Over 55 – The Best Years of Our Lives

The Alhambra - Beta Sigma Phi members

 

Hi, my name is Tanya, and this is my “about me” page. I have been looking forward to blogging and hearing from others who share or disagree with my thoughts about aging issues.  For example, are we being responsible for our own happiness?  Should we care about the wrinkles on our face?   What would we say to those who say God might disapprove of our not wanting to “let it be” or grow older with more grace? Why shouldn’t we call being over 55 the best years of our lives?

But I want to cover other questions as well:  Should we travel alone? Is it too late to reconnect with family?  Should we continue to work?  How do we improve our health?  And what do we mean by aging gracefully and successfully?

The older I get, the more determined I am to extend my enjoyment of life to the fullest that is within my ability.  And that means I am open to everything about how others are spending their last trimester or if you are 50, your best half:  traveling, living with those fears that hold us back, friendships and lack of, as friends die or move, losing a spouse by divorce or death, having or wanting to work, self-esteem, etc.

My mother lived to be 94, and after reviewing her life, I decided that what kept her alive and in good health until her last couple of years was always having a project to accomplish.  What is responsible for your having lived a long and happy life?  For me, it is knowing that my faith has kept me going.  But I have lots of questions, and it occurred to me that

  • there must be many of us with questions and dilemmas about aging,
  • those of us who are “getting on up there” as the cliche goes might be the forgotten segment of the population in many ways (the emphasis appears to be on baby boomers), and
  • you seek various opinions and education about aging issues.

Franklin, NC - The Best Years of My Life I, like you, have made many mistakes in my life and I can’t tell you how often I wish I had made a different decision.  Some of those were:  I decided to get married and have children too early.  I lacked the courage to get an early divorce despite being able to take care of myself and my children, but I eventually got one.   I allowed too many people to mistreat me. Now, I let them know exactly how I feel about it and as soon as possible.  Please understand that it is never too late to make the changes in your life that will lead to improvements resulting in a better and longer life, and as we move forward, I will point out how to do that in almost every area of our life, and my information will be reinforced by others.  Whether or not you are looking forward to the rest of your life, my wish is to provide you with enough information to motivate you to make things easier and to have a more productive life.

Decisions take courage, not only the courage needed to make a change, but the courage needed to escape those people in our lives who cause pain. Sometimes we convince ourselves that others are right about us, when in fact they have ulterior motives.  Sometimes we think we deserve the treatment we get, when in fact we don’t.  And sometimes, we are too reluctant to speak up for ourselves because we fear the repercussions.  So, feel free to join me by accessing my blog posts and my pages through the menu at the top of the page.

I want to hear from you.  Please offer your thoughts, whether they be fears, criticisms, opinions, or suggestions by using the Comments section below.

24 Replies to “Over 55 – The Best Years of Our Lives”

  1. I had two Grandmothers who lived into their 90’s. I don’t think either of them ever worried about wrinkles. G’ma B. worked pickin’ chickens, on her feet 7 to 8 hours a day until she was 74. She retired then and lived another 10 years in her own home, losing her second husband during that time. She spent the last 10 years of her life in a Nursing Home. G’ma F. divorced her abusive husband when she was 48. She spent the rest of her life making a living as a seamstress, housecleaner, and for enjoyment did crochet, braiding rugs, tatting and some child care. She also rented out rooms and an apartment in her home. Neither of these women ever complained, perhaps as children of the depression they had seen worse. I can remember G’ma B using light makeup for Church and such. G’ma F only did one thing I can remember that would be considered vain. Her hair was very thin and when it got gray she would comb some dye into it to cover the gray. Personally, I probably am a bit vain in the looks department. I am 75, feel better than I did at 55 and am glad for it. I do use some creams and lotions but not with the dedication advertisers recommend. I think I do it for myself not anyone else; however it does make me feel good when people comment on my looks, (to the positive). I feel bad that I don’t think to comment on others. It’s not that I don’t think they look nice. I just don’t think to voice the thought. I look forward to your future blogs and will share opinions on your other questions and doubts or whatever as they occur to me.

  2. Thanks, Judi. I love what you said about your grandmothers because they did not sit around and whine. They took action and did what they had to do to survive. Don’t feel too badly about not commenting on others’ appearances. When you do so, do it with sincerity. Many of us do not like to receive comments when we don’t feel the honesty behind it.

  3. This is such an honest and contemporary (will always remain contemporary) topic. Honestly, I am a person who cares for myself – look, feel and THOUGHTS – rather than what others feel or think of me. Not that I do not give any value to others’ opinions but I do what I think is good for me. So, if using anti-aging cream is what gives me a good feeling so be it, irrespective of age.
    Cheers!

  4. I say don’t worry about the wrinkles, I’m sure there are better things to do with your time! Maybe, the secret to ageing gracefully is knowing what to focus on and not worrying about the little, superficial things. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts, thank you for sharing.

  5. I don’t think you should worry about wrinkles as much as about just being as healthy and happy as you can. I think vibrant health is the part that is attractive, no matter what the age is. Mild exercise and a low fat whole food diet will keep you at optimum health for a very long time.
    Thank you for this post.

  6. Hello Tanya! I really enjoyed,giggled and heard your heart, reading this post. It is amazing how we are sometimes allowing ourselves to be defined by external definitions instead of WHO we really are…yes?

    So here is to nothing except our own heart beauty shining through..we are amazing just the way we are..
    And I think you look quite beautiful!

    And each wrinkle is our badge of courage! For we have learned how to stand up in our own light..Great job! Can’t wait to see what else you write!
    In peace and joy, ariel

  7. Hi Ariel,

    Thanks so much for all of those wonderful comments, and yes, there comes a time when we have to let that authentic self come through and “shine” as you describe it for better or worse. It is such a good feeling to reach this stage and to be able to say “This is the real me, like it or not!” Of course, I hope everyone likes it, but that is impossible. I can handle it well knowing that we are all different. I love your analogy of wrinkles to courage. Each one of mine has a story to tell.

  8. I’m age 52, but I plan on making the years ahead the best years of my life too. Like you, I didn’t make decisions during my youth in the same way I do now. I have a better self-image of myself and I believe I’m wiser as a result of all the disappointments I’ve experienced. As for the wrinkles and youthful look fading, I’m putting forth the effort to take care of my facial skin, so as to not wrinkle prematurely. I also take time out to exercise regularly in order to keep my body functioning to the best of my ability. I make myself have self-control when it comes to what I eat, because eating unhealthy can bring sickness to our bodies. I may not be where I want to be in life, but I’m definitely not where I used to be. I like your website. It’s much needed.

    • Hi Chandra,

      Thanks so much for reading my post and for sharing some of your best habits. Exercising is also good for the skin, so keep up the good work. I am glad you like my blog.

      Tanya

  9. Hi Tanya! I immensely enjoyed your blog and will be bookmarking your site. I am going to be turning 50 this year. My kids are getting older I am starting to get anxious. I have been Mommy for 3 for the past 22 years, and I never want them to leave LOL Needless to say this next phase of life is going to be a tough one. I look forward to reading more!

    • Hi Colleen,

      I am glad you liked my blog. Turning 50 is a little scary, but you will flourish when you enter that new phase of your life. Looking at each new phase as an opportunity will encourage planning and doing.

  10. Hi Tanya,

    Love your site and the concept. I use face creams, but I always have taken good care of my skin. I never sleep in the little makeup I do wear and I cleanse my face twice a day. It is a habit now. I don’t switch creams or buy lots based on fads. I have been using the same brand for over 25 years. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it is my motto.
    Like you, I am in a phase of life where I no longer allow people to walk all over me or to dismiss me. Sometimes with wisdom comes self-preservation.

  11. I agree with the motto and am happy that you are satisfied with what you use. Unfortunately, I left too much of my skincare to fate and started it late in life. Thanks for taking a look at my site, Clearissa, and for understanding what it means to overcome self-defeating habits. We become a little triumphant when we realize that we have passed a milestone in our lives!

    Tanya

  12. Hi Tanya!
    I want to be just like you when I grow up! 🙂 Just kidding. First of all, I wanted to let you know that a couple of hours ago, I asked my Divine Counselor what I was supposed to do with my website. And here I am.
    🙂 (From the WA community) Left my comments there for you.

    This is really a great site. Inspiring, thought-provoking and definitely helpful. Your thoughts on divorce, abuse, skincare, grandchildren, and bucket lists are profound and helpful for lots, including myself. Yep, I sure went through lots of it. Thank you also for the recommendations on FB groups. I’ve been leery of most of those for ages, but I will check out the ones you’ve mentioned. I truly appreciate your site and the work it takes to do the research involved. You bet I’ve bookmarked it.
    Would you do me a favor Tanya and let me know if I can link to your site from mine? I am very sure there are lots of women (and men) who also would be inspired by your story and your ideas on getting older. Hey, I’m 64 and refuse to get complacent although it can get difficult at times. I’m still open to great suggestions, inspiration and fun things such as your awesome bucket list! Thank you so much.
    Best regards,
    Lupe

    • Hi Lupe, I just answered your “feedback,” leaving suggestions about linking. If your picture is recent, you certainly don’t look anything like 64, so you are aging well! I got inspired by having too many of my own aging problems and listening to others talk about theirs, but I think I am past most of mine for the time being. Regarding Facebook groups. They can be open, closed (by invitation only), or secret. Please let me know if you don’t get the info about linking. I can help you with that.

      Tanya

  13. Inspiring text, Tanya.

    I’m on my mid-40’s and I can see the 50’s getting closer pretty quick. It doesn’t scare me though.

    I actually enjoy life a bit more every day.

    I’ve been learning a lot lately about the things I’ve been doing wrong for years and have decided to change. Working online, for instance, was a very tough decision to make.

    But I realized that if I want to have a future the way I dream it, I have to make the changes now. No matter what.

    I feel the same attitude in your writing.

    Wishing you all the best,
    Eliane

  14. Hi Elaine, and thanks for taking a look at my site. I think most of us have felt that call to change some of our bad habits. The wonderful thing about that is we actually faced ourselves and our dilemmas, examined where we went wrong, and committed to change. It is not easy and no doubt we will make mistakes again. The important thing is to correct them. Sometimes, it is not really our fault, and we have to give ourselves a break. Wishing you the best also,

    Tanya

  15. I have learned to accept my age. However, I want to keep active and strong as I age. I workout and eat healthy most of the time. I do not like to just sit around and watch TV.
    I wish I would have known what I know now when I was young! I don’t regret any mistakes that I made. Everyone makes mistakes.
    I learned to stay away from people who drain me or take pot shots.
    This is a great site. Thanks!

    • Hi Cynthia,

      I am so glad you visited my site and enjoyed it. I have to agree with you that we all make mistakes and that rather than always expressing regrets, it is better to move forward with the knowledge we gained from having made them. We also don’t want to be around people who constantly remind us that we made mistakes. It is as if they can’t stand to see our positivity!

      Tanya

  16. This is a great post about living life in general. About how it is okay to make mistakes. This really can help the person that is having trouble with every day life and how it is possible to over come them.

  17. Thanks so much for checking my site out, David. I appreciate your interest and your insight. Yes, making mistakes should never prevent us from moving forward with new ways to do things with the understanding that we are going to make more mistakes. It is always important to learn from them.

    Tanya

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