I’m turning 50 and the kids are growing up

I paint the ocean in watercolor. Eileen McKenna

In 2020 I turn 50. It doesn’t bother me that much because I feel young, but it is strange. The biggest sign that I’m getting older is that we have one child away at college, another applying to colleges, and our “baby” started high school.

As I enter this new phase I was happy to find MidlifeRambler.com and connect with Katy the founder. Katy says,

“I started Midlife Rambler because I like reading so many of the great lifestyle blogs out there written by all the creative 30-somethings of the world but I wished I had something to read that was a little more focused on the interests and needs of women my age. 

Women my age often seem to be under-represented and it can be difficult to find places on the Internet that speak to us and value us. Women at midlife are entering a new phase of our lives: a phase where we (mostly) stop focusing on raising our children and starting planning our next act. What will that look like? What do we even want anyway?”

Personally, the things helping me with these transitions are having work that I’ve been able to expand on, and having a hobby that I love. I have had the pleasure of contributing an article on “Finding a Hobby you’ll love” to Midlife Rambler. Visit https://www.midliferambler.com/how-to-find-a-hobby-youll-love/ to read it.

Have advice on navigating the kids leaving the nest? I’d love to hear.

Photo by Dawn Herlihy Reilly.

Would you like to: Be creative on a regular basis and experience the joy that creativity brings? Explore mediums and subjects, in search of your thing? Learn about my new book Creative Exploration: A Six Week Process for Introducing Regular Creativity into your Life by clicking here.

Creative Exploration book -

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9 thoughts on “I’m turning 50 and the kids are growing up

  1. I don’t have any advice for you, Eileen – since I am practically in the exact same boat as you!! (3 kids, one in college, one in 12th grade and one in 10th….and…although I have seriously tried to give up paying attention to the number, I am also turning 50 next year!) This year has been tough, for me, but I am hopeful that life will be easier next year…..haha! Is that tempting fate? 🙂

    1. Wow, crazy similar our situations are! I don’t know what you’re going through, but being busy has helped me. Since my youngest started high school I’ve been working a lot more. And I’ve needed the kids to help out more, which is also good for them. Here’s to 50 being a great year for both of us!

      1. I’ve been going through some serious stuff with my middle child who is battling Anorexia and it’s really turned our whole family upside down and been awful, horrible and painful, but, on the other hand it has taught me things about beauty,love, hope, strength and resilience, that I would never have learned otherwise and I have to say, I am SO proud of my kids, all of them, for their parts in all of this – Especially the one who is fighting her own brain, but also the others who have had to deal with a house full of never ending stress whilst trying to maintain ‘normal’ life (my son is in college, but still lives at home) AND pitch in with all the chores my husband and I have been unable to handle. Sorry, I didn’t mean to start blurting out all of my stuff, Eileen! I agree, it is great and also hard work to get them to step up and pitch in with chores when we start to really need it – Here’s to teens learning the stuff they need to become awesome adults and yes indeed, here’s to next year being a well earned kind of awesome for us both!! When is your big 50 btw? I am a September baby, myself. Do you plan to have a party and celebrate or go on a cruise or something???

      2. Hilda, thanks so much for sharing – that must be incredibly, incredibly hard. I know when we’ve had to deal with family stuff it leaves you gutted – almost physically ill. But as you point out sometimes the other end of it leaves you with valuable lessons, and appreciating each other so much more. My birthday is in April. We are tossing around ideas for a possible trip. Do you have plans?

      3. You are quite right, Eileen, about making you almost physically ill – this experience has taught me much about the need for self-care and stress/anxiety management during such times – My art has been such an awesome help in these areas since we reached the stage of recovery where I have been able to take some time most days to focus and immerse myself in it. You are 5 months older than me! So you get to celebrate the milestone first!! Hope you do get to take a nice trip somewhere! As for me, I don’t yet feel able to make plans about that, but, I am hopeful to be able to do something like a weekend trip somewhere fun by then! 🙂

  2. I’m a midlifer but we had the kids later (mid and late 30s) so now they’re in middle and highschool. But I see a lot of blog posts about empty nesters, or some who will be soon. It’s…preoccupying. But in a good way. 🙂

    1. What I experienced with my daughter going off to college, is that it happens so fast. All of a sudden they go and you’re like wait that’s it? it’s over? Maybe her freshman year (last year) will end up being the one that was hardest for me. I had to shift my perspective a lot. Maybe when my 9th grader finally goes, I’ll be farther along in the process. 🤔

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