50 Reflections on Turning 50
Fifty years old!
Okay, so I admit, at first, I wasn’t too crazy about the idea.
I mean, 50!
But aging is a good thing, and it surely beats the alternative. I write this in memory of my father (Harold) who died at age 48, my uncle (Tully) who died at age 48, my stepbrother (Gary) who died at age 50, and my unrelated cousin (David) who died at age 47. I write this in memory of my grandfather (Edward) who died at age 52 (I was born on his birthday; January 4th). I write this for all of us who have lost family members and friends at such a young age. Fifty is something to celebrate with humor, wisdom and (mostly) optimism.
Celebrate 50 because …
1. When the day finally arrives, you can stop fretting about “turning” 50 and accept that you “are” 50.
2. On your 50th birthday, you definitely notice wrinkles that you didn’t think were there the day before.
3. When you wake up in the morning of your 50th birthday, you check to see if all of your body parts are working normally.
4. On your 50th birthday, you can accept the AARP invitation with good humor even though you received it a week ago.
5. When you are 50, you can look at your accomplishments, set new goals and start planning for the “second half”
6. When you are 50, you can be sure that if you don’t already have a job, it will be harder to get one. Age discrimination does exist. But at 50, we have years of experience ... life!
7. At 50, we really do know more than we did at ages 20, 30, and 40. It is something to be proud of!
8. At 50, we can stop making excuses for who we are --- or who we are not --- because, at this point, it is what it is. If other people cannot accept that, it is their problem to deal with.
9. Age 50, you are more appreciative of people who are in their 60s, 70s, and 80s. You can only hope to be doing as well as they are doing, when you reach those numbers.
10. At 50, it is time to get serious about developing some new health-related routines that will keep you active in 10, 20 and 30 years.
11. Can we say “menopause”?
12. At age 50, you cannot really have a “crush” on young, good looking actors or athletes without being creepy. In fact, it's like lusting after a kid who is young enough to be your own. Yuck.
13. There may indeed be 50 ways to leave your lover but you can only think of three.
14. On your 50th birthday, you become 28 years old for the 22nd time.
15. You may be 50, but since there are 52 cards in a playing deck, you are still short of a full deck.
16. At 50, you really can use the excuse of “forgetfulness” when it comes to, um …
17. Ladies, if your breasts fell years ago, now that you’re 50, it is acceptable.
18. Men - ditto.
19. It is true, 50 is just a number, and if you can still count that high, you’re doing alright.
20. When someone uses the expression “50 times over," you now know what they mean.
21. Drama doesn’t seem so dramatic when you’re 50. We’ve learned to handle some things better than we would have 20 or 30 years ago. And at 50, we can draw from years of experience on how to manage issues of similar nature.
22. When you turn 50, even the younger members of your family -- children, nieces, nephews, cousins -- acknowledge your birthday.
23. At 50, your thoughts are definitely your own. No one can tell you how to think or how to act.
24. There are a lot of great 50s in the world -- 50 yard-line seats, 50 percent-off sales, 50 United States of America …
25. At 50, you know who your closest friends are. You know who you can trust with “everything” and those who should be kept at a distance.
26. At 50, you are NOT “over the hill.” And you are justified for throwing a punch at anyone who gives you those annoying “death and dying” cards and gifts.
27. At 50, you can look in the mirror with satisfaction. The reflection you see is of someone who has a great knowledge of life, and, over time, that wisdom will continue to grow. Experience DOES count, so teach others what you have learned about ... everything.
28. When you turn 50 and have that “Oh my God, I am 50” moment of despair, you know you can open up that box of birthday chocolate with satisfaction because… chocolate solves everything!
29. Age 50 and beyond, there is a new world at your feet but you have to start looking for it. You know there are only so many years left, so do something new and do it now!
30. At 50, you can start to forgive people who have harmed you in some way. There is truth to the saying "what goes around comes around." Release the anger and let the balloon fly.
31. When you hit 50, look at the obituaries in your local newspaper. Many people never made it that far. Be grateful!
32. For the most part, you still look pretty good at age 50. It doesn’t get better without artificial help.
33. At age 50, losing weight and maintaining a good diet become more about personal health and less about vanity.
34. When you can’t stick to your diet, you can blame it on “old” habits. Fifty years plus!
35. At 50, you can wear too much makeup and no one will question why.
36. At 50, you can wear a toupee and no one will question why.
37. When you hit 50, you pay more attention to advertisements for plastic surgery, face lifts, wrinkle-removers, and special moisturizers. And you start to believe the hype.
38. Helloooooooo, new clothes!!!
39. When you hit 50, you look around at your children and grandchildren and start thinking of your own mortality. Put together a special memory box of photos, letters and anything else that you want your family to have which will let them know who you really are. Notice I say “are” and not “were.”
40. At 50, you notice that your health is not as good as it used to be but it is better than it will be.
41. At 50, you know you can stop hiding your true age. It is what it is and what’s more, everyone knows it.
42. At 50, you know that with luck, health, and the grace of God, you’ll have 50 more good years.
43. At 50, you can do what you want, say what you want, buy what you want and be who you want.
44. When you first tell people that you are 50 years old, they will show you respect. It is then up to you to prove them right.
45. Prospective employers who are younger than 50 may not feel comfortable with hiring and managing someone older than them. While they are forbidden by law to ask how old candidates are, they know the answer anyway, in general at least. But, that doesn't matter because what you bring to the table is more than they can imagine, so ... sell it!
46. Learning new tricks is indeed difficult for “old” dogs. But at 50, you are not old so that the excuse is not valid.
47. At 50, your age is 9.25 years-old in “dog years.” A 50-year-old dog is actually 213 in human years.
48. At 50, you can leave the past behind and begin the future. Hopefully, the best of the past will be in your future.
49. At 50, you start to wonder if anyone has ever really taken you seriously.
50. Celebrate your 50th birthday. If you don't think anyone will plan any "surprises" for you, plan them yourself. Or, if you do think a friend or relative will plan something special for you but it seems that nothing will materialize, don't worry ... birthdays last at least a week and this special one can last longer than that. Regardless of how you do it ... do it. It is your 50th birthday! Take the day off and do something special, even if you are doing it alone. Buy yourself a present, book a spa day, go shopping, eat a banana split, go to a movie, buy yourself some balloons or flowers or both! It is your 50th birthday so make the most of the day and remember this, life begins at 50!
My dad used to give us children, nieces and nephews a 50-cent coin on our birthdays. Back then, it was a lot of money. But always and especially now, I would love to have my dad here to give me a 50 cent piece (he was 48 when he died). Make special memories for your loved ones -- Do it now!
© 2014 Teri Silver