TEN THINGS THAT DON'T MATTER NOW I'M 60

Ten life lessons that my 50's taught me that have taken the stress and upset out of my life.

WHAT DOESN'T MATTER NOW I'M 60

Marc and Angel always have a lot of really straightforward, helpful advice to offer on their site and I often visited their links on Facebook while I was recovering from the fallout from my toxic job a few years ago. I don't tend to need their insights as much these days, but recently one of their articles caught my eye. It was titled 20 Things That Will Matter A Lot Less In 20 Years

I clicked across and several caught my eye because they were lessons I'd learnt over the last decade and they certainly matter a whole lot less now that I've reached 60. I thought I'd share my top ten today as a little victory celebration for how far I've come.

TEN THINGS THAT DON'T MATTER NOW I'M 60

1. How “perfect” everything could be, or should be.
I used to pride myself on being a perfectionist. Then I read Brene Brown's "The Gifts Of Imperfection" and had an epiphany. Allowing things to be good enough takes away the fear of failure and a lot of self criticism. It's freed me from beating myself up over ridiculously small imperfections and allowed me to appreciate life so much more.

2. Having a calendar jam-packed with exciting, elaborate plans.
I used to think that being invited to events was super important. I hated the idea of missing out on something. Now I embrace JOMO (the joy of missing out) and relish quiet days or evenings at home. Having the flexibility to decide whether I want to be part of an occasion means that when I choose to attend, I'm there for the right reasons (and not under sufferance).

3. Being in constant control of everything.
I used to hold onto life with a very tight fist. Perfectionism and the desire to control everything were my go-to methods of trying to avoid life catching me unawares. I had a Plan B (or C, D, E...) for every occasion. It was stifling and letting that go has been an absolute joy. Worry disappeared in the process and I haven't missed that either.

Madeleine L'Engle quote on letting go

4. Winning everyone’s approval.
I wrote a post about this last year and how my daughter opened my eyes to the fact that people's opinions really shouldn't impact me to the extent that they do - especially if those people have no real understanding of my life or my reasons for a particular decision. It's been an eye opener to allow myself to be secure enough to only need my own approval.

5. The idea of saving certain (overly dramatic) people from themselves.
Oh man! This was a big one for me and the impetus for leaving my job. Trying to help/ guide/ save someone who didn't really want to be saved just did my head in. You can't save people who have their identity tied in with being a victim. Instead I learned what boundaries are - better late than never (and to steer clear of other people's drama!)

6. The selfish and disparaging things others say and do.
Realizing that most of the times I perceived criticisms from others were often my imagination working overtime helped release me from being hurt so often by offhand remarks. Letting it go, assuming responsibility for what was mine to deal with, and letting the rest flow over me has been the key to a much happier life.

7. Winning arguments.
It's just not worth the fight - I won't argue with people over any of the hot issues - especially on social media. I have a policy that Facebook is for puppies, kittens, babies, and weddings. I don't want to deal with aggro over my morning cuppa. Everyone has their own values and beliefs - and I'm happy to excuse myself from the discussion.

8. Judging others.
Like the argument issue - everyone's different, we all make choices based on our own values and it's not up to me to decide if someone's opinion or behaviour is right or wrong. I hold to what I believe and in the process grant others the grace to hold to theirs. Life's a lot simpler when you aren't always picking holes in other people.

9. Society’s obsession with outer beauty.
I get so tired of hearing women over 50 complaining about being invisible, or alternatively, trying desperately to dress and behave like they're 30. Midlife is a fantastic life stage and it's a shame to miss out on the joy of being a woman of "a certain age" by mourning lost youth and the face and body that we had at 20. We've lived full and interesting lives - let's be proud of that and not get caught in an Instagram filtered world view.

10. Fancy and expensive physical possessions.
I've never really lusted after expensive possessions, but they have even less appeal for me these days. I love having a home that is warm and welcoming - where young and old can sit and put their feet up without feeling like they might damage something precious. It's nice to own some lovely things - but it's a sad day when those lovely things start to own us.

I have never been drawn to luxury. I love the simple things; coffee shops, books, and people who try to understand. - R YS Perez.

OLDER AND WISER

It's a really good feeling to know that my 50's weren't wasted, that I used them to grow and to discard the ideas or habits that weren't serving me. There was so much that I carried on my shoulders, worried about, over-thought, and generally wasted valuable time on. It's a blessing to be able to look back and see them gradually slough away and leave a clean slate to write on for the next decade and onwards. No wonder I'm finding 60 to be so Fabulous!

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Ten life lessons that my 50's taught me that have taken the stress and upset out of my life.

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Cresting the Hill - a blog for Midlife (Middle Aged / 50+) women who want to thrive
Ten life lessons that my 50's taught me that have taken the stress and upset out of my life.
Ten life lessons that my 50's taught me that have taken the stress and upset out of my life.

37 comments

  1. Hi, Leanne - I nodded my head in agreement with all ten items on your list. I love how you are rocking your WOTY! Hope all is well for you.

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    1. They all seem so obvious now Donna, but several years ago I was mired down by a lot of them - that need for control and being so impacted by the opinions of others were big headaches for me. Life is much simpler these days. :)

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    1. Thanks Janet - it's always nice to look back and see how far we've come :)

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  3. Yes Leanne, so much to enjoy at this age, I'm still surprised by how good it is. You've covered lots of great points in this post and as Donna said you are certainly rocking your WOTY.

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    1. Hi Deb - this age and stage is turning out to be such a joy for me. I love that the compare and despair mentality is way in my rearview mirror and I can just enjoy doing what I like, when I like, and with who I like - you can't do much better than that!

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  4. So well said! I'm sharing on FB. So many people could benefit from these wise words. xxxx
    Christina Daggett

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    1. Thanks so much Christina - it's a really good feeling to let some of this go and just start living my best life. I think it should all be about "do no harm" and have fun! x

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  5. The only one I still struggle with is the being in control and having so many back up plans... I just can not seem to let go like I'd like!

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    1. Joanne I had a backup plan (and then a backup for that) for every eventuality for all of my life. And I worried a LOT. It's only in the last couple of years that I'm finally letting go more and realizing that it's okay to let life happen and see where it takes me - more often than not, I don't need a Plan B and I could have saved all that energy!

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  6. Another great read, Leanne!! And all so true!! and freeing also when you let go of so many things that bothered you before...Still working at some of it though but I know it will come...Thanks too for stopping by and for your sweet comment!!
    Hugs,
    Debbie

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    1. Hi Debbie - I'll always be a work in progress, but I loved reading the points in Marc and Angel and realizing that I was making headway on a lot of them. I'd never have been able to tick these off ten years ago, so it's a great feeling knowing that my life is more calm and settled these days.

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  7. Hi Leanne, 10 good things which should be easy to do but with year's of living with certain mindsets can be a challenge.

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    1. Hi Sue - I know what you mean, but at the same time all this uncertainty on a country-wide and worldwide scale has made me realize how little control I actually have and that it's easier to focus in on the smaller stuff and live my life well - even if it has new challenges that we'd never dreamed of a few years ago!

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  8. I quite enjoy invisibility - I find it means I can do whatever I like (and now in a mask, I feel like a ninja) HA! I have found COVID and the last 2 years of cancelled everything has made my FOMO worse. I packed in Sydeny festival events for every night in Jan - 2 on one night last week. I feel I need to make up for lost time. My torschlusspanik is stronger than ever.So for me I can't agree with #2 (and don't see it changing in the future, but as one of my friends says "It's a good energy but there's a whole lot of 'stuff' there you'll eventually have to deal with' Ha!! (she means when I can't physically do stuff and I;'ll have to force my brain to catch up with my body). The last 2 years has really put #3 to the test for me. I try to manage the unmanagable and have spent so much time trying to keep all the wheels in motion while keeping everyone safe. I currently know about 60 people with COVID, a number in our street,. I know it's only a matter of time but trying not to feel overwhelmed at the thought of admitting I'm not in control of anything at all. I agree with all the others tho, and probably got there well before 60. I still struggle a bit on number 5. I sort of watch people turn their backs on people and feel I can't. I am better at boundaries tho....Good post!

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  9. I agree with you on all of these Leanne. Number 7 is a biggie for me. I just can’t be bothered listening to people ranting and carrying on. I’ve had to change hairdressers over this. During the whole time of covid I’ve had to listen to her going on and on about what our Premier is doing wrong. In the end I’d had enough and after 10
    years won’t be going back. Lifes too short and too good to be listening to all that. I really enjoyed your post

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    1. Hi Jen - I totally get where you're coming from. I think I sit somewhere in the middle of both camps and can see both points of view - BUT don't want to listen to it all. The diehards will never change and they will never convince me to get on their bandwagon, so I now unfollow and turn off notifications and refuse to engage if there's any hint of a carry on about to start. Life's definitely too short.

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  10. Wisdom is the greatest gift that comes to one late in life, but not too late to benefit from it. You demonstrate this, Leanne.

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    1. I would really like to become a wise woman as I age Judith. Thank you for thinking that I'm getting there slowly. Letting go of so many preconceived ideas is the beginning of the journey I think. :)

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  11. A big YES to all these, Leanne! I'm still working on not caring about what people think, but I've come a long way and my favourite quote is "what other people think of you isn't your problem". I still get into comparison mode but have learned to mostly switch off those thoughts. Like Jen said, 7 and 8 are difficult and I want to stay out of drama and argument, and instead be exposed to entertaining, uplifting things when I go online unless I actively choose to read the news or specific articles. I use the "mute" functions on social media VERY much! Life is too short...I hope when I get to my late 50s that I'll feel I used these years to grow and enjoy life.

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    1. Hi Susanne - I still get caught up in worrying about what people think or comparing myself....but I notice I'm doing it less and less these days. It's a shame it took me 50+ years to figure it out, but also a blessing that I have many years ahead (hopefully) to live life on my own terms and reap the benefits. You're fortunate to be figuring it all out sooner than I did!

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  12. So very cool and I agree very much so. What a great assignment for my students.

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    1. Thanks Patrick - I wonder what they'd choose to dispense with in their lives or in the future - it would definitely be an interesting assignment.

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  13. I'm reading this after Sue's 'Be bold now' post and reminded that we shouldn't wait for many of these things but I'm one of the worse offenders. I love though that you're conscious that it's a process and sometimes we have to endure the crap and put up with bad stuff to learn NOT to accept it any more or that we don't have to.

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    1. Hi Deb - I'd be a total hypocrite if I didn't acknowledge that this has been a process for me. I used to be a complete control freak, a 'fixer' of drama ridden people, and quite judgemental. I'm quite proud of how far I've come in all the areas above, but I also know it's easy to slide backwards, so my aim is to loosen up, go with my gut, and not worry about the naysayers - so far it's working :)

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  14. Ah yes, the back up for the back up plan...because "control" of what if/what might....it's still something I can fall back to and I know it doesn't work... Now, here's what I have learned...that I have to be more confident in my choices and opinions. Getting there...because i am a life long learner. I am also considering something I am going to blog about in a couple of weeks. No longer a midlife 'anything' because midlife for me, is long gone. I am 72 and whilst it's not that I cannot connect with those I follow who are midlife bloggers and writers, but the truth of ageing is for me, something I need to not only own up to but to share. I appreciated you taking the time to write a post and link it up for Life This Week on my blog this week. Thank you kindly. Denyse.

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    1. Oh Denyse - we orderly people just love to have our worlds under control don't we? And when we finally wake up to the fact that you can't keep every duck in a row, and that it's okay if a few wander off, it's such a relief and release! I still think of you as a Midlifer (I still think of myself as one!) there should be a Senior Midlifer category for those of us who are over 60 could slip into. I'll look forward to your planned post. x

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  15. Lots of wisdom here! I like Brene Brown as an author, I'm going to try to find the book you mentioned.

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    1. Hi Jeanne - I've read a couple of her books and I just like her insights into authenticity and allowing yourself to be a little less than perfect - something I've never been good at up until my 50's.

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  16. Hey there, late to the blog this week....but better late than never, as they say. People saying they're invisible is one of my peeves too, yet I suppose they must perceive it to say it. Instagram rarely makes me feel worse about myself and yes, I find myself skimming FB these days. It really is no wonder you're so far finding 60 fabulous.

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    1. Yes I don't understand women complaining about invisibility Jo - all they need to do is adjust their attitude a little and make it less about expecting stuff from others, and instead just putting themselves out there a little more - it only takes a smile and some eye contact to engage with others doesn't it (oh and a happy attitude helps!)

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  17. Well said, Leanne. Living free and light is the best and fabulous :) Thank you for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare.

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    1. Hi Natalie - life's short and getting shorter - so why not live it with a smile while doing stuff we love - positivity attracts others and makes us so much more interesting.

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  18. I love everything about this post! And I'm mostly right there with you, even though I'm only 54. I'm still working on truly not caring about other people's opinions (especially where my writing is concerned), but I've made progress.

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    1. I still have my moments where I worry about what others will think or say, but what I've come to see is that they rarely think about us (or judge us) as much as we assume they do. They're too busy getting on with their own lives and worries to be bothered by what we're doing :)

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  19. Great post as usual, Leanne. I'm not at 60 yet and an in a different stage of life with kids still at school and trying to relaunch some sort of career after health issues and now covid. However, they are great points. I am trying to clear stuff out of the house atm and have been for years while usually simultaneously bringing more stuff in. I'm also trying to readjust my hours as I've become too much of a night owl since covid and it's not good. Thanks for getting me thinking.
    Best wishes, Rowena - Beyond the Flow

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    1. Hi Rowena - All of these things are part of a process - we don't get there overnight and often we have to un-learn stuff before we can move on to discovering what's important to keep in our lives and what to let go. Also some things work at specific times of our life (your night owl habits) but have to adjust as time goes on. I think we'll always be works in progress!

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