A whole lot o' nothing. And then some….
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F-F-F-FIFTY!

Almost a year ago, I wrote a post about turning 49. At the time, I felt like there were so many “shoulds”: I should be a certain way. I should look a certain way. I should act a certain way. I should have reached milestones: personal, professional, even spiritual. It was quite alarming – for myself and for all of you who wrote to me, many feeling exactly same way. Less than our ages. Less than our expectations. Just less than.

Cut to: now.

Now that we’re a quarter of the way through the year, my fellow ’68ers are turning 50 every damn day. Old friends coming out of the on-line woodwork, meeting up for dinners and drinks, random emails – so much acknowledgement. And so much fun!

Best of all, a funny thing happened on my way to 50. Instead of stressing about all the things I haven’t managed to achieve by 50, I stopped caring (as much). At the very least, I wasn’t getting upset about all those “shoulds”. The arbitrarily drawn line in the sands of time stopped having as much meaning. Maybe I erased it or maybe it just faded away.  The great fade….

As with so much of life, the binaries have started to fade too.  For me, a person who has always lived life in a very black and white, all-or-nothing way, this has been a revelation. Those who know me, know I either love fiercely or am completely indifferent. Gorge or abstain. This goes for my people and my passions. But I’m starting to mellow. A teeny tiny bit.  Maybe it’s just that I  don’t have the energy for a lot of shit that gets me riled up. Now, when I feel the venom and bile coming, I try my best to let it go. Most of the time.

Because moderation is not my strongest suit, in my quest to not sweat the small stuff I may have let a lot of stuff go seed. I have a wild beast of a dog who has trashed my house. My boys are free to be themselves. For real. Certain triggers that would have had me ranting and raving for hours (or days) have lost their power. My home is very… lived in, despite our efforts to beautify it. (And keep it clean.) And what it lacks in decor it makes up for in laughs. I really try my best to see the glass as half-full, even if it’s a cracked glass. That’s not so easy in an instagrammable world. My shitty 25-year old oven? A total eyesore, but it turns out great baked goods. See? I do my best to buy into the positivity I’ve been trying to sell myself. And, dare I say it, it works.

Is this because of 50??

When I was complaining about 49, a friend of mine, who recently turned 52, told me to enjoy it. Before you turn 50, she said, you’re cute. But once you’re on the other side, you’re just nothing. Another regular shmo, wondering if you’ve made the wrong decisions.

Sheesh….What a depressing thought.

I think being in the middle of the middle age has its perks. The 20-somethings may think you’re old, but not old enough to be irrelevant. The 30-ishes have realized we have something to offer – wisdom, advice, and at least funny anecdotes. Those in their 40’s think we’re the same age (the feeling is mutual) and always seem somewhat shocked when we say we’re 50 (almost). And those already on the other side of 50, but the “right” side of 60?  They’re happy to be where they’re at.  The 60+ crowd appears to be stickin’ with their 50’s or vaulting into their retirement. And the 70+? They seem to think the rest of us are young, adorable, and look great in bikinis.

So, yes, this magical number 50 has provided quite a lot to talk about and plan. It’s been a real buildup for my friends and me. It’s like we realized we all really do have so much to celebrate. Meals and trips and parties – what fabulous entrees to the 50’s. With the milestone year come milestones – for some. Some of us are conquering fears and running marathons. And some of us letting things go and laughing things off. And some are doing bits of both. Because we can. We can do whatever we want. Accepting who we are and where we are in our lives? Why the hell not? We’re 50.

Older and wiser? Mellowed with age? Time will tell. For now, 50 is just another number: a big, round, happy one.

 

 

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2 comments

1 Rosemary goldhar { 03.20.18 at 7:22 am }

You were born mature and as I read your blog it doesn’t surprise me that your take on life and turning 50 is a positive and truthful acceptance of who you are and where you are in your life. Your accomplishments, are the very important ones
Your home your kids. You are a fabulous wife and mother.I admire and respect the woman you are and l learn from you everyday
You are a very wise 50. You are a shining example of what a woman should be at 50
You are the Best and not because you are my daughter

2 Rosemary goldhar { 03.20.18 at 7:24 am }

You were born mature and as I read your blog it doesn’t surprise me that your take on life and turning 50 is a positive and truthful acceptance of who you are and where you are in your life. Your accomplishments, are the very important ones
Your home your kids. You are a fabulous wife and mother.I admire and respect the woman you are and l learning from you everyday
You are a very wise 50. You are a shining example of what a woman should be at 50
You are the Best and not because you are my daughter

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