50 Challenges is, in part, inspired by our founder, Siobhan Stirling's experiences of what she calls 'the Foul Forties'. If you have enjoyed a Fabulous Forties, then congratulations! But, when we use the phrase Foul Forties, many people nod in empathy. She shares her experience here.
I guess it is safe to say that by the time you approach 50, life will not have dealt you one great hand after the other. By our late 40s, most of us have had our fair share of difficult obstacles to overcome. In my own case, it was miscarriages in my 30s, followed by depression and the additional complications of personal and professional relationships, as well as the very real strain on my family.
Friends and colleagues have had still births, lost babies, partners, parents and dear friends. They have been through cancer. They have been diagnosed with life-altering diseases. They have watched parents go through early-onset dementia. They have been through affairs and divorces. They have had to support children through bullying, serious illnesses and mental health problems. I am sure we could all go on adding to this list of challenges that life can throw at you that we wouldn’t wish on our enemies.
Whether or not you have battled through Tough Thirties of Foul Forties, the chances are that when you get towards the end of your forties, you have accumulated a few war wounds. 50 Challenges is partly inspired in response to these battle scars. It’s an acknowledgement that life isn’t always rosy, so we need to make celebrations, achievements and milestones that we can be proud of and that put a smile on our faces, that make us want to face forwards with confidence and anticipation. 50 Challenges are about making our todays a celebration.