Let The Countdown To 60 Begin!

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersHappy New Year!

January 2017 marks the 10th year since I started blogging. A decade has passed since I typed my first blog post capturing my countdown to my 50th birthday. Times have changed but one thing remains constant — boomer women continue to do amazing things.

Some may say that as women age we become more invisible. I say that we’ve only just begun to shine. While we may not be celebrating a female boomer in the White House in 2017, we are a very large community of strong women, estimated at 38.44 million in the USA. As Girlpower Marketing CEO Linda Landers says, “Today’s 50-plus females are the healthiest, wealthiest, most active and influential generation of women in history.”

Arianna Huffington; The Huffington Post

Meeting Arianna Huffington and becoming a contributor to The Huffington Post was a blogging highlight in 2013.

My Countdown To 50
I began blogging in 2007 as an easy way to capture my thoughts and feelings as a boomer woman approaching her momentous 50th year. Little did I know that my countdown to 50 would turn out to be one of the most extraordinary years of my life. Halfway through the year, my husband M took ill. During almost seven months while he was in the hospital, my blog posts became my outlet to share the overwhelming fears that engulfed me as my husband began to drift away. My community of readers became my salvation. I couldn’t wait to get home from the hospital each night to read your emails and comments. Your support made all the difference in helping me survive during that tumultuous time.

ayearto50.blogspot.com; boomer women; post 50

From “Loneliness to Loveliness”
My husband M passed away shortly before our 24th anniversary and two weeks shy of my 50th birthday. I was a widow at 49, The loneliness was deeply felt and I wasn’t sure how I was going to lift myself up. 

aging, caregiving, life after 50

My husband M passed away in 2007.

My blogging community kept me going. Your support as I captured my transformation has meant the world to me. In the past 10 years I’ve had my share of losses.

The Losses
* Losing my spouse
* Losing my mother-in-law
* Emptying out my nest of my daughter A and my son D
* Selling my house
* Losing my mom
* Retiring from my full-time job and 30 year corporate career
* Losing my first adult tooth (Not fun so take care of your teeth!)

caregiving, life after 50, over 50, retirement, AARP, boomer women, baby boomer women

My sister N and I were caregivers to my mom until she passed away in 2013.

I’ve also had my share of gains. Some of my gains came by conquering my greatest fears. Others came by being courageous and taking big steps. Others came by trial and error. Others by taking a risk and forging new paths because at this age I realized I have nothing to lose. Day by day I reinvented myself. Some gains were really BIG and others small.

LOFT distressed jeans, DL Florence Instasculpt jeans, muscle tees

My new wardrobe emerges.

The Gains
* Starting this blog and having it recognized by The Huffington Post as one of their “7 Favorite Blogs for Post 50 Women”
* Buying my condo on the corner at the Jersey shore
* Rightsizing my living quarters
* Meeting a new man online and falling in love with my boyfriend L
* Traveling the world 
* Seeing my daughter A and son D grow into successful adults
* Hiring a new financial advisor and coming to grips with my money and yearly budget
* Changing my wardrobe from suits to jeans and active wear
* Studying mindfulness meditation
* Starting a yoga practice
* Becoming a yoga instructor
* Renovating my master bath (Yes, yes, yes)

life after 50, over 50, midlife, Mother's Day

My son D graduates from high school in 2008 and my daughter A from college.

Rome; Italy; travel; Capri; Amalfi Coast; Positano

We were six gladiators ready to explore the sites, sounds, and tastes of Italy in the summer of 2016.

Viking river cruise, Portugal, life after 50, boomer travel, Douro river

My boyfriend L and I are still together after our first-ever international trip in 2015.

Opening Yourself To The Universe
I’ve learned that when you open yourself to the universe it responds back. After receiving my yoga teacher certification last May, I began to audition for opportunities. I was hired as a sub at our local Jewish Community Center, the same place where I took my first yoga class almost 10 years ago.

yoga; yoga teacher training; YTT200; Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies

Our yoga teacher B (center) reminded my classmate A and me that we are always a student.

I also dreamed of giving back and working with seniors. Just last week I was given an opportunity to teach chair yoga at a local assisted living residence. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life after 50. Some of my students were in their 90s and 100s. Those vibrant seniors inspired me as much or maybe more than the prominent women from the Pennsylvania Conference that I wrote about in my year-end post. I hope I can be as active and alive when I’m their age.

So now it’s 10 years later.  It’s 2017. I’m getting ready for my 59th year. Not all my fears are gone.  I still grieve on the anniversary of my husband’s passing, and sometimes other days too. Overall though, my grief has turned to gratitude for all that I had, all that I have, and all I can do every day. And as for my loneliness, my loneliness has turned to loveliness. I really like the new person I’ve become.

boomer blogger; post 50; life after 50

My latest makeover. I like the new person I’ve become.

I’ve made a lot of new friends too. Yes, you can make new friends post 50 and as I saw last week, even at 90 and 100, if you are lucky to live that long. Plus I still have my old friends. It’s like the Girl Scouts’ motto: “Make new friends and keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.”

A Booming Blogosphere
Today I’m proud to share the blogosphere with so many other boomer bloggers. There are substantially more of us online than there were in 2007. I’ve met incredible boomer women through my blog. Bloggers like Cathy Chester of An Empowered Spirit and Helene Cohen Bludman of Books Is Wonderful, became new friends during my life after 50. They and the many other boomer bloggers in the blogosphere inspire me.

Cathy Chester; Helene Cohen Bludman

Cathy Chester (left) and Helene Cohen Bludman (center) are two boomer bloggers and friends.

And you my dear readers, you inspire me each week when you read my blog posts. Your positive feedback inspires me to continue to write. I feel grateful to share my life after 50 with so many wonderful women and to hear about your lives as well.

Countdown to 60
As for my countdown to 60, I say bring it on! Let the loveliness continue. I hope you will share the next year with me and maybe the next decade too.

Judi

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21 thoughts on “Let The Countdown To 60 Begin!

  1. From the first time I met you IRL at the NYC Foxcroft event I knew what an intelligent, loving, vibrant and resourceful woman you were. It was my gut instinct about you and I was right!

    Look at you now, girl! You are moving your own mountains and I give you SO much credit, rising above the greatest of sorrows to become who you are. And you still have so much more to go.

    I loved this post. Good for you. You deserve all life’s greatest joys, my friend.

  2. Judy, it has been such a pleasure getting to know both you and your blog. I’m so proud of you for setting goals and surpassing them. Your journey has been an inspiration to me and countless others. Bravo to you! Xo

  3. I hope we can connect IRL in Brigantine this summer, especially since you live so close to one of the major water ice purveyors on the island. Have already celebrated the Big Six, Oh?, I assure you it’s survivable. Happy New Year.

    • Suzanne, thanks! Absolutely we have to connect in Brigantine this summer. Glad we met through our blogging. Happy travels and it’s good to know that 60 is a positive celebration.

  4. Feedback from my readers:

    Diane said, “I loved this post.”

    Nancy said, “Happy 10 year anniversary! Can’t believe how much time has gone by. Looking forward to many more decades of heartfelt writing. Best wishes.”

    Kate said, “I am so proud of the way you made your vision come to life. XO.”

  5. Wow, such an amazing 10 year journey as a boomer blogger for over 10 years. I am currently in my 5th and just rebranded my blog. Teaching others how to blog is my passion and I enjoy teaching classes and conducting workshops here in Delaware.

  6. Thank you for your positive outlook! Delightful! Yes, we over 50+++ women have to show by example how to continue to enjoy Life to the fullest and help others whenever we can. Good Lord gives us many gifts to be grateful.Pam-Retired Grandma

  7. Hi Judi, Thank you for sharing your story. I celebrated my 59th birthday this past February. Reading your blog has inspired me to do a countdown to my 60th with joy and fun. Once again, thank you.

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