Success After 50, 3 Days Left For The Blue Smurf

by Sherry Riter in Sherry,Success

3 days left pen paper
I’m not really sure that I even know how I feel – maybe a little sadness, fear, blankness or even a sense of doom.

Accomplishments By People Over 50 Years Old

There are many people who have made significant accomplishments after the age of 50. Let’s peek at a few.

  • Pablo Picasso began a romantic relationship and lived with a girl who was 40 years younger – Françoise Gilot.
  • Claude Monet was still painting.
  • Robert Frost was still teaching English at Amherst College in Massachusetts, won Pulitzer Prizes and read his poem “The Gift Outright” at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven was writing genius musical movements that still marvel us.
  • Jessica Tandy who starred in Driving Miss Daisy became the oldest Oscar recipient for that movie.
  • Barbra Streisand won a 10 year film and recording contract estimated at $60 million.
  • Benjamin Franklin helped draft the Declaration of Independence.
  • Albert Einstein was still being a super brain.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien published the first volume of Lord of the Rings.
  • Best-selling American author Sidney Sheldon began writing his first novel.
  • Ronald Wilson Reagan became the oldest man ever sworn in as President of the United States and was elected for a second term.
  • John Glen took a second space flight on the Space Shuttle Discovery’s STS-95 to study the effects of space flight on the elderly.
  • Noah Webster, Jr. completed the English version of the Webster dictionary which contained seventy thousand words. There were twelve thousand words in the book that had never been in a published dictionary.

I guess part of my trepidation about turning 50 in three days is that I don’t feel I have accomplished all the things I wanted to accomplish. I basically do not feel that I’ve had a successful life especially compared to all those people I just mentioned.

What Is Success And A Successful Life?

Last year I struggled with life in general, but the hardest part was trying to figure out how to combat my PTSD and rediscover living. It was and still is my main goal for 2013.

So I’m going to be bluntly honest. I can write blog post after encouraging blog post about not comparing yourself to other people and to give yourself credit for all the things you’ve accomplished. However, when I read the post and take my own advice, it is a bitter pill to swallow. I’ve disappointed myself majorly on more than one occasion and those few choices changed my future.

Basically, I haven’t forgiven myself for being a flawed human. Stupid as it sounds, it is so true. I expect everyone to do their best, but I expect perfection from myself. I know that there is no such thing as a perfect person, but it doesn’t stop me from having unreasonable expectations for myself. THAT makes it very hard to feel successful.

How do I change this skewed vision of myself? Most of it boils down to forgiveness and self-talk. I’m already committed, have goals and a strong desire to be a better person. Now if I can get my perspective in gear, I’ll be good to go!

Success has a different meaning for each person. Some define success as an accomplishment of a goal, aim or purpose. There are other people who define success as the attainment of popularity or profit. The last group thinks that success is a conglomeration of both definitions.

I think a lot of my emotions are based on the fear that I won’t have enough time to be the type of success I see for myself in my head. I’m surely not the only person that has all these feelings when a birthday rolls around.

My hope for all of us is that we will not put unattainable expectations on ourselves. As each day passes, whether it is a birthday or not, I hope that we end the day feeling that we have accomplished our best. That is all we really can expect of anyone including the person that looks back at you each day in the mirror.

I don’t know who that person is either, so don’t ask me! 😉

woman smurf redhead riter

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Young Werther January 14, 2013 at 12:56 am

You’ll be in good company, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, George Michael, Elle Macpherson, me….



2 Sherry Riter January 14, 2013 at 6:35 am



3 Skip_D January 14, 2013 at 4:36 am

OK, smurf… this is the Yule gnome speaking… I remember 50 – vaguely! I know the same concerns about not measuring up to expectations – especially your own! & I long ago threw away any old definitions of success… from here on, it’s uncharted territory – the great adventure! strap on your parachute & get ready for the leap into the rest of your life! 🙂


4 Sherry Riter January 14, 2013 at 6:37 am

LOL Vaguely? LOL You crack me up! Thank you! 😉


5 Jenny Elaine January 14, 2013 at 5:32 am

Trying to forgive myself for being imperfect too….it is hard, especially if one is really imperfect!
How are you? Hope you are doing well……please come over and visit me and hope you follow 🙂


6 Sherry Riter January 14, 2013 at 6:43 am

Yeah! Why am I still imperfect after trying to be perfect for so long? LOL LOL LOL LOL


7 Teresha January 14, 2013 at 9:49 am

you make the cutest Sassy Smurf. Allow me to wish you an early Happy Birthday. 50 never looked so good!


8 Sherry Riter January 14, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Thank you so much Teresha!!!!! {{{hugsss}}}


9 Joan January 14, 2013 at 1:40 pm

How does one measure success in one’s life. Here is one answer:

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

— inaccurately attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson

Redhead Riter, I think that if you were going to measure success in your own life by the above quote, I think you would find that you far exceeded your own expectations – and I think that your many readers would agree with me! 🙂


10 Sherry Riter January 14, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Thank you Joan. You are always so kind. {{{hugsss}}}


11 Joan January 14, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Redhead Riter, you wrote, “I guess part of my trepidation about turning 50 in three days is that I don’t feel I have accomplished all the things I wanted to accomplish.”

Here is a quote you can say at night to silence that voice in your head when it tells you that you have not accomplished all the things that you have wanted to accomplish.

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


12 Sherry Riter January 14, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Yes, you are right. I know it, so I wonder why all the nonsense wins? LOL


13 Sue January 14, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Hey Smurf head, love the post and all of Joan’s advice too. Have a Happy Birthday, cuz you have changed my life one post at a time.


14 Sherry Riter January 14, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Thank you so much Sue! {{{{{{{{BIG HUGSSSSSSS}}}}}}}}}}}


15 PJ January 14, 2013 at 4:05 pm

OK Smurf, Are you ready for a lecture? LOL! You have accomplished more with your life than you give yourself credit for. Success should not be measured by “manmade” points. Anyone can study, or read a book, take acting classes and even make lots of money, but when it comes down to it, that does not constitute success. What constitutes success is Your faithful relationship with God, you have raised a loving, compassionate beautiful daughter, I’m sure you have made your mom MORE than proud.. . . shall I go on?

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.Psalm 139:14 A more modern little quote is: “God don’t make no junk” (oh! what horrendous grammar!) Anyway, you are successful in God’s eyes, your family’s eyes, your friend’s eyes. You are WELL LOVED, no matter how old you get! You will always be a success. Just think, you could be turning 59! (I wonder who that could be!) LOL!

Love ya Bunches!


16 Sherry Riter January 14, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Thank you PJ. Maybe I feel better now since I’m not turning 59 😉 LOL Let’s see if I can guess who will be having their 59th birthday soon. Hmmmm…. 😛


17 Lisa January 15, 2013 at 7:00 am

What is it about that number that scares us all? It really is just a number. Love your smurfs 🙂 At any age it’s nice to end a day feeling some sense of accomplishment. Happy pre-birthday!


18 Sherry Riter January 15, 2013 at 7:48 am

You’re totally right. I keep telling myself that turning 50 is really no different than any other year. I’m still just one year older. I just think the perception of 50 is still “over the hill” and so I have been brainwashed. LOL


19 Andy January 16, 2013 at 10:54 pm

Hi Sherry,
Your big day is almost here. I wish you a very happy birthday and a joyful celebration with your family!
Best regards,


20 Sherry Riter January 17, 2013 at 12:07 am

Thank you Andy!!! {{hugsss}}


21 Carlos February 6, 2013 at 9:45 am

Focusing on what we do well will get us to where we want to be, the rest does not matter. oh!….age is only a number


22 Sherry Riter February 6, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Thank you Carlos.


Leave a Comment

"How rare and wonderful is that flash of a moment
when we realize we have discovered a friend."

~William E. Rothschild~

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.
I respond back to all comments.


Previous post:

Next post: