In Categories, How to Live the Good Life
Tips for living the good life after 50 by Jo Castro

A street scene in Subiaco, a suburb near Perth

We travelled to Perth yesterday on a gorgeous winter’s day, my hubby bound for a Footie match with our son, and me heading for an afternoon’s shopping with my son’s lovely girlfriend. I felt lucky to be living the good life … and grateful, in as much as I had enough time on my hands to be sociable, the  good health to allow me to be physically active and mentally engaged, and a little disposable income with which to splurge.

Together we pounded the pavements of sunny Subiaco, talking about this and that, learning about each others’ interests in clothes, drinking mochas and cappuccinos, and browsing books in Elizabeth’s Second Hand bookshop. It was great to have one on one time together, but it did get me thinking about the differences of being twenty something rather than fifty something.

On the way home, I started thinking a little deeper about how the years have changed me and how I have a different take on life these days. Perhaps you’ll relate to this little list?

A little list for living the good life

  1. Surround yourself with people who laugh.
  2. Try always to make people feel good about themselves.
  3. Do something good for the planet on a daily basis.
  4. Children left home? Keep busy. Nothing ages you more than inactivity or disinterest.  Join a club, get a job or volunteer.
  5. I read this somewhere the other day, and I have to agree. At the exact date you turn 55 you will develop a muffin top just above your trouser line. Don’t ask me why, it just happens. So plan your wardrobe accordingly and stop fretting about it.
  6. Enjoy your home, enjoy your clothes, enjoy baking and entertaining while you still have energy and youthful-ish looks – make the most of your attributes.
  7. When I was 20 I didn’t like my face or my body. When I was 30 I thought how good and how unwrinkled I looked at 20. When I was 40 I couldn’t believe how slim and fit I looked at 30. Now I’m over fifty I realize that how I look today is as good as it’s going to get and I’m grateful for that.
  8. Try not to interfere in your grown-up children’s lives, but be there for them and always be supportive. Don’t offer advice unless asked for it.
  9. Ask your grown up children for advice – they know more than you might give them credit for.
  10. Nightclubs are for twenty to thirty somethings. Don’t go. Not even for a laugh.
  11. Technology is not your enemy. Embrace it. Your children will use it even if you don’t, so get learning and understand what’s what especially in the communications arena. My Mum is 84 and regularly communicates with her grandchildren on Facebook. Just do it.
  12. Don’t ever wear onesies or dungarees – leave them to your daughters.
  13. Yes you can wear yellow jeans (or any coloured jeans) just make sure they are good fitting and consider turning them up at the ankles and wearing them with flats or cool trainers.
  14. I read this in Woman and Home magazine recently: If you’re recently single, then look for a younger man. You’ll be the envy of your girlfriends, confuse your family, and generally become a talking point! Lol!
  15. Don’t wear purple (unless you’re a Dockers supporter). It’s ageing.
  16. Spend money on good shoes that are stylish and comfortable. After the age of 50 we don’t need an Imelda Marcos stash of shoes in the cupboard and anything uncomfortable will rarely be worn. (Yes, Dave, I know I need a clear out)
  17. When it comes to your body image, for God’s sake have a sense of humour. After 50 everything heads south to the Bermuda Triangle – never to return. Just remember, you mostly cannot wear what 20 year olds wear so choose wisely.
  18. Fat though is significant when it impacts your health, remember to eat well and exercise lots.
  19. Good fabrics, good cuts and timeless elegance are now your friends – with an accessorized nod to what’s fashionable. (Actually, I haven’t embraced this rule yet … but I know I should!) As my son’s girlfriend alluded, “Cheap clothes made from cheap fabrics don’t wear well or wash well.”
  20. Exercising alone is boring (well it is for me) and the thought of it makes me grumpy. Do it anyway because it feels good afterwards and good health will make you happy. If you have time join a gym or an exercise class, or get some friends together to walk.

Do you agree, or do you have a tip to add? We’d love to hear.

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Showing 17 comments
  • Jan from Retiring not shy!

    Great tips and I also (like Kathy) think keeping in touch with young people is a great way to stay young. This is something my Mum did really well.

    • Johanna

      I agree Jan – and they are such fun and haven’t developed the cynical traits that we acquire as we get older 😉

  • KathyMarris

    I agree totally with all of these points. Life is way too short to wear ill fitting shoes or cheap clothing that does nothing for our figures. I think mixing with young people (like your son’s girlfriend) is also a good way to keep in touch with what is going on in the younger generation. My daughter likes to come shopping with me and helps me make some appropriate decisions when buying clothing. I love her company.

  • Melissa @All Around Oz

    What a fantastic list. Really great advice that we should all take on board. Especially the exercise and eating well one!

    • Johanna

      Thanks Melissa! Glad it resonated with you 🙂

  • Pauline

    I love ‘when it comes to your body for gods sake have s sense of humour’ you made me laugh out loud. Thankyou. I have struggled with my ageing shape and you are so right .. I need to find the humour and gratitude in it.

    • Johanna

      Yep, Pauline … we just can’t take ourselves too seriously! Gotta love the creases and wrinkles because our bodies have carried us through the years.

  • Life Images by Jill

    all wonderful tips Jo.
    I think at over 50 we need to be comfortable with our looks and wear what we want – but check you don’t look like “mutton dressed up as lamb”! check yourself in the mirror before you go out!
    Hmm…I need to get some more colour in my hair – I hate those lights in boutique change rooms -so aging!

    • Johanna

      Wearing what we want is one of the advantages of getting older, isn’t it Jill – because a lot of the time it’s not important what people think. But as you say, there is a line which shouldn’t be crossed in the mutton dressed up in lamb stakes! Gah, those boutique changing rooms – not only the lights but the mirrors too. Why can’t they put up mirrors and soft lighting that makes us feel good about ourselves – wouldn’t they sell more? 😉

  • Reply

    And No to #15… I love heather’y hues and shades of purple – unless you’re talking about lilac hair rinses ROFL 😉

    • Johanna

      Oh lilac hair rinses, Linda! Helen Mirren died her hair a pastel pink didn’t she, and I thought it looked good on her … but the lilac rinse has such bad connotations! I wonder how it ever came about? Yes, I agree about heather’y hues and softer shades of purple – it’s the deep, bold, cobalty purple that I think drains colour from a face.

  • Carol

    Tip number 8 is such a difficult one to stick to but it is very important that you do. But it can be SO frustrating!

    • Johanna

      I know Carol, so tricky sometimes! How often I have to bite my tongue and remain silent.

  • Mary Martin

    I love #2. Its what will make people smile most when they think of my over 50 image.

    • Johanna

      I’m glad you could relate Mary, and yes you are definitely a ‘hugmomma’. Keep on making people smile 🙂 🙂 and you’ve made me smile and feel good by commenting here. Thank You!

  • Jenny Buzer

    Please don’t follow 19 too slavishly. Cashmere twinsets will be horribly boring if you have to wear them for 40 years – and a lot of us will make 90+.

    • Johanna

      Oh my! What an awful thought. An army of twinsets … Hmmm, not quite what I had in mind. Yep, if that’s what 19 means to readers then pretty much 19 can be scrapped in favour of “funky fashion” methinks 😉 !!!!

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