As I will be turning 50 later this year, it seems appropriate to post my story here. 50 is the new 30 except really, it's sooooo much better than being 30. Well, at least for me it is. I like to think of it as going backwards in time with lots & lots of extra benefits. Yeah, I know ... gray hair, achy knees, wrinkles & age spots come with it too, so what. I earned them all. I prefer to focus on what I've gained.

I'm most aware of how much I've changed when I spend time with my children. Watching my son as he struggles with that delicate balance between work & beginning a family. Job woes, insurance worries, never enough money, all those nagging realities that hang so heavily on our minds. So many things go wrong and immediately feel like a crisis. But they're not. You always get through it. If you're lucky, you learn something along the way too. I could tell him all that but not only wouldn't he hear me, he wouldn't understand it. Not yet.

And there's my daughter ... my arch nemesis ... lol. The truth is ... though I certainly am not telling her this yet ... I was so much like her at her age. I thought I had it all figured out, knew all the answers. I was extremely judgmental of others. After all ... they didn't know what I know! So many decisions are easy to make when you know yourself so well at 22 and have already determined exactly what you want in life and how you'll get there. Lofty goals that certainly can be accomplished. Especially, if like her, you've already ruled out marriage & children and career and financial success are your only concerns. We'll see if some of that changes for her in the next 5 or 10 years. I'm guessing it will. Though if it doesn't, there's also nothing wrong with her current goals. And if she's healthy & happy, I'm all for that. It's just life has some surprises in store for every one I think.

The greatest benefit I've found in approaching that ripe, old age of 50 is I'm so much more mellow than I was at 20. Things that would have seemed the end of the world then, don't matter so much anymore. At 20 your world is rather self contained and you're at the center of your own universe. At 49 (I'm not 50 yet!) my world has expanded so much that I now realize I'm only a small part of a much bigger picture. It's a little more difficult to be quite so self absorbed when you realize you're more like that seedling in the forest than the sun that illuminates the planet.

I still worry. I still have problems. In fact I have some of those same problems I was fighting earlier in my life. I no longer fight wars, though I have my battles. I'm no longer so quick to judge someone else or the choices they've made for their life. After all, I don't want anyone judging mine. I'm not perfect and I never will be. I'm ok with that. I'll also never look like Angelina Jolie or wear a size 2. I'm ok with that also.

Regardless of what I don't have ... whether it be money, material things or whatever ... I recognize what I do have and I'm grateful for it. I am entering the second phase of my life. But I won't be raising children, I won't be focused on having a career or how much money I can make. A sense of peace is replacing the anxiety I felt so often when I was younger. There's far more anticipation than worry.

I think life still has some surprises left for me too.

SeriouslySappy SeriouslySappy
51-55, F
3 Responses Jul 13, 2010

Ha Ha Romanticsub! With me it's my eyes.<br />
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Bassic ... see you have the right idea! Thanks for the comment.

Loved this post. I had never thought of 50 as a turning point. 40 didn't bother me however.

This is a very great post. I'm 18 years old and how you look at the World now is how I've looked at the world since I was 16. I guess you could blame it on being forced into adulthood by the age of 10. I'm not saying I am as wise as you, I have yet to experience many, many things in my life. I'm young and stupid, but not hostile. I do not know what the World has in store for me and I welcome everyone with open arms. I love every minute of it though, learning new things about life. Gaining new experience.