OMG 50 Years Old
Wow, 50 years old, for real? I cannot believe it! Are these words echoing in your head, too? Who is that woman in the mirror? How did all of this happen so fast? It is unthinkable! Well, start thinking but don’t worry, you are not alone.
Turning 50 years old can be unsettling, for we just do not see ourselves as “old.” And listen, we are not old so get that idea out of your head. We just have more experience now than we did 10, 20 and 30 years ago. Experiences of all kinds make up our lives, and whether those experiences are good or bad, they have given us the foundation of who we are today.
Now, what does that mean? Well, everything was "drama" back in our younger days. The boyfriends (or girlfriends) who cheated? Drama. A few extra pounds? Drama. Career choices? Drama. You can see the pattern here because when we were younger, our focus was very different from who we are right now. Back then, we encountered a lot of things that were new to us -- for being young is all about what is new and how we handle our experiences. We have banked those experiences over the years and now draw on life's lessons.
Answer this question honestly; are you smarter now than you were at ages 20, 30 and 40? Of course you are. I am not talking about book-smart or school-smart. We are all in school every day; the school of life.
Every day is a new day; a promise of good and/or bad. Hopefully, it is good but when it is bad, our past experiences … 50 years of them …have taught us how to “handle the bad.” We don’t think about it, or even fully realize it, but the way we “handle the bad” is important for we are teaching younger generations how to solve problems effectively. By your daily example, you are teaching your children and grandchildren how to deal with serious issues and profound disappointments. We are all responsible for teaching the younger generations how to live and conduct their business ethically and with grace, dignity and maturity so that they can grow into responsible adults. Your children may not understand it now, but someday, they will. You have heard the phrase “it takes a village,” well, it really does take all of us to teach those lessons and we have 50 years of experiences from which to draw.
Zero to 50
50 years old. Do you have regrets? Sure, we all do. But there is no point in reliving those regrets unless you plan to fix what needs fixing, if it can be done at all. In some cases, at the very least, it is obligatory to make an effort. But is it possible? Sometimes it is, sometimes it is not. Ask yourself the question and go from there.
Look at the Big Picture. “50” is an accomplishment … so far. From age zero to 50, we have experienced our childhoods, youth, school, having and raising children (for some people), career opportunities and changes, financial ups and downs, relationships … both good and bad … health and medical issues and “_______”, fill in the blank. We have crammed a lot of living into our first 50 years. Living is an accomplishment and we are very, very lucky. Some people do not make it this far; read the obituaries in your local newspaper; you will see many lives that ended before age 50. Life can be a struggle sometimes, but it surely does beat the alternative!
Maybe you believe in God, maybe you do not. Everyone has the right to believe or not believe; it is not for me or anyone else to say. What is in your heart is personal and no one, absolutely no one, can take it from you or tell you how to think … regardless of community, government or family pressure. Our true relationship with God, for those of us who have one, is personal and private. Is there a God? That is for you to decide. Personally, I do believe in God and I believe in fate. I thank God every day for the blessings in my life; my husband who loves me, other family members and friends who love and respect me, the ability to see, hear, taste, smell, touch and be touched. I thank God for my health (such as it is), for beautiful scenery, for beautiful music and for giving me just one more day on this earth. Some days are better than others but all in all, God is with me. There but for the grace of God go I …
And so …
OK, so now we know how lucky we are to have made it this far. Seriously lucky. What happens next?
Look at each new day as an opportunity. Setting new goals is a start. Now, before you say “but I have so many things on my plate right now, how can I do more?” keep in mind that goals do not have to be overpowering, they can be as simple as starting a diary or learning a new recipe. Every day that we are alive is an opportunity to learn, see and create something new. Simple goals can include
- Reading part of the newspaper that you normally pass over
- Doing a crossword or some other kind of word puzzle instead of watching television (or at the same time!)
- Putting dates on all of those old pictures and identifying the places and people in them
- Reading a non-fiction book
- Learning to crochet, knit or sew.
Or, expand your goals into something a little more involved; go back to school, write, sing, exercise, paint … just do something you would not normally do or have ever done before. The possibilities are endless.
Hey, did you know that Laura Ingalls Wilder (February 7, 1867 – February 10, 1957) was in her 60s when she started writing her Little House book series?
The Point IS ...
Start right now. Every day is an experience that we can enhance and make the most of by adding something new. New is good, so, OMG, 50! Bring it on!
© 2014 Teri Silver