Fifty Isn’t So Bad…

A birthday en Paris!

‘Fika’ is a Swedish word for taking a break (although their meaning usually involves coffee and cake).

I interpret ‘fika’ much more broadly, and use it as an idea, a way of giving yourself permission to take a break from your life so you can find your creativity.

The creative urge behind “Fika After Fifty” is about feeling encouraged to do what you have always wanted to do, and not to wait or put off your dreams any longer.

I think women in particular do this—we wait until the ‘time is right,’ but there is no better time than now to pursue what makes you happy.

It’s about taking the time to discuss ways to slow down your way, and live at your own pace. It is also about taking a break from the craziness to pursue your life, your creativity, your passions—your path.

When I travel, I most often go to Europe (although I hope to see Nepal and/or Tibet, as soon as I figure out which will be easier for my aging corpus to handle). I’d also like to see India and, at some point, Morocco and Egypt, but, as my Swedish friends say, (in broken English, yes, but these expressions begin to take on a charm of their own) one day at a step.

When I’m not coaching writers and helping people express their creativity, I teach English, writing, and conversation, online and in person. This has meant spending a fair amount of time traveling, learning the ways of my students’ countries, at the same time that I teach them how to sound more like an American. It has also lead to an epiphany, of sorts, which is that it is entirely possible to develop new interests past the age of 50, in spite of any negative thoughts and rumors to the contrary!

I have a professional and educational background in helping writers develop their creativity, which is one of my passions. Another is photography, which was a thought bubbling in my subconscious for many years, until I finally gave my post-50-year-old-self permission to pursue it.

The best way to contact me is through my website, The Collaborative Writer or via email,

My other blogs are:

Collaborative Writer

Collaborative Writer Online Courses

Find me via LinkedIn or on The Collaborative Writer’s Facebook page.

I’d love to hear from you!


6 thoughts on “Fifty Isn’t So Bad…

  1. Oh gosh, you’re right, life after 50 is so liberating – i will do and try things now that in my youth, I may have been too intimidated, or too concerned about what it might look like if I failed…. now? Shoot, I’m an experience-collector! Thanks for visiting my blog

    1. I really enjoyed your description above and like the concept of a “fika”. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a pingback to my blog! I too am enjoying many a “fika after fifty”!

      1. I just try not to eat too many sweets. The Swedish definition of ‘fika’ seems to mean “eat sweets all day and then look around for protein at 6 p.m.” Not a model I wish to emulate. 😉

  2. Have you ever felt like answered prayer? If not, then today is your day. Everything that you are doing and discovering in and about your life are vivid reflections of my rather cloudy ones. I have been aching to find someone who could lead me in the direction of a good editor, both writing (primarily poetry and essay/story) and photography. I came to photography about 4 or 5 years ago after losing the use of my right hand through a surgical accident. I had been a pianist, guitarist, flutist. I can still sing, and with the aid of a computer I do some music writing, but I needed the immediacy of an artistic expression and photography filled the bill for me. My problem is a foolish lack of self-confidence (especially when I make the huge mistake of comparing others’ work with mine.) I have an intellectual understanding of the futility of such behavior, but a very poor understanding of it at an emotional level. I need a good editor/critic. I can take the harshest criticism as long as it teaches me something. My skin is quite thick – I just need someone to lay a knife to it and give me some honest and constructive comments and suggestions which will help me in my aim to be a better writer and photographer.

    If you have the opportunity to visit either of my blogs: (Called “Reflections From a Cloudy Mirror”) which is primarily my writer’s blog, or my photo blog: (Called “Reflected Glory – My Adventures in Photography”), I would love to read your thoughts and ideas in reference to finding an editor.

    I have joined the “over 60” set, and I can truly say that my life has only gotten better as I have gotten older. Something about perspective, I believe. One more note: My name is Paula Tohline Calhoun. The “Tohline” is my maiden name, and it is a poorly Anglicized version of a Swedish name. My father’s grandparents were born in Sweden and emigrated over, and although my Dad had the opportunity to visit Sweden in his lifetime, I have not as yet. It remains a dream. Perhaps we could go together and “Fika” a bit with one another and others?!? A girl can dream – even one over 60!

    Thanks for being in the blogosphere. I look forward to reading and following all your blogs. I wish you enough. . .


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