Are you afraid of something in your life?
Is it the fear of change? Fear of being alone? Fear of stepping outside your comfort zone? or Do you Fear living an authentic life and being true to yourself?
Fear can certainly inhibit our growth and ability to Thrive in life.
I haven’t known my next guest, in the Over 50 & Thriving series for very long, but when I read her describing herself as ‘a 58 year old retired Grey Goddess on the Go!’, I knew I had to have her as part of the series. Who wouldn’t love to be a Grey Goddess on the Go?
Laureen from My Fab Fifties Life is living her life travelling the world with her husband of 35 years, having ‘grand adventures in their fifties’. Whilst that sounds like a dream for many of us, Laureen and her husband have made that dream come true for themselves BUT it was a decision that wasn’t taken lightly. It took courage and that is the topic she is writing about – Overcoming Fear and having the Courage to live happily.
You can connect with Laureen through her website and social media links at the end of her article.
Thriving Without Fear – The Courage to Live Happily
As an American with a fulltime travel life I often find myself asked questions that revolve around fear; aren’t you afraid to travel around the world? Were you afraid to leave the USA? Isn’t it stressful to sell everything and not own a home any longer?
I see these fear-based queries from my over-fifty friends and family as a symptom of an American based thinking where owning more brings security. It’s a way of life for many my age. I’m not ashamed to be an American. But I have made a conscience effort to not be that kind of American. My husband and I have chosen a lifestyle as minimalist adventurers in our fabulous fifties.
There was a time where having the right job, the right house, the right car was important to me. What other people thought of me, my clothes, my career, even my kids was critical to my happiness.
But then one day I had an epiphany.
I was on an airplane, coming back home to Seattle, after what should have been a lovely and laissez-faire get-away to Paris. But instead of being relaxed my brain was on overload thinking about everything I would need to do when I got home; meetings at work, deadlines to meet, kids to chauffeur, bosses to please, laundry to do, weeds to pull. My heart was racing as I frantically made lists of things as I sat on the flight.
As we came into Seattle it was a beautiful evening and the city was awash in colorful lights. And then I had a moment. I felt myself hanging there, 5000 feet in the air, looking down on the twinkling city and suddenly realized how very, very small I was. How insignificant I am. How ridiculous my to-do list was. And most importantly, how short life is.
My life began to change from that day forward.
I realized my job no longer fulfilled me. I set my sights on retirement. I began to make exercise a priority and as a result began to feel so much younger. My husband and I made a life-changing decision to sell our house and almost all our belongings. The purge was the most freeing thing I had ever done. I also purged my life of people who were pulling me down, who only cared about me if I could do something for them. That was a hard but valuable lesson. We began to plan a life of full-time travel. And all of it felt right. We had no fear. We blossomed in the anticipation of our new life as minimalist adventurers.
Everyone we knew was amazed at our decisions and many were afraid for us. But fear did not work into our plans.
What did we have to be afraid of?
We had worked our entire life, raised two great kids, invested wisely and now we stood to reap the rewards from all of that. For us, travel was the answer.
Since all of this happened, I have had people ask my advice on how I re-invented myself. My answer is always the same. I did not. All I did was go back to the person I always was. Peeling away the layers of judgement and expectations which laid heavy on me from those around me. Underneath all of that I found a happy, kind, adventurous, talented and lovely human being, looking for a full and fabulous next life chapter.
As we mature, our eyes are opened wider than at any other time in our life. For us, finding a way to capitalize on our goals while still being healthy enough to do so has been an amazing way to reset my life’s momentum before it’s too late.
I realize not everyone has the desire or the means to do what we have done. But everyone has the means to set a goal to live these golden years happily. Let go of the things that weigh you down and the people who use and abuse you. Peel those layers and dig deep to recognize your own self-worth.
That costs nothing. It can be hard. But do not fear it. It is the best and most rewarding thing I have ever tackled.
I am so grateful to Sue for including me in this series – despite the fact I took forever to get this piece done! I love to collaborate with other like-minded fab fifty women. We all need to stick together and thrive!
Let’s Keep Sizzling!