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!