Dr Debra Campbell at Fifty
Self-Compassion

Fifty at Fifty

I’m a couple of weeks from the half-century mark of life…yes, 50, really…I know, I look great 😉 especially with a little airbrushing.

But seriously, I’ve been super wary about owning it because of cultural meanings of 50 and because of my own prejudices. Will people see me differently, judge me based on my age if I mention it? Will they put me in the ‘old’ category, a place I might have avoided just a little longer if I was silent?

I guess until now, when it’s almost my turn, I had 50 associated with old, matronly, past prime, withering, wrinkly, and other fearful ideas too close to death. But I decided to write about it openly instead of hiding it because I don’t feel any of those decrepit or withering kind of things. Almost 50 is pretty damn good. More than that, it’s a mind-blowing milestone to me, and I want to shout about it.

I feel great, most days – much fitter, healthier, wiser, grounded, and more emotionally free than at 35 when I was struggling with my life choices. I feel a hell of a lot better than when I was 25 and didn’t even know what life choices there were to make. If you’ve read my book Lovelands you’ll know that my twenties, like many people’s third decade, had me caught in the fallout of childhood stuff that would cause heartbreak and confusion, until I had the skills and awareness to move on.
I was often lonely in the first quarter of my life and I yearned to have exactly the kind of life, home, family, friends, and love I have every day now. I wouldn’t go back for the world. So why wouldn’t I celebrate now? Why not write about this time of my life with pride instead of age-shame?
Why, indeed?!

So, instead of hiding and lying about my age any longer I’m sharing my top 50 at 50 loud and proud.
These are 50 things I desire to do during my 50th year on the planet and I don’t want to do them alone. I invite you to list your top 50, or 30, 25 or 45 too and share them with me.
Or join me in some of these adventures, big and small, and let’s suck the juice out of this thing called life.

1. Plan the World Volcanic Tour
I’m not sure if this one’s going to happen this year but I want to make sure we plan it and schedule it to make it real. It’s a long talked about idea to visit some of the most actively volcanic spots on Earth because, who doesn’t love a volcano? All that drama and power and connection to the Earth. It would have to include Hawaii, New Zealand, Japan and Iceland.

2. Ride on the beach
This one’s closer to home. Get out and ride horses on the beach with friends, and around the local wineries.

3. Sell out the first edition of Lovelands
Almost there.

4. Get the next book published and out there
Also on track.

5. Buy a Wheels and Dollbaby dress or two
Couldn’t wait, while I was in Sydney I went to Darlinghurst and got 2.

6. Organise a regular coffee/dinner date with my oldest friend, that we keep to

7. Practice guitar at least 5 minutes a day without flaking

8. Take up French conversation seriously so I can converse properly when in France

9. Make 5 new friends locally

10. Create the I, Hamish series of children’s books with my kid – that means finding an illustrator

11. Save a dog into our family
We couldn’t wait so we just did this a couple of months ago

12. Try a surf lesson or water skiing

13. Have a quality catch up with my old school friends over a meal

14. Spend a week in Byron or similar doing daily yoga classes

15. Do 20 full push ups without a break
Right now, I can do 10 good ones before my technique fails

16. 10 full chin ups without pause
I can only do about 4 of these on a good day – long way to go

17. Get a tan for the first time in forever
Or maybe a solid spray tan…just to see what it looks like

18. Start a book club (or join one, or both)

19. Re-read Shakespeare – yes, the Complete Works – why not? Let’s see how I go….

20. Reclaim full splits (yoga pose)
Another loss from the yoga teaching days that I’d like to reclaim.

21. Speak my message to 1000 people
The Lovelands Sessions are starting soon which expand the messages of my book into a practical, transformational learning program.

22. Seek the joy of my own experience everyday
A note to self this one.

23. Join a group or a team
Done – we formed a basketball team and have just begun weekly training. This is crazy different for me because this is the first team I have ever been on in my entire life. I have never played a team sport before, so really my goals are just to make friends, to show myself that I can do something completely new and that I can develop a whole new skill set. I also love practising drills with my kid in the backyard.

24. Stop complaining about anything ever
Just a note to self.

25. Run 10km in one go
Also without complaining.

26. Welcome 1000+ new subscribers to my blog
The message is worth sharing.

27. Go to Lune Croissanterie in Fitzroy and buy up big
Purported to be the greatest croissants in the world, even better than in Paris, by the New York Times.

28. Practice yoga and meditation daily
Yes, without skipping sessions. So much writing means I need to work on my spinal alignment and posture more than ever – non-negotiable Deb.

29. Try scuba and breathe underwater
This isn’t something I’m excited to do because I’m irked by fish generally – this is kind of a ‘face your fear’ challenge

30. Get stand-up paddle boards and use them

31. Celebrate achieving my financial goals
I’m ready to be the hero of my own life in the financial area of life now, on a whole new level.

32. Have a DNA test to investigate my ancestry
We never knew my paternal grandmother or her family and I’d love to know more about them.

33. Finish my family history research
Maybe get some help with the places I’m stuck. And put the family tree on a big wall poster to look at so we all feel more connected to our roots. I’m also toying with the idea of writing an historical piece, based on fact, about some interesting characters in 1920s Sydney who I think I may be related to…

34. Cook with my kid regularly
Maybe one night every week, so he knows how to cook and we spend that time together – to be discussed with him

35. Make a playlist of my 50 favourite songs upto now and share it

36. Promote my podcast The Couch to get it out there widely on iTunes
I’d like to start interviewing people and reaching a wider audience – suggestions for interviewees gratefully accepted

37. Renew our vows
On our fifth wedding anniversary, somewhere exotic alone. Maybe back to Seminyak
Just keeping it fresh.

38. Swim with dolphins
And Andrew.

39. Sleep under the stars
Just once. In summer.

40. Make travel plans
And schedule them to make them real. I’m not sure I’m going to get to all the continents this year, but soon. Blending motherhood and travel is a challenge, but this year I’m stepping up. When I make some travel plans there’ll be a whole new top 50 – the destinations I want to visit are beyond 50 places in themselves.

41. Add another 10
I have some ideas, but I want the last ten I put down to be amazing. I’m open to inspiration.
Got any ideas? xx