There are hundreds of articles and books that will tell you how to cope with turning 50. Trust me -- I know how hard this can be. I stayed 49 for several years before deciding to accept my aging body and embrace my true self.
For a while, I followed everyone else's advice. I stopped dyeing my hair, downsized my life, joined a yoga class, exercised every day (ok, maybe every week), consumed 4 tablespoons of olive oil and drank one glass of red wine every day. Several years later, I'm fully in the swing of things and the only suggestion I still follow consistently is drinking a glass of red wine a day.
That doesn't mean I've become less active. Far from it! I've just redirected my energy. As the founder of Sixty and Me, a community of 100,000 boomer women and Boomerly, a website that helps people over 50 to make friends, I've had plenty of time to discover how the happiest people among us spend their time.
So, based on my own experience and the advice of the wonderful people in my communities, I wanted to share seven pairs of shoes that every woman should have in her "turning 50 survival kit."
On the surface, these are just footwear, but, they represent much more than that. I hope that this advice helps you go approach your birthday with confidence, passion and optimism for the years ahead.
Here are seven pairs of shoes every 50-year-old woman should own.
Running Shoes to Help You Chase Your Dreams
If I could offer you one piece of advice for getting the most from life after 50, it would be this -- get in shape. This will improve your physical appearance better than any "anti-aging" potion and your self-confidence better than any self-help book.
Having a great pair of running shoes will give you the confidence to chase your dreams and explore your passions. They will motivate you to start an exercise plan and help you feel invincible and in control.
With your new shoes, you will be able to travel to new places in comfort and style. Oh, and, as I discovered the hard way, your new running shoes will keep your hand-eye coordination in tiptop shape. On second thought, if your eye-sight is like mine, maybe go for Velcro.
Reliable Flats to Remind You of the Importance of Simplicity
The happiest older women I know have all embraced a minimalist lifestyle to one degree or another. Focusing on having less and experiencing more will be easier if you can navigate quickly and comfortably. That's where new flats come in.
Every time you wear your flats, try to remember what is really important in your life. No-one wishes that they had spent more time working when they are on their death bed. They wish that they had spent more time on the simple things -- their friends, family, treasures, dreams and passions.
Turning 50 is scary, in part, because of our changing social circumstances. Our children have left the house and are building their own lives. Many of us are recovering from a divorce. Our relationships at work are changing. As a result, one of the best investments that you can make in your 50s to help you get the most from life in your later years is making friends.
Having a good pair of walking shoes will remind you to get out into the world and meet new people. Keep them handy and never let them gather dust. Explore your passions with others. Use sites like Boomerly to meet like-minded people. Learn to see the world as your playground. It is.
Sturdy Boots to Keep You Tough and Adventurous
As we reach our 50s, there is a tendency to want to withdraw from the world and stick with what's safe. In my experience, this is a recipe for disaster. Getting the most from life after 50 requires toughness and a willingness to explore.
Having a tough pair of boots will help you to stay adventurous in your 50s. They will help you to stay calm, when others are losing their heads around you. They will help you to counter invisibility - since everyone will hear you coming. They may just keep you safe as well. After all, who's going to bother a 50-year-old woman in a pair of Dr. Martens?
Stunning High Heels to Remind You that You're Still Sexy
One of the biggest myths about getting older is that you no longer care about being attractive. Rubbish! We may not buy in to the anti-aging messages that are pushed at us from every direction, but, we still want to express our style and feel beautiful.
Every woman needs a statement piece of clothing in her 50s. Whether you choose a fabulous little black dress or a pair of jeans and a leather jacket, your look will be complete with your high heels. Why not go for something red? Tell the world that you are not someone else's stereotype. You are a radiant, beautiful woman, who is proud to be 50.
Wellington Boots for When You Feel Silly
Life after 50 doesn't have to be serious all the time. In fact, there are plenty of things that 5-year-olds can teach us about getting the most from life. So, put your Wellington boots on and get ready to jump in some puddles, hike through the Amazon rain forest, or, maybe, just muck about in the garden.
Don't forget that childlike laughter is one of the best antidotes for depression. It's also probably better for removing wrinkles than face cream!
Sensible Heels for Walking Towards a Brighter Financial Future
More boomers than ever are abandoning traditional views of retirement and getting ready for an active life in their 60s and beyond. In fact, according to the Kaufmann Foundation, people aged 55-64 are starting businesses at a faster rate than people in their 20s and 30s. Whether you plan on starting a business or you want to continue working for someone else, you'll need a sensible pair of heels to keep you moving.
Having a pair of sensible heels in your survival kit reinforces your image as an intelligent and professional woman. There has never been a better time to build a better financial future. Embrace your 50th birthday and make it happen!
Looking back at my 50th birthday, which seems so close and yet so far away, I wish someone had given me this advice. These shoes will remind you to challenge any aging stereotypes you encounter. They will give you the confidence to explore the world on your own terms. They will tell the world that you refuse to be invisible. They will help you to get the most from life after 50.
What advice would you give to a woman on her 50th birthday? What do you think the secret is to getting the most from life after 50? Please join the discussion and "like" and share this article to keep the conversation going!
Here are a few more Boomerly articles to inspire you to get more from life after 50: