Discover Yourself Over 50 & Thriving Series

Writing your own recipe to Thrive

August 23, 2018
Writing your own recipe to Thrive

If you wrote the recipe for thriving in life, what ingredients would you include?  Would it have a ‘pinch of this’ and a ‘pinch of that’? What would your secret ingredient be?

My guest this week, in the Over 50 & Thriving series, gave me pause to think of what my recipe for thriving would be.  Agnes from Sassy, Savvy, Successful (don’t you love the name of her blog?) shares her thoughts and experience since turning 60 and how she developed the perfect recipe for her life.

You can connect with Agnes through her website and social media links at the end of her post.  Meanwhile, I’m working on my recipe and perhaps I’ll share with you in a future post.

Writing your own recipe to Thrive

My name is Agnes and I am “Over 50”.  Okay, Okay… 60 is in the rear view too!

I’ve always been an out-going introvert, a do-er, a glass-half-full-so-pour-some-more-wine kind of person.  I usually described myself as a Pollyanna-type.

So to wake up on the morning of my 60th birthday feeling energy-less and despondent about that number, came as a huge surprise.  The fact that it took every ounce of my willpower to get out of bed and handle my responsibilities was bizarre to me. I couldn’t shake the ominous realization that I now, officially, had fewer years ahead of me than behind me (yes, even at 50 I felt pretty confident I still had more than half to go!)

That was almost four years ago.

Fortunately, I did have responsibilities: I was a paid caregiver to a live-in client.  That meant I had to keep going through the motions day after day.  After 50+ years as a Pollyanna, however, I knew this mindset had to get fixed! and fast!

Having always considered myself a strong person I was too proud to ask friends for advice. But… I did have the worldwide web at my disposal and I dug in.

I had been following a few online thought leaders so I started there.

The common recommendations for a fruitful life were pretty standard:

  • Mindfulness,
  • Meditation,
  • Gratitude and
  • Movement.

I researched those four exercises and created some daily rituals.  Even when my bed was the most attractive item in the house, I pushed myself to complete my rituals.  Duty kept me out of bed for the remainder of the day.

And guess what! Those recommendations worked!  It took a few months, I admit, but Perseverance is one of my middle names!

With my ‘recovery’ came the realization that I, and I alone, am responsible for my life, and I need to Live it!

I decided to start saying Yes! to life and make my last chapters my best chapters!  To Thrive, you might say.

May I share some of the highlights of the last 4 years now?

An acquaintance messaged me that she and the elderly mother she was care-giving had to move unexpectedly and she didn’t have a clue where she could land on short notice.  Come share my massive great 5-bedroom house said I, and they were in within a fortnight.  She’s now a close friend!

Six months later, lunch with a realtor friend led him to ask if I was interested in selling the big house.  I’m open but I’m not gonna list because that means more work.  Within a week, the house was sold for a handsome price with a distant closing date so all my housemates had time to organize themselves.

Throwing caution to the wind, I put an ad on Craigslist asking for ‘a place to land’ anywhere south of my current location.  A woman from a city I had never considered answered my ad immediately and, after meeting her and her suite, I said Yes!  She is now a dear friend.

A lazy Saturday afternoon a year and a half later, I was browsing the web for nothing in particular and a suite in a house in a lovely part of my favourite city, and only a few blocks from my daughter and grandchildren, popped into a corner of my monitor.  I relocated a month later.

Those are some of the great events, and there have been fabulous people too.

  • Like the trusted mechanic who found me a lovely little car to buy within 24 hours when my van died mid-move.
  • Like the local mechanic who suggested a great charity when I didn’t know how to dispose of my deceased van.
  • Like the dentist who listened and gave me a fix for a long-term frustration at a price I could afford.
  • Like the young man from days gone by who jumped into his car at a moment’s notice to deliver a rare part for my fun car – four hours out of his day including our quick visit.
  • Like the lovely physiotherapist I hadn’t seen in 15 years who assessed a new injury and had me on the road to recovery within days.

Am I lucky?  Am I blessed?  Absolutely! But I do need to point out something here.  Everything I mentioned above has happened thanks to other people.

As we get older, a lot of things happen.  Family moves on to their own adventures; spouses might depart; friends start dying; we settle into our habits and let Life happen.  It’s not a recipe for Thriving!

Like the rest of the people Over 50 & Thriving, you and I need to write our own recipe for Thriving.

What brings you Joy?  Make a list even if you need to clear away the cobwebs of your past to retrieve those memories.

Reach out to people and ask for ideas, or company – by this age, we know a whole bunch of people even if they don’t qualify as close friends.  Putting on my Pollyanna hat here – what’s the worst that can happen?  they’ll say No Thanks.  or they might say Great Idea!

Use social media: not to stay cloistered behind your keyboard but to find local groups of interest you can join.  Meet-up and Facebook and Instagram have fabulous search features.

I really hope you make your decision today to Thrive as you enter your 2nd half.  The first half may have kept you answering the calls of duty to parents and spouses and children and employers and that’s fine, that’s the status quo.

The challenge I make to you today is to put at least one Thrive ingredient into the chat below.  Put it out there for the world to see and then start finding ways to taste it!

I’m excited to read your responses!

Meet Agnes

Writing your own recipe to ThriveAgnes’ first loves will always be her three children, their partners and her grandchildren.

Coming in a close second, however, are her online adventures.  While she’s had a variety of careers over the years, the most interesting, challenging, fun ‘job’ she’s ever had is her online pursuits, discovered just a few years ago.  The learning curve has been steep but so rewarding, causing her to decide she’s quite happy being a lifelong learner.

After finding her way back from a 60th birthday slump, Agnes is creating a course to inspire other mid-life women to reconnect with the vitality they once took for granted.

Connect with Agnes

website:  https://sassysavvysuccessful.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SassySavvySuccessful
Facebook women’s group:   https://www.facebook.com/groups/SassySavvySuccessfulWomen

If you are Over 50 and would like to contribute to the Over 50 & Thriving Series, I would love to hear from you. Send me an email at sue@sizzlingtowardssixty.com.au and I can provide more details.
Click here to catch up on my previous guests in Over 50 & Thriving Series
Or you can subscribe here so you never miss a post and receive a FREE Copy of my latest e-book ’10 ways to start Thriving today’!
Don’t forget to post your Instagram photos using the hashtag #over50andthriving.

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31 Comments

  • Reply cathi August 23, 2018 at 22:28

    This is a wonderful post, and I completely relate to experience you had when turning sixty (for me, it was almost four years ago as well). I thrive on writing–it’s my form of communication and creative expression. Before I turned sixty, I had a longtime career as a writer for children. These days, I write mostly for adults in our age range, which is so exciting! I continue to try to find areas where writing for the Baby Boomer audience is welcomed and accepted.

    • Reply Agnes August 24, 2018 at 03:14

      So happy to meet you, Cathi! When I finally “outed” myself and my 60th slump in a very small group of trusted souls, they too identified with it. That is the reason I knew I had to pursue it!
      A quick glimpse at your page – I can’t wait to read more!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 24, 2018 at 07:10

      Hi Cathi, I have never written before starting my blog, but it was certainly a life saver during the early years of retirement. The connections and creative expression has been a wonderful way to cope with this third act. Have a beautiful weekend and thanks for stopping by to comment Agnes’ guest post. xx

  • Reply Donna August 23, 2018 at 23:23

    HI, Agnes – Great to meet you here. Your post is very timely for me. Although age has never been a big deal to me, I turn 60 in less than a month….and have not been loving the number. That’s strange, because I do have excellent role models (like Sue).
    I agree with your four tips, especially gratitude and movement. I also agree that is is our choice to say ‘YES!’ to life.
    Thank you for this very inspiring post!

    • Reply Agnes August 24, 2018 at 03:19

      Thank you for your lovely comments, Donna. As my dear old mother used to say “Forewarned is forearmed” so I’m sure you will dominate next month (perhaps we’re twins as my birthday is around the corner too?) I agree with your assessment that Sue is a fabulous role model, and I’m glad you agree with the tips.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 24, 2018 at 07:12

      You will be fine, Donna remember we focus on our life rather than the number and you are fit, fabulous and healthy. So pleased you enjoyed Agnes’ post and I’m loving all of my guests and their thoughts on Thriving. Have a beautiful weekend, my friend xx

  • Reply Donna McNicol August 24, 2018 at 04:03

    I love this…I think I read part of your story on your blog at some point but it’s just as meaningful now. If I had to chose one ingredient for life, it would be adaptability. Don’t close yourself off to new ideas. Expose yourself, in may different ways. Roll with the punches. When you look back, they will seem small as compared to when they happened. Life goes on!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 24, 2018 at 07:13

      Hi Donna, I love your attitude about adaptability and not being closed off to new ideas. You certainly have lived that way and inspire me. Have a beautiful day xx

    • Reply Agnes August 24, 2018 at 07:29

      Brilliant, Donna! Experts now say that adaptability, aka resilience, is one of the greatest skills one can have/learn/implement. You are so far ahead of the curve when you make this your primary ingredient for life. One of the things I like most about this age is knowing that Life does go on. Being open, curious can be lovely at the time, lovelier to reflect back on.

  • Reply The Widow Badass August 24, 2018 at 04:11

    This is great stuff and wise advice for anyone in a slump or overwhelmed by life, grief, whatever. I am doing the same as I work through the grief associated with my daughter moving thousands of miles away, and it does work to practice meditation, movement, gratitude and mindfulness. It doesn’t make the pain go away, but it makes it bearable. Thank you for putting this out there Agnes, and for hosting her, Sue.

    Deb

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 24, 2018 at 07:15

      I read your post and left a comment for you, Deb. I’m thinking of you and hope that you are back feeling better soon. xx

    • Reply Agnes August 24, 2018 at 07:37

      Thank you, Deb, and thank you for reminding us that those 4 keys work in different scenarios too. Sending love and strength your way as you find your way through your sadness. You talk about it which is so wise – letting your thoughts see light of day not only releases the valve but allows others to share the load with you. Best wishes.

  • Reply Jennifer Jones August 24, 2018 at 07:46

    As someone who made many changes to my life in later years, I really enjoyed reading how you have faced life head on. I’m finding the 60s are the best years. Enjoy.

    • Reply Agnes August 24, 2018 at 08:05

      Jennifer, I firmly believe we women – over 50, shall we say – are fast becoming a force to be reckoned with. Precisely because we have the wisdom to make those changes, to embrace the life we know we can be living. The 60s are fabulous, for so many reasons!

  • Reply Candi Randolph August 24, 2018 at 09:14

    Hi Agnes and Sue,
    I agree that we are ultimately responsible for our lives, our happiness and what we do. It is up to us to make the decision and then DO IT. I know many people who talk about things, discuss making changes, think about that move, ponder a life change…and do nothing. You won’t reap the reward if you don’t take the leap.

    • Reply Agnes August 24, 2018 at 10:35

      Thank you, Candi, for the reminder that, at the very end, it’s rarely the things you did that you regret, but rather it’s the things you didn’t do. Sounds like you’ve “taken the leap” on more than one occasion!

  • Reply suzanne vosbikian August 24, 2018 at 09:18

    Hi Agnes, I just reminded a friend today that 60 is only a number. Challenging my mind and body, spending time in solitude and always having something to look forward to work for me. I have to admit that turning 60 was not traumatic for me, but as I approach 65, (two years away), I am beginning to feel and see visible changes in my body that I absolutely cannot accept. I am active, but my typical routine is no longer enough. Thanks for reminding me to keep moving.

    • Reply Agnes August 24, 2018 at 10:40

      Hi, Suzanne, it’s always interesting to me that despite what we know in our hearts to be true (like 60 is just a number) the brain can still play games with our psyches! If you aced 60, then no doubt you’ll manage 65 just fine. Curious that we add importance to the 5s and 10s, isn’t it!

  • Reply Karen Hume August 25, 2018 at 04:09

    Hi Agnes and Sue,
    Excellent post, Agnes. I definitely agree with the four recommendations for a fruitful life, and see that you’ve added (and live) flow – an openness to seeing what happens as opposed to trying to control everything. That’s the characteristic I’d like to embrace as I turn 59 next week. If I could be feeling that trust and ease when I turn 60, I’d consider that great preparation for the years ahead.
    Sue, I’m going to be so interested to see what’s in your recipe my friend!

    • Reply Agnes August 25, 2018 at 07:07

      Hi, Karen! I clicked on the wrong Reply button! My response is below!

    • Reply Janet Mary Cobb August 25, 2018 at 12:15

      FLOW is such the right word Karen!

  • Reply Agnes August 25, 2018 at 07:05

    Hi, Karen Flow seems to be a natural consequence of the four recommendations – thank you for pointing that out. It sounds like you are approaching 60 well-prepared… I’m sure the Universe will acknowledge that. Happy birthday when it comes!

  • Reply jodie filogomo August 25, 2018 at 07:41

    I really loved reading this! Because most of us are truly blessed if you look at our lives through the eyes of rose colored glasses. And we should!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • Reply Agnes August 25, 2018 at 10:18

      Thanks, Jodie! and I agree – we are blesssed with or without rose-coloured glasses! I love a quote by Jen Sincero “We live in a limitless Universe overflowing with miracles! The fact that we aren’t stumbling around in an inconsolable state of sobbing awe is appalling.”

  • Reply Janet Mary Cobb August 25, 2018 at 12:13

    Agnes – thank you for beautifully sharing your story! I experienced MUCH of what you share when I tossed my life like salad when I was 30 – and then again three years ago when my career imploded and decided to self-employ. At 55, I’m looking towards 60 knowing that my daughter will hit 21 and then I will be more officially hitting my 3rd act. I hope that I enter that phase with the same enthusiasm and grace you demonstrate!
    Sue – thanks for introducing me to another great woman!

    • Reply Agnes August 26, 2018 at 02:43

      Thank you, Janet! If you’ve already “tossed life like a salad” (love that!) a couple of times, you will, no doubt, enter your 3rd act with enthusiasm and tenacity. What a wonderful beginning, too, knowing your daughter is officially launched into her adult adventure. If 60 is the beginning of your 3rd act, I hope it’s a really long one!!

  • Reply Janet Mary Cobb August 25, 2018 at 12:22

    Agnes – me again. I visited your blog page but can’t seem to find a ‘follow’ or ‘subscribe’ spot. Please advise.

    • Reply Agnes August 26, 2018 at 02:45

      There’s always something, Janet!! I completely revamped my website this year and obviously overlooked one thing! Thank you for your interest, and the heads up! It will be recitified by end of weekend!!

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au August 25, 2018 at 22:17

    Agnes this was a wonderful post to read. I love how you could list so many events that were partly serendipity, but mostly you choosing to be open to change and open to people offering help. I want to be be more open to this sort of thing – self sufficient, but with space left over for other people to contribute – I want more friends and you seem to have figured out the way to do that. 60 scares me a little bit too, but the more I read other bloggers telling their stories and making their 60’s even better than their 50’s, the less fearful I become!

    • Reply Agnes August 26, 2018 at 02:54

      Oh my goodness, I didn’t learn the first time apparently! I clicked the wrong Reply button, Leanne, my response is below in the Comments!

  • Reply Agnes August 26, 2018 at 02:52

    The psychology of 60, Leanne, or maybe I should capitalize all that and make it a book. I am a big believer in serendipity – sometimes looking at events or opportunities and asking “is there a good reason to say no?” I have been reading several thought leaders lately and they really do promote asking – whether it’s asking for help, or ideas, or referrals – and most of us have to admit we’d respond to a request so I’m not sure why we tend to think others won’t when we ask. and Yes (although I wouldn’t have thought it in the months following my 60th) life keeps on getting better and better! You will rise to the challenge I’m sure!!

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