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  • Susan Fletcher, Ph.D.

Why I’m glad to Celebrate My 50th Birthday

I had my 50th birthday yesterday and here are 5 personal reasons why I was happy about it:

1. My friendships at 50 are fulfilling. It is important to periodically take inventory and evaluate whether some of your relationships are toxic. In our 20's and 30's, we learn about trusting people, about whether people are looking out for our best interest (as well as theirs), and we tend to be focused on building our careers, our families, and our lives as adults. Now that I am at this stage of life, I nurture the relationships that have weathered the good and the bad. I'm better able to smell who just wants to ride piggy back. I know who is only there during the good times. It is more fulfilling for me to have a circle of friends who see the "Susie" in me and like that about me. I'm blessed with friends who are the family I choose.

2. All three of my boys live in my home and will be launching into their own independence within the next few years. I had my first child at age 33, my second at 35 and my last one at 37. If I had children in my 20's, I admit, I would not have been the best mom. Graduate school with kids was hard for my peers and I waited to have children so I could be more focused for my family. I knew that it would be important to "be there" when my kids were teenagers. Well, I'm "there" now and I'm proud of myself for positioning my boys as my number one priority. You will not hear me saying, "How did they grow up so fast?" I won't regret or waste the time I have with them. I enjoy every day and moment.

3. I'm a lifelong learner. Working for Dr. Phil, he always said, "You don't know what you don't know" and it is true! I don't apologize for it and never will. While media use me as an expert, I'm the first to tell you that I have a lot to learn. That's a good thing. That means that our abilities and interests can shift. Our likes and dislikes can change. What gives us energy can increase. I want to always learn something new.

4. The alternative to living to 50 is passing away in your prime. Each day is a gift and let's all work hard to be present and live each moment...and that's what I call, "Living Smart in the Smart Zone."

5. Divorced at 50 isn't ideal but it's an opportunity, in my opinion. It's an opportunity but there is no other choice. I was married for 17 years. The first 10 were pretty good. I'll leave it at that. In our home, I display a picture, of our then family of five, that was taken moments after my youngest son, Sam, was born. It was an easy birth (as the third child usually is) and I looked pretty good for a woman who just gave birth. It was a really happy time and a really happy day. At 50 I'm excited that I get to do "love" again. That's part of living in the moment and welcoming your opportunities. I'll keep you posted.

Turning 50 is a good thing. Thanks for letting me tell you why. If you are interested in booking me to speak at your meeting or conference please email Zan Jones or call her at 214-536-6666.

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