What’s an INDY (and are you one)?
“Life after 50”. This is the kind of term which compounds our culture’s belief that once you hit the half century, you are reborn as someone else. Someone less visible, energetic or useful than you were 5, 10, 15 years ago.
As if life isn’t hard enough. Often juggling a complicated personal life (ex-spouses, aging parents, miserable teenagers) with coming to terms with living in a body that no longer seems to behave the way it used to (that’s a new ache, hormones out of control, things not working or going into overdrive), we also must contend with the heavily-laden expectations from society. The ones where we take the SAGA membership offered, go quietly into retirement and don’t make a fuss.
But the thing is, us 50-year olds of today aren’t the same as the 50-year olds of previous generations. We came of age during some of the most significant times in popular culture; we wore insane flares and danced the night away, we shaved and spiked our hair before dying it blue and putting a safety pin through our nose, we went to raves and danced all night with complete strangers we professed to love forever, we invented the term “party island” and were too busy living on it to take selfies of us enjoying it. And ultimately, we couldn’t care less what society expected of us.
We’ve had a portfolio career, working in different industries and different positions, through choice just as much as necessity, working to live and living to work at the same time, knowing that whatever happened our future was in our hands.
Then suddenly you find yourself on the “wrong side of 50”, as if there is a swinging door in the middle of life which only opens one way. Except the door is your 50th birthday, and everything that was brilliant about you is locked on the other side. But the truth is, we get to choose what we leave behind.
You’re not someone else just because yesterday we were 49 and 364 days old, and but sometimes it seems like the minute you say you’re 50 people begin to treat you differently, and more significantly, have different expectations. But that just makes it even more satisfying when you prove them wrong.
We are the generation of anything goes, we have no blueprint for how to behave and what to do as a 50+, just like we had no blueprint for what was expected of us or how to behave at 20, 30 and 40. We are the pioneers, we are the first generation with this level of freedom, which can make juggling the expectations of society, our personal and physical situations along with our own hopes and dreams tricky to say the least.
But we have a responsibility to those coming up behind us to prove that there is more life in the old dog yet (and while we’re at it, please don’t refer to us as old dogs), that we are just as viable, vibrant, useful, unexpected and exciting as we’ve always been.
We are the INDY’s: the I’m Not Done Yet’s, the trailblazers, the innovators… those who know they should be doing something. Just not sure how to while coping with a tricky hip and divorce proceedings.
I’m not done yet is a destination website, where you can find inspiration, support and resources to ensure that “life after 50” is just as awesome as it always was, and that being 50+ really is the new black.
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