Leanne writes regularly about her journey through midlife at Cresting The Hill where this post was initially featured.
Being over 50 lends itself to the occasional epiphany – mine this week (as I ate my toast) was that I don’t have to eat the stale crusts just because I was told to when I was a child. I don’t really like the crusts all that much but I’m a good girl and I eat them 90% of the time, but you know what? I don’t have to if I don’t want to!
This got me thinking about some other things I don’t have to do now that I’m a big girl and all grown up and in my second half of life:
#1 I don’t have to put up with toxic people
I can let those people slide out of my life fairly painlessly. I don’t need to stay in contact because they were my friends or because I worked with them, or for whatever other reason. I can gracefully move away and not have their influence in my life. No more apologizing for things they’ve done, or they don’t approve of. I can just get on with enjoying the friends I have who are lovely people.
#2 I don’t have to go to church every Sunday
I grew up in the era where regular church going was every Sunday – unless you were dying or giving birth. Today’s church goers call themselves regular if they turn up once a month. I’m still a great believer in going on as many Sundays as possible, but if it’s the Sunday School service (with 100 children who aren’t my own) or the long-winded missionary visitor, I can choose to stay home and let someone else have my seat that day.
#3 I don’t have to wear a bra around the house
One of the blessings of small boobs is that they behave themselves – they only swing around when I run (and I avoid running as much as possible). In the privacy of my own home (now there’s no children to embarrass) I can be au naturale under my shirt or jumper and nobody is any the wiser. The sheer pleasure of taking off my bra after a long day at work rates as one of life’s blessings in my humble opinion!
#4 I don’t have to go to everything I’m invited to
No more feeling guilty about not going to Tupperware parties, or makeup parties, or linen parties, or work parties or distant friend’s parties. No, I won’t suffer in silence anymore so I don’t offend anyone. If the party invitation is just for numbers or for making a sale, I am quite happy to say “no thanks” with no excuses. My time is precious and it takes a fair amount of impetus to get me to go out nowadays – so I’ll only go if it’s something I’d like to be a part of.
#5 I don’t have to justify my choices
I’ve finally taken ownership of my life – I don’t have to explain why I choose to do something or not do it. I don’t have to explain why I like to eat take-away sometimes, I don’t have to explain why I only work part-time. I don’t have to explain why I don’t drink alcohol. I don’t have to explain why I have pink tips in my hair. I don’t have to explain anything to anybody because it’s my business and not theirs.
So, along with not always eating my crusts, I’ve found that I can break some other rules, too (mostly rules that I had somehow gotten bound up in). I can be my own person and have more freedom and make my own new boundaries. Life after 50 just keeps getting better!