The Relevancy Project Post 2: Hopefulness Between the Covers of a Good Book
Here is the next book I am reading in my quest to figure out how to stay “relevant” as we age and become our best selves: 50 Things To Do When You Turn 50, edited by Ronnie Sellers. It is a compilation of well-known writers and thought leaders weighing in with advice on reaching this landmark, and thriving. I love the table of contents, it drew me in. It contains blurbs on the essays, each of which is compelling, insightful, and wise. Here are a few:
- Stop obsessing about your flaws: The only beauty secret that matters is learning to look more like you and less like somebody else, by Bobbi Brown.
- Trade strength for wisdom: Being the toughest person in the room is good. Being the most compassionate is better, by Harold S. Kushner
- Time to start unlearning: Fifty is a great time to forget everything you ever thought you knew about God—and start over, by Father Joseph Kelly, S. J.
- Give something back: You know how to earn it; you know how to spend it. But do you know how to give it away? By Lorna Wendt
- Hire Yourself: if you’re passionate, competent, and have a good plan, 50-plus is an ideal time to start your own business, by Alan Weiss
- Stop proving yourself: Give yourself credit; you’re a classic. You deserve to be able to relax a little and take in some of the things you’ve missed, by Susan Seidelman.
- Wear comfortable clothes. The only way to be beautiful is to feel at ease, by Diane von Furstenberg.
- Now that you’re tops at what you do, teach: Once you’ve reached the apex of your game—whether you’re a prima ballerina or a regional vice president—look for opportunities to pass it on to the young, by Eleanor D’Antuono
- Never cease the mental fight: Being older gives you the advantage of a deeper perspective, by Harold Bloom.
Each of the 50 authors is, of course, over 50, and reading about their discoveries and the new meaning they found at this point in their lives, really opens a door mentally. “Age is a state of mind” is cliché, and quite frankly I am sick of hearing it. Same for “50 is the new 30.” I was not happy about turning 50 and had no idea how I had arrived there.
However, I must acknowledge the value of attitude. All of these authors approached aging as the next phase of a very interesting journey, finding the positives, and using your well experienced and educated mind to maximize the rest of your life. Another cliché: “The best is yet to be.” Well maybe that is true after all, I am open to it. I am remaining hopeful and will be trying to stack the odds in my favor.
You gotta read this book.