Yes, when you are having one of those Special Birthdays, the ones that bring up lots of questions about The Future. 'What to do now you are 50!' there I said it, 50. According to a Google search, it would seem that my future options are to:-
1. Change career or become a Consultant.
2. Move house, downsize/upgrade.
3. Start a new small and trendy business.
4. Travel – not just to like Asda but Abroad.
5. Enjoy time with my partner now the children have left home.
Oh how I laughed and wept as I read that. I am sure there is a percentage of folk out there who will do some of those things but it's certainly not matching my current life/work/mental health imbalance. See below.
1. No job or career left to change.
2. Any business plan I have will be highly unstable.
3. Travelling anywhere is difficult when you've no driving license and going out further than Asda requires a lot of mental resilience.
4. No house to sell or downgrade/upgrade.
5. As for a partner, that's another thing that disappeared and now there is only the cat. I still have the children who I should have had sooner as they certainly aren't leaving home.
So what do you do when you are 50 (and have interesting mental health issues) and life hasn't quite turned out as you expected?
Here is my Mental Health Friendly at 50 'What to do!' list
1. Let go of trying to work, find work or be defined by work. Just be whatever you are at the moment. And do whatever you are doing.
2. If you live somewhere you like, then just live there. If you have to move then get all the help you can to do it.
3. Travel – well you know there is always the TV. It's way cheaper and less smelly. Never give up a dream of where you would like to go though – for me it is Bath and the Roman baths and I will get there one day.
4. If your children still live with you then enjoy it because one day they'll be gone.
5. Enjoy having a cat but if a frog does turn up then be sure to give it a wee kiss just in case.
6. Finally – Take it back to basics. Breath. Get out of bed. Shower. Eat cake with friends. Repeat daily. Remember you are an immense human being, yes really. REALLY!!
So that Special Birthday can just roll right on up now that I have got my own realistic 'What to Do' list. Sure I wont be jetting off to Venice or starting up a boutique hotel chain. I will however have good loving friends, a happy cat, teenagers and an abundance of cake. Not bad at all.
A Moodscope member.