Why I Feel Freedom and Fearlessness After Age 50

1140-fearless-at-50-aarp[1]
Firefighter Guy Fortt earned a business degree after 50.

One of the joys of passing age 50 is growing less self-conscious about what people think of me. By now, I know I can usually trust my instincts, and even when I falter, the judgments of others don’t sting like they used to.

There are far worse things in life than falling short in someone else’s eyes. I’ve found much greater value in confronting what I think of me. This has been liberating.

Aging gives us personal license — the freedom, the fearlessness to stop playing it safe. This is one of the gifts we get from the simple passage of days, as we pile up experiences and find that failure rarely proves fatal and flattery is fleeting.

So, we might as well go for it. Be bold and follow a dream. Try something new. Say yes even though our knees are quaking. Or just decide to feel comfortable in our own skin. We have earned the right to be fearless at 50!

At AARP, we are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to celebrate the glories of life at 50-plus. What better opportunity than the Super Bowl’s 50th anniversary to display boldness — the conquering of fear that is such a huge part in every play of every game?

You might have seen AARP Fearless at 50 ads during NFL postseason games. We are using this moment to encourage personal courage. We want to urge you to be Fearless at 50!

We pay tribute to so many of you who are challenging outdated perceptions of what it means to have lived five decades and over. You’re doing everything from taking up sports, to teaching children to read, to starting a business, to rekindling an old flame. We applaud you for getting in the game and getting the most out of this stage of life.

Our ability to live longer, healthier, more productive lives is one of mankind’s greatest accomplishments. But living in a world that worships the fantasies of youth, we have work to do to recast the stereotypes of aging. Each of us who decides to take a calculated risk or pursue a passion is striking a blow against outmoded, ageist assumptions that are so embedded in the national psyche.

Hooray for fearlessness. Hooray for leaping out of your own birthday cake, for re-upping as an Army surgeon, or for recapturing the euphoria of skateboarding, as our members have.
So, go for it! You’ve still got it, and life is filled with possibilities!

 

 

Photo: AARP Ad


200-AARP-CEO-Jo-Ann-Jenkins.imgcache.rev1425935091805.web

 

 

 

Jo Ann Jenkins is the chief executive officer of AARP. Follow her on Twitter @JoAnn_Jenkins.

 

Also of Interest

See the  AARP home page for deals, savings tips, trivia and more.

Search AARP Blogs

Related Posts
December 11, 2018 10:07 AM
In an election year filled with partisanship and political fights, it’s no surprise that many Americans feel that their voices aren’t being heard or that the issues that affect their lives aren’t being addressed. But, many outstanding elected officials work hard every day to make a positive difference for their constituents.  That’s why AARP recognizes state legislators, governors, and other elected officials – from both sides of the aisle – who have stepped up and worked together to write, support, and advance common-sense policies that help older Americans remain in their homes and communities and retire with confidence. AARP is proud to announce our fifth annual bipartisan class of Capitol Caregivers, who fought this year to increase support for family caregivers and their loved ones, along with our fourth annual bipartisan class of Super Savers, who championed policies that enhance retirement security.
December 05, 2018 01:06 PM
Caroline is a mother of two children and a preschool teacher who unexpectedly became a family caregiver for her father after he suffered a major stroke. Her father, Tom, now deceased, lost the use of his right side and his ability to speak. Multiple surgeries and rehabilitation treatments later, he was able to live at home with the help of nurses. But it was up to Caroline to provide daily care, such as overseeing appointments and handling certain nursing responsibilities, like managing his medications. “I became the person my father could rely on more than anyone in the world,” Caroline said. “I became his safe place and his best friend.” In communities across the country, family caregivers like Caroline are caring for older parents, spouses and other loved ones, helping them to remain at home – where they want to be. Their tasks are done out of love and commitment, but are not easy. That’s why AARP is fighting for family caregivers and their loved ones in every state. In 2018, AARP advanced new policies to provide more help at home, flexibility at work, training, relief and more, which will benefit over 30 million family caregivers. Here are a couple highlights:
November 27, 2018 08:55 AM
A few months ago, I wrote a blog about the vital role that transportation options play in what we at AARP call “livable communities” – great places to live for people of all ages. Being able to get around is critical to earn a living, raise a family, contribute and stay connected to your community and enjoy life. And, having alternatives to getting behind the wheel of your own car is particularly important for older adults who want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.