The wonderful thing about aging is we have all of this time to look back and reflect on.

How many times have you said this:

When I was in my 20s, I …

When I was in my 30s, I …

When I was in my 40s, I …

When I was in my 50s, I …

Right smack dab in my 50s, there are a lot of things I’d love to be able to go back and tell myself as I was moving through the decades. About jobs and careers. About family and friendships. About where to live. And when to move on.

But of course, hindsight is 20/20. I’ve given my daughter lots of advice about things I wish I’d known in my 20s. She just rolls her eyes and does things her way. And that’s okay. She needs to gain her own experience and figure out things for herself. She’ll get there.

We all do.

I went through an “a-ha” phase when I turned 40. Suddenly, I didn’t care as much about what other people thought. I started paying more attention to who I was and what I needed to live my best life. I started taking better care of me. I ran a triathlon (yep, that was my crazy, overachiever side flaring up once again). I started saying “no” more. I started rebelling against the norm. Don’t get me wrong; I didn’t stray too far from who I was. I was just more confident in my own skin, and I was no longer afraid to share her with the world.

It was liberating!

Of course, not everyone saw it that way. And that was okay too. But finally – FINALLY – I was me!

When I turned 50, I had another “a-ha” revelation. I’d finally discovered who I was, and by the time I hit my 50s, I wanted to share her with people who got me. I’d become so succinct in what I was doing, and when I opened my eyes and looked around me, I saw others had a similar vision too.

A few months ago, I was introduced to a new online resource for women over 45. The Fine Line explores living a good life by looking at wellness, fitness, fashion and lifestyle resources, and creating a community in which mature women share what they’ve learned. They’ve created a site to empower us, to give us a voice in recognizing our struggles, our strengths, our wisdom, and our weaknesses as we grow older. And they do it with #RealTalk.

This past week, I was lucky enough to be selected as one of their guest writers for their #AgingGracefully series. You can read it here.

When I write my novels, I use all I’ve learned in my 50+ years here on earth to tell real stories. Stories about women who have struggled, have raised families, faced weaknesses, and overcome them to gain wisdom.

Stories like me. And you.

How are you aging gracefully? What have your years taught you? What’s your a-ha moment and how have you gained your wisdom? I’m all ears.