Be Inspired by What Your 50+ Year Old Friends Are Doing

Fifty is just a number but it’s also a watershed moment for many of us, a period of tremendous transition. 

The road, which for most of us has always seemed well-marked, has become far more uncertain. The freedom borne of becoming even slightly less tethered to our kids leaves us with decisions, choices and time. But unlike our twenties, by the time we hit our fifties we have acquired life experience, wisdom and we are better informed about our own strengths and weaknesses-about the things we enjoy and the things we don’t. 

What inspires us at this juncture when there is so much runway yet ahead, but also so much in the rear view mirror? We asked 150,000 of our friends in the Grown and Flown Parents group to tell us what new things they have taken up. 

What inspires women at 50? (Twenty20 @opkirilka)

Turning 50: Here are the inspiring things we are doing at 50 and beyond

Our Bodies 

Many of you told us that you are working on your bodies in a myriad of ways with the  goal of remaining or getting limber and strong. You are having fun getting there. Collectively, you have taken up kickboxing, personal training, running marathons and sprint triathlons, hip hop and dance aerobics. You are competing in IRONMAN races. And, some of you are really flying high with circus arts (high flying trapeze, aerial silks) or getting powerful by competing in powerlifting events. 

Our Careers/Businesses 

We have finally reached a point where we have figured out that if we no longer love our work, we need to change it up. Many of you have left your old vocations to take up these new careers.

Soccer referee 

Open photography business

Start an adult beauty pageant business

Become a beekeeper

Pilates Instructor 

Trainer/Life Coach

Writer/ Blogger

School teacher

911 dispatcher

NICU nurse

Travel agent

Hospice ministry

One woman had  just submitted her papers to run for delegate to my party’s convention. Another launched a nonprofit and another after hiking 1000 miles herself, one woman decided to lead hikes for other women


With the freeing up of time, many of us are enjoying new hobbies:



How to work the camera/recording equipment





Scuba diving 

Voice lessons

Local theater 

Stand up paddle boarding

Competitive table tennis tournaments 

Swimming competitively

Music lessons 

Tap dance classes



Pole dancing


Horseback riding

One woman built a soundbooth in her basement and is taking voice-over lessons.

Education/Back to School

Many of us use our newfound freedom to learn something new:

PhD programs

Masters degrees

Language classes 

MBA programs

Rabbinical school

Certified Master Baker

Or college classes, just for the joy of learning


After many years in the same place, there is a lot of movement. Many of you are moving to warmer climates, buying a second home, downsizing or upsizing. 

And, we are travelling with groups and solo. One woman told us that she is planning to take a big solo backpacking trip 10-14 days. Some of you are buying RVs and hitting the road. Another woman told us she is doing hut to hut hiking in the Alps

One woman told us she was ready to get lots of tattoos, because there was no one to gainsay her. It’s never too late to reinvent yourself and we hope that you are as inspired as we were by what others are doing. 

This is the new fifty. Do it for others. Do it for yourself. Do it alone. Do it with a group. Whatever “IT” is for you, JUST DO IT.

You Will Also Enjoy:

Seven Signs of the Aging Apocalypse

Here are the Top Ten Most Awesome Things About Being Over 50

About Helene Wingens

Helene Wingens has always been passionate about painting pictures with words. She graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in psychology and three years later from Boston University School of Law with a Juris Doctor. In a year long clerkship for an appellate judge Helene honed her writing skills by drafting weekly appellate memoranda. She practiced law until she practically perfected it and after taking a brief twenty year hiatus to raise her three children she began writing a personal blog Her essays have been published in: Scary Mommy, Kveller, The Forward, and Grown and Flown where she is Managing Editor. You can visit Helene's website here

Read more posts by Helene

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