I’ve decided to officially ‘come out about my age’, as there is no getting away from it, today I am 50.  Friends have been asking me on the run up to my birthday, “how do I feel” about this new decade I’m approaching, probably secretly wondering do I really feel that old!

When I was turning 40 I planned a big party, a real celebration with friends and family to share some of the key moments in my life.  I did a Katie-quiz to test how well everyone really knew me, I created photo boards sharing key and memorable moments like getting a tortoise when I was 5, visitng Twycross Zoo where they still held the chimp’s tea party, living in America at the age of 19, as well as haircut confessions with images of haircuts-through-the-decades (with some that really should never have been permitted!)

But this time around I’ve been feeling more hesitant, more nervous about the prospect of fitting into the 50+ bracket…. Until now.  So, I’ve decided to claim all the good and bad of turning 50 and like any professional coach turn this into a learning moment.

The good…

  • Research shows us that new decades increases our focus and desire for purpose.  And as a coach of over 15 years I know that the ‘big birthdays’ have a positive impact and motivation for personal change.
  • Statistically, new businesses or ventures are more likely to succeed by those people in their 50’s as they have a wealth of knowledge, often greater financial stability and more of a ‘nothing to lose’ attitude.
  • Personally, when I recall my previous decades I can sum them up with key headlines:
    • 20’s selfish and wanting it all
    • 30’s settled and searching
    • 40’s confident and absorbing
  • Although I have a young family who have a habit of getting up at 6am (on a good day!) they actually keep me feeling young, encouraging me to jump in the deep end of the pool, go tubing rather than shopping and finding the simple pleasures of reading Harry Potter out-loud.

The bad….

  • I’ve inherited my Mum’s genes regarding grey hair.  I’m not ready to show how white / grey I actually am, so I’m happy to hide behind regular visits to my hairdresser.
  • I hit the menopause at 43 and decided that the mood swings, sore joints, osteoporosis and weight gain were something that I would avoid as long as possible by subscribing to HRT.  (I’m actually dreading the day when I’ve got to face it full on – HRT only delays not prevents).
  • And on those bad days in life when work just seems too hectic, the kids too loud and jumping in our bed at 5.30am, that’s when I notice in the school playground that I am closer in age to some of the grandparents rather than most of the teachers.

So today I’m embracing all that turning 50 will bring.  Being Friday, you’ll find me cycling with my local school’s kids as part of their fitness time, heading for the hills with Danny-the-Dad as we explore more of East Lothian’s cycle paths, and if you listen really hard, you’ll hear my signature tune playing a little too loudly as I celebrate life to the full and dance for my adoring family-fan club.

PG Tips – my favourite one as it always made my Dad laugh