We've all heard the various versions of 50 being the new 40 or 40 being the new 30, blah, blah, blah. It seems as though the general consensus is; we should all act a decade younger than we are. Having turned 50 this past year I can tell you with all candor that I have no desire to be 40 again. It was a crappy decade. I got divorced, moved to a new city with no friends, changed careers, became a single mom, worked three jobs to keep a roof over our heads, dated and broke up too many times, felt insecure, had a therapist on retainer, exhale, dramarama, do you really need me to go on?
Turning 50 was a respite from the decades gone by that were filled with pure awkwardness in my teens, complete self absorption in my 20s, trying to be cool in my 30s, to exhaustive survival mode in my 40s. So, no, I have no desire to be 10, 20 or 30 years younger. In fact, I wish I had turned 50 about 10 years ago because at 50 I really like myself just the way I am and I am falling deeper and deeper in love with me everyday. It seems I have come full circle, as I am once again self-absorbed in the most selfless of ways. My selfishness is no longer based on trying to impress, please, acquiesce, charm, humor or seek acceptance from anyone around me. In fact my motto these days is simple:
What you think of me is none of my business!
Fifty in my opinion is not the new 40 or whatever number you pick, it is simply the best of everything yet to come. There are so many aspects of what I appreciate at this point in my life. The most important is the devotion I have built for myself and caring for me in all areas of my life. I have spent the past 50 years trying to get an A+ from everyone and in the end I realized that life is not about the grades, it is about passing with flying colors. I thought I would share some eye opening awakenings I have had since turning this magical number.
Here are the top five things I love about being 50:
1) The realization that I am the one person I can count on and trust in any and all situations. This revelation has freed me from placing unfair expectations on those around me. Past circumstances had the ability to carry a continual incongruity between my assumptions and what actually occurred, which tortured this little control freak for years. Surrender, has become my new favorite word. My epiphany has allowed me to accept others for who they are and not who I think they should be. So, to every man I have ever dated, I sincerely apologize for all the times I thought I could fix you and mold you into my perfect amore. The truth is, even if I had the power to mold you into Michelangelo's David you still wouldn't have been my perfect mate, simply because, I was not fully cooked yet.
2) I feel complete acceptance and gratitude for all the love, friendships, family members, ex-boyfriends and any person who has touched my sphere in one way or another. They have all played a crucial role in my life so I could become the woman I am today. Through my experiences I realize I no longer have to postulate or blame others for the emotions I have allowed myself to breed internally. All the trivial oddities no longer strike a chord in me, they simply role off my back. I purposefully choose not to involve myself in situations that I know are destructive for my internal spirit. I am free, free of regret and free of the youthful indignation that allowed me to at times drink from the vile of poison in hopes that the other person would die. I have accepted and made peace with my responsibility in the co-creation of any and all events in my life. Peace is now a land I live in daily.
3) Fifty has given me the clarity that allows me to capture moments in my life that are filled with pure ironic humor. I laugh a lot daily and out loud making my existence joyful, exciting and drenched in love. The dramatic irony of past erroneous behaviors has brought with it the knowledge that it came from pure ignorance no matter who was the instigator. I now understand and have a deep appreciation for the saying; "With age comes wisdom." Indeed, there is great power in these words.
4) I own my opinion. I feel no insecurity about my thoughts, perspective, interpretation or outlook. They are mine and mine alone. I do not need anyone to agree with me, like me or respect me. I already do all that for myself.
5) I love that my body and mind are still here and functioning. Not always in tandem, but together they stand. Yes, my body is changing. It happens to all of us. Instead of viewing the imperfections of my vessel I exult at the idea that every year I get to experience the world with a new physique. It is certainly better than the alternative.
In the end, I mostly love who I am becoming and I look forward to all the unearthed treasures that lay ahead of me. My life has transformed into a sweet love song where every day brings to light a new discovery.
Instead of wishing I were 10 years younger I am embracing my present self and the joys that life gives me at this age, in this moment, in this body and with this mind. Yes my friends, I truly feel as if I have finally arrived. And so, let the party begin!
Take great care my friends ~