This weekend marks my 50th birthday. I can’t believe I’ve been around for half a century, it doesn’t seem possible. But as I ponder this getting older thing, I’ve decided: it’s not so bad. In fact I can think of 50 reasons I’m okay with turning 50 and I’d like to share them with you.
1-I now qualify for discounts through AARP.
2-The older I get the more I realize every day is a gift. This brings with it a shift in my attitude (on most days).
3-I can remember life without a remote, cell phone or MTV. There’s something to be said about a life without electronics.
3-50 years means lots of vacations! I’ve traveled to 34 states, 14 countries and 3 continents.
4-I now know what I like and what I don’t and I’m finally okay with ditching what I don’t like.
5-2 out of 3 of my kids are adults, and I really like who they have become. I also like the one that is still under my roof!
6-50 years means I’ve been through some really crappy times. I now know a) I will survive, and b) crappy times always end.
7-I can appreciate the miracle of birth and find joy in holding a baby, but I no longer have to get up for 4am feedings.
8-I’ve learned what it means to be a good friend. I know the importance of being one and having one.
9-I now understand money is just money. You can be happy with or without it.
10-I’ve been yelled at and ridiculed by many mean people over the years. It used to upset me. Now I know the problem is them, not me.
11-Because my youngest is a teen, we are beyond the pet stages: no more fish, hamster or hermit crabs. All that is left is the dog and the hedgehog. Thank God.
12-I can appreciate the not so exciting moments in life. A night at home with nothing to do is a good night.
13- I feel like I can quit striving to look younger. I’m not going to fool anybody anyway!
14-I’m old enough to see the people I knew as they were born grow up, get married. and have kids. Pretty cool.
15-I’ve forgiven my body for not being perfect and have moved on to thanking it for continuing to work.
16-My husband’s family is now my family. They have been for 24 years, but after so much time you almost forget that there was a time you weren’t related.
17-I will never again have to work an elementary school carnival or deliver boatloads of Girl Scout cookies. Okay, I didn’t really mind working the carnival.
18-I have developed a strong faith in God. This helps me through everything.
19-I’ve seen beauty in hard times. People who’ve stepped up out of nowhere to hold me up when I thought I might fall apart. This is such a gift.
20-I can go out in public looking like a bum without worry-no one is looking at me anyway, and if they were I wouldn’t care!
21-I’ve picked up so many friends along the way: high school friends, college friends, work friends, new mama friends, church friends, volunteer friends, writer friends-the list goes on and on. I love them all.
22-I can finally afford the Sleep Number Bed.
23-30 of my 50 years have been spent with the coolest guy around (that would be my husband).
24-I no longer worry what the latest recent studies say. I know now most things considered “bad” for me will eventually regain their reputation (think coconut oil, eggs, milk…).
25- I’ve learned grudges aren’t worth it. Seriously. The grudge holder is the one who suffers the most.
26-50 is the new 30.
27-I’m getting comfortable in my own skin. At least metaphorically…
28-I don’t get fired up over the little things. Yes, the guy at Best Buy was a jerk, that woman cut me off in traffic, and I picked the world’s longest line in Target with a cashier slower than molasses. It happens.
29-I no longer have to make all those big life decisions: Where do I go to college? Should I take the job? Is he the one? How many kids should we have? Can we afford this house? Done.
30-I no longer get (too) depressed when I gain 5 lbs. I know I’ll eventually lose it, and then (sadly) gain it back again.
31-Done. With. Heels.
32-By now, I know my better half pretty well. I know his habits, his ways, his likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. I used to think this would be boring-it’s not.
33-YOLO has a new meaning. It’s not an excuse to do something radical, but is a reminder me that life could change at any moment. I need to go after what I want now, no more waiting for a rainy day.
34-Retirement isn’t a gazillion years away. It’s in sight and I’m looking forward to it!
35-I’m more observant now, see things I previously took for granted. The beauty of birds. Sweetness of toddlers. Sunsets. Full moons. The hands of God as he works in others. You get the picture.
36-I’m much more forgiving. We’re all human. We all screw up. We’re all learning together.
37-I now have an excuse for losing my keys, my grocery list, my wallet, and my mind.
38-I have SO many photo albums. Old and fading photos of kids and vacations and holidays and birthdays and Father’s Days and Mother’s Days and school plays and orchestra concerts and Girl Scout camping trips and soccer games and Easter egg hunts. I’ve had a full 50 years.
39-I can afford to pay for my moisturizer without having to eat tuna for a month.
40-I’m much nicer to myself. I allow myself the grace to make mistakes.
41-I really got over this old age thing when I turned 49. That was a harder birthday than this one.
42-The 50’s are proven to be a good time of life. A recent study found 4 out of 10 people were more content in their 50’s than at any other age. How awesome is this?
43-With 3 kids, odds are good there are weddings and/or grandchildren to look forward to.
44-There’s no more peer pressure of any kind.
45-I’ve learned to trust my gut. Always.
46-I now find joy in the little things. Hot tea, quiet mornings, a fire in the fire pit, a good book or a Sunday afternoon nap.
47-Stories. I have so many stories and memories. I can’t wait to tell them over and over again to people who wish I’d shut up when I’m even older.
48-I now know when and how to pick my battles. I’m only going to fight the ones that matter.
49-I no longer feel guilty taking time for me. I’m all about naps, reading on my porch or getting a good massage.
50-I’m still here. Living, breathing, talking, walking-the whole nine yards. Not everyone gets this many years. Happy birthday to me! And my brother, who turns 53 today, and my daughter who turns 19.