Monday, July 09, 2012

50 Reasons to Love Being 50

I turn 50 on July 11, so I've been thinking of what it all means, great philospher that I am.  I've never, ever thought a number means anything as it pertains to age.  Age is much more -- it's the wisdom and experiences we accumulate along the way.  The ex had something of an emotional meltdown when he turned 40.  He spent the next several monthstelling me "it's ok, you can talk to me about it.  I know what it feels like."  But you know what?  40 didn't bother me a bit.

My feeling is that I am where I'm supposed to be in life, no matter where that is.  I have a 50 year old's experiences, and I think that's pretty cool.  I have kids that have their own lives, for the most part, and that's even more cool.  They're each embarking on their own individual journeys -- each one very different from the next -- and I love to see what happens each day.  They're pretty cool kids, and I'd like to think I had some part in that.  And if not, I'm just fine being a bystander.  One day, I might even be a grandma, and get to watch them take over the role of parent.

All in all, life is just pretty cool.

So I started thinking of what I would say, if someone asked me just what the heck has been so great about my past 50 years.  I still don't really know the answer, but here's some things off the top of my head.

  • I still have all of my teeth.  The dental hygienist always tells me how much she loves to clean my teeth, because they are so perfect, and I thank her for that.  (And thanks, Drs Tinsley and  Darbro.  Those four years of braces were worth it.)
  • I don't believe in Botox.  I think 50 would suck if you did botox in your 30s.  I think if you'd been doing it for so long, like so many of the celebrity types, that when you hit 50, your face would suddenly sag as a unit, and probably would look like it was melting.  No sir.  I'll take my crows feet.  And sunscreen.
  • AARP membership.  And the beginning of senior discounts.  Cause cheaper is, in this case, better.  
  • My colourist, because I came into this world as a redhead, and I will leave as one.  Just don't look too carefully at the roots.  I consider my red hair to be a warning.  It's something like a public service announcement, like when they announce tornadoes or hurricanes.  REDHEAD APPROACHING!  EVERYBODY BACK UP! You know you would.
  • Manicures.  Because I have time for them now.  And pedicures, because I want my toes to look good, while I can still see them.
  • Infertility.  I don't care if it's from a pill, a sponge, a surgery, or a bolt of lightening.  Life is good when you no longer have to worry about a dead rabbit.
  • A king sized bed.  I want to say, when I got divorced, one of the first things I did was to go out and buy a new bed and new bedding.  I considered burning the old stuff, but figured the fire department wouldn't take too kindly to my version of a controlled burn.  They seem to have very little sense of humor about these things, so I gave the whole thing, lot and parcel, to Jill, and got my own acre of bed.  Man oh man, do I love that king sized bed.  It's amazingly comfortable, and will accommodate a dog, a teenaged kid who wants to chat, a cat who thinks she owns the place and, in reality, a small city.  Go big or go home, man.
  • The internet.  Because when you get to a certain age, certain things make you crazy.  For example, you watch TV for an evening.  You see a familiar face on a commercial, but who the heck is it? Where did you see her before?  That kind of thing makes me NUTS.  The internet has been very helpful in expanding my collection of useless trivia.  
  • George Clooney.
  • My chickens.  Because they are so amazingly fun that I can't imagine life without them.  Even if they never lay a single egg, they are so worth it.  And no, they will never be dinner.
  • LOST.  Because I could watch that series a thousand times, and always find something new.  Some day, you will find me in the nursing home saying "we have to go back," and repeating seemingly nonsensical numbers.  And I'm ok with that.
  • Dogs.  I still miss my Timmy every day -- he will one day have his ashes spread with mine, wherever that may be.  Boo is a quirky nutjob who would obtain a DNA sample of anyone who tried to mess with me, but he's a baby.  And Rocky?  Well, he's cute as all get out, entertaining as hell, but maddening.  I'll miss him when he goes to Evansville.
  • Teenaged boys.  Because they are hilariously stupid.  You can mess with them, and no one cries.  They are intensely funny, and more protective than Boo.  They do, however, tend to eat an awful lot.  
  • Thrift stores.  Because there's nothing like the thrill of the chase.  And it's pretty funny to find something "vintage" that you had in high school.  It keeps one solidly grounded.
  • Good jewelry.  I've started to buy myself some pieces of jewelry that I really like, since I sold my rings for gold after the ex moved out.  The stones are all in a little envelope, but they will never grace my finger/neck/wrist again.  Instead, I bought myself a beautiful vintage amethyst ring that I wear on my left hand.  I call it my divorce ring, since I got it the day the divorce was final.  I also bought a gorgeous blue topaz a few months later.  I don't consider myself a materialistic person -- I'm actually quite the opposite -- but I do enjoy pretty things.  Plus:  SHINY.
  • Veggie Tales.  Because they remind me of when the kids were little, and they are just so stinkin happy.  And the memory of my kids bellowing "We Are the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" just makes me smile.  Intensely.  Also, The Song of the Cebu.
  • Comfortable shoes.  Because I have nothing to prove anymore.  Wearing stilettos would make me look pretty desperate at this stage of the game, plus the world might tilt on its axis when I fall off of them.  I wear flats.  Proudly.  And an occasional wedge.  And I'm just fine with that.  
  •  Audrey Hepburn.  Because she was the epitome of grace, beauty, and charm.  There will be imitators.  Many will try, and fail.  
  • Snow.  Because it makes me happy.  Especially when accompanied by a day off, a good book, a blanket, and my boo's special coffee recipe.  That right there might just be the perfect day.
  • Cooking, or the lack thereof.  I can choose to cook or not now.  I'm a pretty decent cook when I put my mind to it.  I'm not a natural cook.  I need recipes, (See: Internet)  but I can cook.  And bake.  But if I don't want to (which is often), I don't.  But hey, my boo does.  So I got it covered either way.  And the kids appreciate the miracle when it happens.
  • Moisturizer.  Because I have used moisturizer religiously since I was a teenager, and I get told all the time how young I look.  I remember an interview with Nora Ephron once, where she said that no one tells you about your neck.  They tell you that your face will get wrinkled, but they never mention your neck, and that neck wrinkles can't be lifted/peeled/prayed away.  So I moisturize there too, and have not, as of this writing, developed a turkey neck.
  • I Love Lucy.  And the Three Stooges.  Because who could imagine a world without the classics?  And you may as well throw in Leave It To Beaver, too.
There will be more tomorrow, as I pursue my quest for meaning.  Or something like that.

1 comment:

Squirrel said...

Great Post! I am four years shy of fifty and looking forward to it.
I heard an interview with Ephron recently and she gushed about bread; life is too short to go without good bread. I agree.
Here's to 50!