The first 50 years of childhood are always the hardest. – Unknown
I don’t feel old. I think aging has taken on a whole new meaning and you are only as old as you feel. It’s very liberating to turn 50 and look back at all the things that happened that have shaped me into who I am today. All of those lessons, good and bad, have led me to choices I have made. These choices are helping me make my dreams a reality to create a new chapter in my story. I have learned a lot about who I am and what I like. The best part….I don’t care what anyone else thinks. That’s the gift you get when you turn 50!
Here’s my list of 50 things I know for sure as I turn 50:
1.I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me. Thank you Stuart Smalley. I know you said it back in 1992 and I should have listened but I was dumb then. I miss the muscle tone I had in my legs when I was 22, but not the low self-esteem, over-thinking, and anxiety I had trying to figure out the realities in life.
2. The grass is always greener over the septic tank. Oh Erma. Read one of Erma Bombeck’s books! She is so very funny and her words make me think about what I take for granted. I don’t want to be in competition with anyone and I just want to be happy for the Jones family. You know, those people we all try to keep up with. I am content. It’s taken me 50 years to say that.
3. I will never interview well at Hooters and that’s ok. I don’t have what it takes if you know what I mean. I’m over it. I’m going to love my body as it is. We know we are getting older but it’s like our bodies want to make sure we are aware. My body: Oh hey! Down here! I know I used to be perky up there but I’ve moved! Yep. These are your new knees now. We have folds! I’ve decided that if my knee skin and other areas can shift around then my perceptions can, too. I’m going to be kinder and more accepting to myself.
4. Growing older is a privilege.
5. It’s not scary to put yourself out there. Would I have started a blog when I was 25? No! My instructions for my written thoughts were adamantly told to my sister, “Crawl under my bed and burn everything you find under there.” Try new things, take risks, and don’t be afraid to fail.
6. I can’t rock a Dorothy Hamill haircut. Or a Anna Wintour bob. I have tried both and I looked like Little Boy Blue. I know this now. Stick to what works. Long straight hair it is.
7. Who my people are. Carefully choose who gets your time and heart. Choose those who are beautiful on the inside who let their light shine out. Bask in their glow and give it back!
8. I’m not a runner. That’s all I have to say about that.
9. I don’t like beer. I’m not going to pretend I think it’s good anymore. It’s the beer. It’s definitely not me.
10. There is no shame in asking for help. Never suffer alone. Too many people are willing to listen and help.
11. It really is better to give then receive.
12. I’ll never like quinoa and I won’t die if I don’t eat it. Blech.
13. I’ll never like kale and I won’t die if I don’t eat it. Blech.
14. Sunscreen really is important. Not sure? Come over and I’ll show you my neck. My dermatologist: “Ummmmm, not much I can do there. Should’ve worn sunscreen.”
15. I like being over-dressed. You wear your cut-off jorts and be happy. I’ll wear my dress and be equally happy. And style has no age.
16. You can’t say I love you enough.
17. My mom was right. That’s all I have to say about that.
18. Use the good china every day. My grandmother gave me at least three sets of china. They were all to be used every day she said. What good are things if they are hidden away and kept for a special occasion she said. Every day is a special occasion. Wear your good jewelry. Use your china. Eat in the dining room even if it’s not Easter, or Christmas, or Thanksgiving. What are you saving it for?
19. Fear of missing out is a waste of time. Want to stay in? Didn’t get an invite somewhere? So what! Stop sulking, put the phone down and resist false comparisons. Be where you are and enjoy every minute of it. JOMO. Joy of missing out. It’s a thing now.
20. My humor is off-color, inappropriate at times, and some people don’t like it. I’m not sorry. It’s who I am. A fart in church is funny I don’t care who you are.
21. Life really is too short to drink bad coffee.
22. Life is not too short to drink bad wine. Bad wine is better than no wine. And if all that is available is just so-so wine I’ll drink it and be thankful for it. This does not apply to coffee. This is my list. If it doesn’t make sense to you then you make your own list.
23. You can make dreams come true. By doing. Not dreaming.
24. Anxiety and stress is normal. Figuring out how to handle it and manage it for a healthy, happy life is hard but can be done.
25. I know so little. There is still so much to learn and know. I used to think I knew most everything. Because when you’re between the ages of 5 and 29 you just do and you make sure everyone knows it. Now I keep my mouth shut (well, more than I used to anyway) and listen.
26. It’s ok to say no.
27. Pay yourself first. Allocate money to savings, time to yourself, and schedule things that bring you joy FIRST, instead of trying to fit these things in if there’s time or anything left at the end.
28. My kids are going to be all right. Even if they fail at something, get their feelings hurt, don’t get into their dream college, are rejected by who they thought were their friends, get a bad grade, are sad when things don’t work out, etc…….my kids are going to be all right.
29. It’s ok to have 15-20 bottles of perfume and you don’t have to use one up before you buy another. Because I said so.
30. It’s ok to have 15-20 lipsticks / glosses and you don’t have to use one up before you buy another. Because I said so.
31. I don’t have to wear jeans to work on Friday just because it’s casual Friday. I’m wearing the cutest dress I own on a Friday. Unless it’s January. And then I’m wearing jeans. Unless it’s over 55 degrees. Then I might wear a dress and boots. Wear what you want!
32. Friends might not stay your friends. It’s always hurtful when someone decides they don’t want to hang out with you anymore. It happens to all of us throughout our lives and not just in third grade. Sometimes they come back and you pick up just where you left off. Sometimes it just ends. Always be thankful for that friendship and remember it fondly.
33. It’s not too late…..for anything. Ambition, creativity and growth are lifelong journeys.
34. I have the power to shape my future. I am not a victim of any circumstance. Regardless of what happens, the power to change is up to me.
35. Marie Kondo, a capsule wardrobe and minimal anything is not for me. Stay true to who you are. Don’t throw anything out that you will want back. That’s what storage boxes, shelves and bins are for. Don’t be a hoarder either. That’s bad.
36. Quality beats quantity.
37. Learn from the past. Don’t live in the past. Be present here and now.
38. What grace really means. Show grace, be gracious and forgive with grace.
39. My problems are not the worst. Neither are yours. I know now that if I saw everyone else’s problems laid out on the floor along with mine, I’d likely grab mine and run.
40. Everything can be figured out and there is a solution for everything. You may not like what it is but no one is stuck.
41. Yield. Pause. Breathe. Passing time allows for so much to take care of itself and lends clarity for how to easily approach anything.
42. I haven’t had my best days yet. I just think I have! I’ll have this on repeat on my 50th birthday. Say it over and over.
43. Money is crucial but health is the real wealth. I can always make more money, but once health is gone…..it’s gone. Exercise, water, sleep and good nutrition.
44. You can wear white after Labor Day. Open toed shoes, too. Do it! I dare you. Break all the rules.
45. There are no rules in dating. Single women – you can call first, text first, message first and even *gasp* suggest a date first. Make your own rules that fit your personality.
46. Good things may be gone for those who wait. If you want something – go get it! Make it happen! Now go!
47. The senior discount is cool. I will ask for it loud and proud. Movie theater tickets are a gazillion dollars! I’m as old as dirt! Give me the discount!
48. Give more compliments. Now when I see someone in the store or out and about and think to myself “what a cute skirt, pretty hair, skin, blah blah blah” I don’t keep it to myself. I love hearing compliments – I’m so vain! Everybody does and it makes their day a little better.
49. Radiate positivity and let your light shine. Smile more. You will feel happier and it’s such a great feeling knowing those around you feel more at ease and happier because if it.
50. Have a zest for life! We only get one so make it count!