Things You’re Too Old To Take For Granted In Your 50s

Things You’re Too Old To Take For Granted In Your 50s

Hitting your 50s is a major milestone. You’ve gained wisdom, weathered storms, and developed a unique perspective on what truly matters. Here’s a reminder of some things easily taken for granted, but that deserve your full appreciation in this new decade.

1. Your health and mobility

Those twinges in your knees after a workout or the extra time it takes to recover from a late night aren’t just signs of getting older; they’re reminders that the body is not invincible. Prioritize healthy habits, staying active within your limits, and don’t ignore signs that something needs attention. Your body in your 50s might not be the same as it was in your 20s, but taking care of it paves the way for vibrant, active decades to come.

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2. Time with loved ones

Losses become more frequent as we age, and busy lives make quality time precious. Carve out time for meaningful activities with the people you love. Be present, put down the phone, and express your love and appreciation. You never know how much time you have left with those dear to you.

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3. Good cognitive function

We often take clear thinking and sharp memory for granted until we experience those occasional “senior moments.” Keep your mind just as active as your body. Learn new things, challenge your brain with puzzles or language lessons, and prioritize good quality sleep – your brain will thank you later.

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4. The ability to reinvent yourself

Your 50s are not the time to resign yourself to being “set in your ways.” This decade is an opportunity to explore new passions, career shifts, or rediscovering old hobbies. You have more experience and fewer expectations to hold you back – embrace the chance to redefine who you are.

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5. Deep friendships

Finding true, loyal friends takes time. If you’re fortunate enough to have people who have supported you through thick and thin, cherish those relationships. Invest in them, plan visits, make memories – these friendships are rare gems that become even more precious as the years go by.

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6. The simple joy of a quiet morning

Whether your younger years were filled with the chaos of raising children or a demanding career, life seems to slow down a bit in your 50s. Savor a cup of coffee on the porch as the world wakes up, a leisurely walk with no rushing agenda – it’s these slower moments that provide peace and clarity often missing in earlier decades.

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7. Your accumulated knowledge and experience

You’ve navigated challenges, conquered setbacks, and built a rich tapestry of experiences. Don’t undervalue what you have to offer. Whether it’s mentoring younger colleagues, sharing your hard-earned wisdom with your adult children, or volunteering your skills in your community — embrace the opportunity to make a difference using your unique journey.

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8. The freedom to say “no”

Your 50s are prime time to master the art of setting boundaries. You no longer need to feel obligated to attend every social function, overextend yourself to please others, or stay in situations that drain your energy. Say “yes” to things that genuinely bring you joy, and a resounding “no” to the rest.

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9. The beauty of the natural world

Pause to truly notice the change of seasons, the intricacy of a flower, or the power of a storm. Our fast-paced modern lives often steal our attention away from the awe-inspiring wonders of the world around us. Tap back into that childlike wonder and appreciate nature as a powerful source of rejuvenation.

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10. The chance to try new things

Don’t let “too old” be your excuse for not stepping outside your comfort zone. Pick up that instrument gathering dust, sign up for a dance class, try a new cuisine – you might surprise yourself with hidden talents or discover passions that make your heart sing.

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11. Financial stability (if you’re lucky enough to have it)

While not everyone reaches their 50s financially secure, if you’ve built some stability, be grateful. It’s a position that allows for choices and lessens stress. This doesn’t mean being frivolous, but recognize the freedom and peace of mind that financial security can bring and be mindful of how you use it.

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12. The present moment

We spend so much time regretting the past or anxiously analyzing the future. Your 50s are a reminder to appreciate the here and now. Practice mindfulness, be grateful for this very day, and savor the small things that make up a life well-lived.

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13. Your authentic self

You’ve spent decades being molded by expectations, whether societal or familial. This is your time to fully embrace who you are, quirks and all. Let go of the need to please everyone and live a life that aligns with your values and deepest desires.

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14. The ability to forgive (yourself included)

Carrying old regrets, guilt, or resentment is toxic. Your 50s offer the gift of perspective to understand that you (and others) did the best you could at the time. Practice forgiveness, release the weight of the past, and make peace with what you cannot change.

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15. Laughter that makes your belly ache

Embrace those moments of pure, unadulterated laughter that make you forget your age. Seek out people who make you laugh until you cry, watch those silly comedies, and don’t underestimate the therapeutic power of a good giggle fit for your overall well-being.

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16. The chance to leave a legacy

Your 50s are a time to reflect on what you want to be remembered for. This doesn’t have to be grand gestures. Is it the love you showered on your family? The difference you made in a few lives? The way you always showed up with kindness? Decide what matters most and live in a way that leaves the world a little better because you were in it.

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Gail is Bolde's social media and partnership manager, as well as an all-around behind-the-scenes renaissance woman. She worked for more than 25 years in her city's local government before making the switch to women's lifestyle and relationship sites, initially at HelloGiggles before making the switch to Bolde.