Today is my 50th birthday. In a way, I’m a little stunned. How did this happen? Most days, I still feel like I’m in my twenties (though maybe not quite as nimble).
Thankfully, I can now report: fifty seems like no big deal.
In the months leading up to my 40th birthday, things were not so great. I suppose you can call it a mid-life crisis, but not the red sports car variety. My brain tried to trick me into thinking I’d accomplished little in my life and career. I realized this was irrational, but it felt so real.
So as my 40th birthday approached, I set out to do one project per quarter. I launched a coworking space, a monthly tech meetup, and I built and launched the first version of No Treble (among other things). Each quarter of that year, I shipped something. A year later, I realized that I’d done too much. I created far more work than I could handle and started pulling back and prioritizing. That feeling that I had accomplished little in life started to fade.
Over the last several months, I noticed a surprising lack of concern/irrational thoughts leading up to this milestone birthday. One of my biggest lifehacks during my forties was focusing on awareness. It guides me every day, and it helps put things in perspective. I am glad for that, and it helped me reflect on what actually happened during my forties. This list isn’t meant to brag. I just jotted down the things that stood out in my memory over the last decade, and I decided to document them here:
- Bright Cowork opened its doors (Jan 2009, age 40)
- No Treble officially launched (May 2009, age 40)
- Refresh Winchester held its first monthly meeting (Sept 2009, age 40)
- Squidoo became the 35th most visited site on the web, with 82 million monthly visits (Oct 2012, age 43)
- Squidoo was acquired, and I thought seriously about marking that as the end of my web career. Luckily, that feeling faded too (Aug 2014, age 45)
- I hired a life coach – one of the best decisions I’ve made, and I’m still working with him! (Aug 2014, age 45)
- NPR invited me to speak about the bass in a live interview (Aug 2014, age 45)
- I ramped up my web consulting agency (Coreyweb) to focus on that full-time, and won a long-term contract with Chicos FAS (Nov 2014, age 46)
- I relaunched the official website for Jaco Pastorius (Dec 2014, age 46)
- No Treble launched a podcast, with Mitch Joel. Our first guest was Robert Trujillo (Jan 2015, age 46)
- I bought a house and moved to Fort Myers, Florida (April 2015, age 46)
- I landed several new clients and went from solo web consultant to full-service web agency (April 2016, age 47)
- I sold the house in Fort Myers, moved back to Virginia, and started focusing on growing my agency in the DC metro area (June 2017, age 48)
- I spoke at WordCamp DC (July 2017, age 48)
- I was a guest on a variety of podcasts focusing on music, bass, business, and/or WordPress (2016-2017, ages 48-49)
- I spoke at WordCamp Baltimore 2017 (Oct 2017, age 48)
- My granddaughter Rose was born (Dec 5, 2016, age 48)
- Coreyweb was acquired (Apr 2018, age 49)
- I spoke at WordCamp Baltimore 2018 (Oct 2018, age 49)
- I started writing a book (Oct 2018, age 49)
Some people have asked me if I’m thinking about retirement. I also received a letter from AARP a few days ago (for membership!) I’m far from ready for either.
In fact, I’m ready to crush my 5.0 years harder than any decade before.
Image source: Redbubble