things in life.

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5. Live in the present, not the past or the future.

When I think about all the time and energy I spend looking back on things that happened in life I realize how easy it is to get stuck in the past. I can’t change the past. It is what it is. In life we don’t have a crystal ball so we are forced to make decisions at the time based upon the information we have available to us at that time. I think it is important to learn and reflect on where you have been but I have learned it is much more productive to focus my energy on the lessons learned and how I am going to apply them to life going forward. Don’t beat yourself up over your past, everyone has one, don’t let yours pull you backwards. The same can be said for the future. Spending all your time and energy worrying about the future can paralyze you from living in the present. None of us know what tomorrow will bring; I just don’t want to waste today worrying about what might happen tomorrow. Enjoy the here and now and make the most of every moment, if you can do that your past and your present will reconcile themselves.

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6. Stop worrying. Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.

I stole that from the Internet. I have no idea who said that but as much as I love rocking chairs I really agree. In my first 50 years I inadvertently became a professional expert worrier. I got really good at it just because I spent so much time doing it. I gave up sleep for it, I gave myself grey hair over it, and I gave myself worry wrinkles over it and more than a few stomachaches. What did it get me? Nothing, not a darn thing. Heck, half the things I worried (i.e. obsessed) about didn’t even happen and those that did ended up far differently than I imagined and even the worst things that happened managed to bring something good to my life at some point. This one takes me right back to number 1. Let go and let God. Relax, just let God handle it; He’s got it anyway.

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7. Do what you fear the most.

Back to that control freak thing, if you’d have asked me as a young woman what I feared the most, and if I was being really honest with you I’d have answered, “being vulnerable.” Really. This was my greatest fear and I spent a lot of time and energy trying to not be vulnerable. Vulnerable to me meant open to getting hurt and that meant caring too much. I tried to love and give but still protect myself. I worried about being vulnerable. I tired to have resources so that if I was ever vulnerable I could deal with it. God saw through this and helped me see that vulnerability isn’t bad. He’s brought me to my knees, my defenses pulled from me like a cloak and left me exposed and yes, vulnerable. What happened? I realized that I was never really alone, I had family and friends to help me when needed, but most importantly God was always with me. I learned I was stronger than I thought and that even when you think things are at their worst God is with me and me will be ok, maybe not the way I imagined, but ok. It was not easy, but I do feel stronger now because of it and while I still don’t like being vulnerable it doesn’t give me panic attacks like before. Sharing this blog is a way I have learned making yourself vulnerable can be a healthy thing. When you are exposed and vulnerable you are relatable because you are honest and people can connect to that and relate to it. I have learned it can help others and that makes it worth it to me.

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8. Learn to Let Go.

If you are sensing a theme here you are very astute. I love fiercely. It seems to be the only way I know how to do it. I don’t give this love easily but when I do it can seem overwhelming to the object of my love and me. My children are a perfect example of this. I love them so much it hurts. Sometimes my children pull back from this kind of love and I have learned that is ok. Loving fiercely doesn’t have to suffocate, letting go doesn’t mean you don’t love them. As my children have transitioned to adulthood this has been hard for me to do. I liked it when they were babies and I controlled all the variables in their life. I loved fiercely and like a momma bear guarded them to protect them. As they grew I had to learn to love differently, I had to let them make their own decisions in life, learn their own lessons and let them decide what and when they shared their life with me. Letting go is not easy but it certainly doesn’t mean you don’t love them. Giving the ones you love the freedom to discover themselves is the greatest form of love there is.

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9. Get out of your comfort zone.

I have learned it is extremely easy to settle into our comfort zone but the price you pay for this comfort can be steep. Years can go by in this comfort zone and by not learning to embrace what can happen outsize this zone you miss the possibilities of growth. One of my most powerful lessons learned in my first 50 years was that getting out of this comfort zone was exhilarating and empowering, it made me feel alive and interesting and it allowed me to help others which is something that really feels good. Try new things, test yourself, do the impossible because once you do it changes your world. When that happens, anything is possible and you can’t wait for the next day to discover something new about yourself.

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

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