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What Is It That You REALLY Want on This Side of 50?

By Leslie Moon November 12, 2022 Mindset

When I began to contemplate the idea of retiring from my career, I experienced anxiety around the idea of not working every day. What would I do all day? How would I spend my time?

I was lucky enough to have been in a career and with a company that I absolutely loved. However, my job as a behavior analyst working with children on the autism spectrum and their families was becoming less joyful for me for a variety of reasons. I was experiencing chronic back pain. And I was at a point in my life where I wanted to spend all of my “kid” time with my grandchildren.

Still, seeing the grands was not going to be a daily event. So, how would I spend my days if I left my job?

I reflected on this question and decided that this would be the time for me to do the thing I’d wanted to do since I was a little girl. I would write.

Specifically, I would create content for women like myself who were trying to figure out who they were and what they wanted to do on this side of 50.

It’s Been a Journey! I’ve Made Mistakes and Learned Some Things!

I started Life Balance After 50 and began writing blog posts and live content centered around:

  • it’s not too late and we are not too old to do big things! To go back to school, start a business, write a book, and the list goes on;
  • the role that our core beliefs play in how we live our lives and what we decide to do or not do
  • the importance of a growth versus a fixed mindset in all we do.

Although this content and these topics were helpful and of interest to my community of women, this summer I took a different turn. I called it my “summer of being present.” I made it my goal to live “in the moment” no matter what I was doing. To see the joy and beauty rather than to worry about all of the other things I “should” be doing. And my community loved this.

Because, many of us in this community of women aren’t necessarily looking to make huge changes! We are just looking to find our joy and passion in each day and spend at least part of our day doing the thing that brings us just that!

For Some of Us, Changing a Small Habit Is a Game Changer

Many of us in this community are just looking to have some structure and control over where our days take us. We often spend our days “reacting” to the needs of others in our environment.

Carving out and scheduling “me” time that you honor can help with this. Scheduling time each day to reflect, mediate or journal. Time to take an outdoor walk every day. Time to read for pleasure.

Creating or changing a new habit can have a domino effect on our days and weeks when we honor it and stick with it.

Others Might Want to Look at the Big Picture

For these women, reflecting on how our priorities and values may have changed through the years is helpful. Maybe you want to think about what your mission statement is on this side of 50. This can provide you with a big picture look at each day as you move forward.

Having a good idea of what your priorities are can help you decide who and what to say “no” to so that you are spending more time on the things and people that matter.

Some Reflection Ideas to Get You Started

Taking quiet, focused time to really reflect and journal out your ideas is key during this process. As you consider the reflections listed, it is important that you do NOT censor yourself. Write down everything that comes into your mind. This will provide you with invaluable information.

  1. Picture your ideal day and week and go into great detail. What activities are you doing? Where? With whom? What are you wearing? Write down everything that comes into your mind. This reflection should be done periodically.
  2. What are your top three priority areas? How much of your day and week is spent on these? Are you happy with the time that you give to these areas? If not, what changes can be made so that you have more time for the things that you WANT to spend your time on?
  3. How have your priorities/values changed throughout the years?
  4. If you could spend two days doing anything you wanted and money was no object, how would you spend those two days?
  5. How do you want to be remembered?

I encourage you to take time to reflect on how you’d like your days to look as you move forward. Not all of us want to make major life changes, but we do deserve to have time dedicated each day to do something that is just for us at this stage of the game.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What changes in your days and weeks would you like to see happen on this side of 50? Big? Small? What small habit change would you like to make? What is standing in your way when you think about making these changes?

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i am 76 and in decent health, am active and have a wonderful group of friends. i am not sorry i’m retired as some people say they are, but i just want some peace in my life. i say that bc i am the matriarch of family and i’m depended on. because of this, there have been arguments among family members, bc they dont’ help – didn’t with my dad and don’t now wth my brother. I feel guilt bc I can’t just let my brother’s situation go by wayside. i don’t know how others can do that, even his daughter! so that’s why i say at 76 i just want peace and to be able to freely go on vacations etc without worry. i’m at the end of my life and feel kind of trapped. yes it’s my choice to help but children should be doing for their parents, sibs could help too but there is always an excuse.


I am so sorry that you’re having to deal with this, Teresa. I want you to just take a trip! You deserve to be able to do that and to have some peace.


I appreciate this post and all of the commenters’ stories.

Turned 60 this year, I’m transitioning from a career as a painter to part-time sub librarian, learning to bake bread, trying to improve my fitness and eliminating time spent with negative people or saying yes to too many things. Gave away lots of art, some happy recipients which brought me unexpected joy. Lots to go through and decisions to make.

I’m keeping a small notebook with my plans and goals, review a few times a year. I’m proud of my progress. More to do.

Glad to learn of this group and the many fine writers who contribute.

Trying to figure out if we can age in place or should figure out where to move. We can walk most places and we love our home but as costs increase, I’m mindful we may have to move out of state. Hoping to figure this out in the next 10 years. My mother-in-law was devastated to give up her home after age 80. My own parents went into independent living facility. Dad died, Mom has dementia. But they chose it, which is proactive. I’m sorry for those who couldn’t choose. But no matter what, it takes time to adjust. It seemed to get easier for my mother-in-law. She did not take change well. So I hope those in crisis will find some respite soon.

Mom, age 95, has a nice apartment and a good life in a warm climate. We won’t be able to afford her options. I hope at that point I will have downsized and can afford some comforts. I’m sure many of us have the same wishes. Thanks for reading this far.


I love all of the things that you’re doing! Action creates clarity and you’re doing it! Thank you for this!

Cherlyn Wilson

At 68, divorced, struggling daily challenged with Short Term Memory loss and fatigue post brain tumor and stroke 21+ years, moved into an Assisted/Independent Living by my daughter has been awful when I was hoping to move in a 55+ like before, 8 years ago, but had to leave finding it very dry, busted my nose vessels! And now wonder why we all struggle daily with the unending search to live, be happy, stay well, safe! EVERY SINGLE DAY! I’ve come to the place where I can’t let go of the thought from my pastor at my grandmother’s funeral 49 years ago, now my parents’, brother, niece, other relatives and friends, if it’s easier when you’ve passed on with no more worries and no more cares?


Sending you all of the virtual best wishes Cherlyn.


I am still working but I plan in retiring in a few years. This post has me thinking ahead about what I want my retired days to look line . I my start practicing on the weekends. Thank you .


I love the idea of practicing on the weekends. Thank you for that!


Being midway on the other side of 50, I really needed this. Thank you.


Thank you, Sonya! I’m glad it resonated!

The Author

Leslie is the founder of Life Balance After 50 where she uses her background in counseling and behavior analysis to help women navigate their goals and dreams after 50. She created a free mini workbook along with a guide and a full-length workbook for women who are looking to redefine and find joy and purpose in their second half of life. Contact Leslie at

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