: June 4, 2023 Posted by: Maureen Comments: 0

By Maureen Santini © Copyright. All Rights Reserved.

This is Chapter 6 in Write Your Life Story for Posterity. You’ve just finished writing about your fifth decade of life. You’ve made great progress! The finish line is in view.

Your sixth decade spans ages 50 through 59 – challenging years for many. If you were born in 1950, for instance, your sixth decade began in 2000. Begin writing as of your 50th birthday.

Decade-by-Decade Method

This post assumes you are following the decade-by-decade method to write your memoir. That means you have been progressing through each decade using the posts on this website as a guide.

Those of you who aren’t quite convinced that your life is worth writing about for future generations, click the Here’s Why button on the homepage. Read the posts, such as Your Life Story – Lost to the Ages?

The mission for this decade is the same as previous decades: capture as much information as possible about yourself, your family, friends, jobs, health, hobbies, and involvement in issues of the day. The point is to preserve your story and your lifestyle for posterity. 

Review Your Fifties

Take a moment to mentally review your fifties, especially compared with your forties. Begin by describing your general situation at the beginning of the decade and again at the end. If the difference is noteworthy, explain why.

Life changes happen constantly but change in the sixth decade may be especially noteworthy. With the kids more or less grown in many cases, a mid-life review may kick in. Changes that shake up your life often result in growth spurts.

According to a survey by AARP, only 15 percent of those aged 50-59 are retired and 22 percent have children at home under the age of 18. A portion of this age group had more concerns about health and aging issues than those in the 60-80 age group.

Twenty percent of those in their fifties expressed concern about various potential ailments, ranging from cancer and dementia to hair loss. Interestingly, the concerns decreased with age.

“The list of worries wanes significantly as people age,” AARP said. Researchers theorized that the anticipation of aging is greater than the reality, or that acceptance of these changes grows as time goes on.

AARP pointed out that most adults ages 50–79 did not exhibit concern about aging-related ailments.

Some are Happier

Everyone’s journey is different but researchers believe many people are happier in their fifties.

“Academics have found increasing evidence that happiness through adulthood is U-shaped – life satisfaction falls in our 20s and 30s, then hits a trough in our late 40s before increasing until our 80s. Forget the saying that life begins at 40 – it’s 50 we should be looking toward,” Lucy Rock wrote in Life gets better after 50: why age tends to work in favor of happiness, published in the Guardian.

Basic Information

As in previous decades, list the addresses of your residences during this decade. Write down the names of others in your household and their relationship to you. Name places you attended frequently, such as churches, schools, restaurants, parks, clubs, and libraries. Mention teams, clubs, and organizations you belonged to.

Family

Describe major events and activities involving you, your partner, children, friends, grandchildren, parents, siblings, and/or grandparents. Detail family rituals pertaining to holidays, birthdays, vacations, as well as other occasions. Explain your basic routine on ordinary days.

Given the rapid shifts occurring across society, you are a historian not only of your own life but also of a way of life. Remember that future readers may be living in vastly different times.

Relationships

List and describe in detail the main relationships in your life during this decade. Note major transitions such as births, deaths, weddings, divorces, and major moves.

Work

Describe in detail the jobs you held during this decade. Write down the names and addresses of the companies or organizations along with the names of your bosses. Describe the skills and duties involved in conducting your work. If you changed jobs, explain the circumstances.

Hobbies, Interests, and Skills

Recount your main skills, hobbies, and interests. Mention if they are longstanding or recently added to your life. Pinpoint hobbies and interests that you especially favored such a fashion, food, television programs, card games, music, art, movies, books, sports, exercise, outdoor activities, coaching, crafts, travel, and volunteering, for instance.

Health and Welfare

Describe the state of your physical, mental, and emotional health during this decade. Write down the details of your health history, especially major medical events. Mention your approach to exercise and nutrition. Include the state of health of close friends and family members, especially if you were involved in care giving. 

Web MD outlines a few things to expect during this decade.

Current Events

If you lived through major events, describe the experience. Characterize the political environment of the times and your positions on issues. Explain how events in your community, state, nation and/or the world impacted your opinions, family, and daily life. Select the most relevant categories and explain what happened in detail.

Expectations

Describe the expectations you harbored for your life and family at the start of the decade and whether they materialized or changed during the decade. Explain your expectations for the future, even if it was just taking a day at a time, and your strategy, if any, to fulfill them.

Conclusion

Add information about any person, place, event, or issue that mattered in your life during this time.

When you finish writing about your sixth decade, move on to your seventh decade, ages 60 through 69. If you have not yet reached your sixties, turn to summing up and reviewing your life. You can always add to the summary in future years.

We hope you are benefiting from this process. Tell others about your writing experience. Please share these posts to encourage others to write their stories.

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Note: This post has been updated from the original.