Reasons to Love 50
A couple of years ago, a friend sent an email to her contacts to say that a friend’s fiftieth birthday was the next day. Her friend is a vibrant man whose sense of humor always makes him seem younger than his years, so I was surprised that he’d be bothered by a number. But apparently, turning 50 was making him feel old and past his prime.
I’m 58; I left 50 in the rear view mirror a few years ago. I left “old” in the dust decades ago, deciding that I would be the one to choose how I feel about my age and my life. And that’s going just fine, thank you. But my friend’s email inspired me to make a list of reasons to love 50. And since 50 is the new 30, a list of thirty feels just right. Here they are.
1. You know what you like and aren’t afraid to ask for it.
2. You’re no longer an upstart; you’re more likely planning a startup.
3. You’re finally a really good kisser – it takes 10,000 hours to master any skill.
4. You’re comfortable not wasting time on things you don’t consider important just to be polite.
5. Knowing that parents and grandparents won’t be around forever allows you to treasure them more while they’re here.
6. There’s a whole art form and philosophy dedicated to the idea that age and loving wear makes something more interesting: wabi sabi.
7. Styles and fashion have cycled through enough times that you know in advance if a new style will work for you.
8. You’re finally valued for what you know, not what you do.
9. You don’t tolerate fools, bigots, or mean people any more. You may even have the courage to tell them so.
10. Men finally look into your eyes when you speak.
11. Age may not be within your control, but poise, grooming, style and grace are. You learn to spend time on them.
12.You get to enjoy your grandchildren; you were too busy and stressed to enjoy your own children.
13. You view someone who died at 75 as being “taken way too soon.”
14. You have time to focus on what you want, instead of what your kids need.
15. Your friends who have been there for you for decades become your second family; sometimes, your one true family.
16.Young superstars want to learn from you, not compete with you.
17. You have a vibrant inner life that no one suspects at first glance.
18. You can laugh at things that would have mortified you a couple of decades ago.
19. Worrying becomes a choice rather than a compulsion.
20. You never take waking up feeling well for granted.
21. Enough loved ones have died that you never take waking up for granted.
22. Satellite radio means it’s always 1978 in your car (and it only plays hits that have stood the test of time).
23. All young starlets begin to look alike: heatherashleyjessicamadisoncaitlinchloe. You realize that they’re only interesting because they’re new. Not all of them will pass the test of time.
24. You can express strong opinions without worrying if people will still like you.
25. Sex is a bit rarer, but much deeper. (And a lot less rare than young people imagine.)
26. You get to see fashion you wore at 17 back in fashion for 17-year olds.
27. You realize how little you need to be truly happy. And you start to let go of the rest.
28, Science finally agrees that naps make you smarter.
29. You realize that embarrassment won’t kill you. Likewise mistakes. Likewise a messy house.
30. Healthy has become the new sexy. And you rock it.