December, 2014, age 51
In 20 days, on August 19, I will be 52. And I must say I’m enjoying my 50s more then I ever imagined I would. So, let me count the ways …
1. You truly are older and wiser. At this age I feel a beautiful peace I’ve not known in my earlier years. Even with weight gain and night sweats, I would never, ever want to go back to my 20s or 30s and be full of that ugly piss and vinegar!
In my 20s and miserable
Legs at 50
2. Legs! That’s right, legs! Hear me out …
In your 50s, you start to gain a little weight around the middle and may no longer have that flat stomach you once did (even in my 40s, my stomach was flat as a board!) So, you say good-bye to crop tops and bikinis, but then realize how great your legs are! All those years I wore crop tops with long jeans (because crop tops and Daisy Dukes would have been a bit much). But now, I’m all about short shorts and short skirts — as long as I have a long top covering my belly. Why didn’t I appreciate my legs years ago? Because back then my fab abs stole the limelight 🙂
3. Time is truly of the essence. In your 50s, you realize just how short life is so you don’t waste any time doing things you don’t want to do. It’s a lot easier to say “no” and do the things that mean the most to you even if those things are weird to others — like staying home to work on your book during a holiday.
4. You not only embrace your age, but the ages of others too. In your 50s, you appreciate the preciousness of both youth and the elderly like never before. I never thought babies were cute until I reached my 50s. In my 50s, I became friends with a wonderful woman in her 20s (see Ashley in photo below!) In my 50s, I started doing public speaking events at assisted living facilities — and absolutely adore all the seniors I meet. Embrace every age … they’re all important!
My friend Ashley (left) — an inspiring friend in her 20s!
5. You can relate to everyone! Being in your 50s is the best place to be because you know what it was like when you were younger and you’re not that far off from being older. So you can truly fit in everywhere and with anyone. My friends ages range from their 20s to their 80s!
6. Pulling the “old” card. In your 50s, it’s so awesome that you can almost get away with murder by using the word “old.” Failed to remember something? “Oh, I FORGOT! I’m getting old!” Not having a good time at a party? “I gotta get going, old age is catching up to me!”
Age 51, enjoying the good life
7. The simple things in life. Little things like bird watching can make you so happy.
8. Time flies. If you have an obligation you’re not looking forward to (like, say, Jury Duty or a dental cleaning) it’s over before you know it.
9. Being fearless. At this age, you’ve been through so much in life, there’s not much left to be afraid of.
Smile! You’re in your 50s!
10. You made it! I’ll never forget all my milestone birthdays. Most people call the milestones: 20, 30, 40, 50. I call them differently: 21, 27, 36, and 42. Sid Vicious died at 21, so I was happy I passed him. And oh, dear, the 27 club — Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison … for that very reason the number “27” scared me and I could wait to be 28. Poor Marilyn Monroe lost her life at the age of 36 … I got past that one too. And then good ‘ol Elvis Presley who died at the age of 42 … I sighed with relief when I got past that one. Little me had lived longer than the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll did! Now that I’ve reached 50, I realize it’s silly worrying about milestone ages. Plus at this age, you really do lose track. I’ll be 52 next month, but for the past six months I’ve told people I am 52 already! I’m not wishing my life away, I simply forgot how old I am 🙂
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X
Her new book, “Love Cats” is now available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YBGVJQS/