Life Perspectives After 50
By Vikash Shah ~ Independent Consultant & Rotarian on 11 May 2020Personal Journey
The day I was turning 50 – the build up to my birthday was highly anticipated with a countdown on social media to mark the day, and it had finally arrived. I had crossed half a century! There was no looking back or reflecting on the wonderful and blessed 50 years that had passed, but instead looking forward to the new perspective for the next half century or more.
So, the new journey into the next century begins-
50th Year (2017) – The whole year I celebrated turning 50. My beloved family and friends made it extra special year by throwing me parties to celebrate throughout and I cut 23 cakes in Dar Es Salaam, Cape Town, London, Bangkok, Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The final 50th celebration was just days before my 51st birthday. It was indeed an overwhelming year full of love, admiration and friendship which defined a new meaning of Life to me. The year also celebrated milestones for my mum 75th and my daughters: 21st and 16th birthdays.
51st Year (2018) – The 50th celebrations ended and another special milestone celebration began; me and the wife’s 25th Wedding Anniversary. This meant more parties and celebrations made special again by friends and family.
It was also a year to travel and do something unusual or out of my comfort zone and I was gifted skydiving experience by my daughters. The night before, I was told to be ready by 6:00 am for cab to take me to the skydive location. The anxiety crept in and I couldn’t sleep the night thinking “how do I get out of this situation?”. They insisted I go with the flow, and voila, I did a skydive from 15,000ft in Spain! The first few seconds of the freefall was an adrenaline rush (just a little insight, I was not adventurous at all then). It is crucial you trust the person you tandem with, though you have never met him. You must have faith that you are in safe hands which was followed by another crazy experience the “The Tomatino Festival”
52nd Year (2019) – Another beautiful and a meaningful chapter, something I am passionate about. I was the President of the biggest Rotary Club in Tanzania – The Rotary Club of Oysterbay. What a great year of impactful service projects, themed social functions, new club formations and being presented with 5 accolades, including the Best Club Award out of 150 clubs in Tanzania and Uganda. The same year my daughter graduated from university. And it was the year I took another major drastic step in my life, I embarked on a fitness journey. Prior to this, I was never keen on exercise and fitness, I probably hadn’t been to the gym in 4 years. A big foodie like me making adjustments with eating and drinking habits was always a big NO. 6 months down the line, I am happy to say I am proud of my new found commitment to fitness. So far in this journey, I have lost 20kg, maintained a lifestyle change, eating healthier and aiming to run 7km a day. And in Sept 2019 I had total 160,000 Likes on Facebook.
53rd Year (2020) – before I hit this year, the pandemic is upon us and all of life’s perspectives have changed. The above experiences that I shared ,seems so far fetched now. As the saying goes “ Live in the moment “ whatever the situation we do not take Life for Granted.
So why am I talking about myself? It's nothing new that I talked about? Am I being pompous?
My life is not perfect, I too have problems but how we reflect and act upon it , is important and faith keeps us strong.
In today’s world all we hear about is stress and problems within the workplace, finances and home life. While this is essential, it is also necessary to speak about happiness and positivity and balance especially when it feels like the world is against you.
Some inspiring words that truly resonate with me:
“For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.”
― Michelle Obama, Becoming
Take away message : Keep a gratitude jar by your bedside. Every night before going to bed, write on a piece of paper what you were grateful for during the day. Repeat for a year, or until your birthday, then read all these notes and reflect upon all the good things that have happened.
Be Positive - Wishing you and the loved ones to keep well and stay safe
By Vikash Shah ~ Independent Consultant & Rotarian