Something happens when we reach our 50s.
Where there used to be a relaxed sense of moving through life, suddenly, there is a much greater sense of urgency to achieve, do, and accomplish. I’m talking about all those things that we’ve dreamed about our whole lives.
I think of life in chapters; each one is 25 years long. From birth to 25 years, it’s all about growing, figuring things out, and deciding who we want to be in the world. From 25 to 50, it’s all about our career, family, creating a home, and getting settled.
When we reach 50-75, we suddenly realize that we’re likely in the last chapter of our career, our family, good health, and our most productive years. It’s as if once we reach this stage, the universe places her hands on both sides of our face and whispers, “I’m done f*cking around; it’s time to get serious. Whatever you need to do, do it now.”
The current life expectancy in the United Staes in 2020 is 78.93 years. That means that at 50-75 years old, this is the chapter of life when we might begin to see chronic diseases develop. We might reach our highest career level. We might start to think about our mortality or reinforce the lessons we want our kids to learn. This is the phase in our lives when we begin to wrap up the storylines of our life.
It’s the last chance we have to tie it all together—to do what we’re going to do. It’s the last chance to achieve what we’re going to achieve, to live life on our terms while still healthy and energetic enough to enjoy it. None of this is designed to be depressing or sad; it’s actually an excellent opportunity to kick things into gear.
If you’re like me and fall into this age group, time is getting short to start (or finish) whatever you’ve been putting off. Now is the time. If the estimates are correct, we might only have another two decades to make our lives matter and make a difference.
Whatever you need to say, say it. Whatever art, poem, or piece of beauty you have in your heart and soul to create, create it. Get it out into the world. Whatever difference you want to make in this lifetime to make the world a better place, now is the time—do the work you’re here to do.
This last 25-year-long chapter will fly by in the blink of an eye. And at the end of it, when our bodies become frail, when we don’t have the energy or drive that we did in our younger days, we won’t have regrets over the things we did in our life. We will only regret the things that we didn’t do.
Now is the time to fulfill your legacy; the universe is done f*cking around.
Don’t let any more time slip away.