This year I will be a half century old. It’s hard to believe, but true. I’m not one who normally talks about my birthday. Not because a higher number makes me want to crawl into a hole in an attempt to hide from Ms. Age. It’s just another day for me. In fact, I forgot my own birthday one year. But when it comes to the milestone birthdays, I brag for months and do something special. My plans for the mid-century mark? I’m really going big for this one. My first overseas trip halfway around the world to see some friends. And who knows? Maybe I’ll throw myself a birthday party once I return!
As I approach this major event in life, it stirs up the introspective mid-life thoughts and questions. So I started collecting these thoughts and settled on 50 of them. Of course.
- Some days my body tells me it’s 70 while others it says, “You’re still 30. Go for it!”
- This is the prime time of life.
- My best days are not behind me, nor are they ahead of me. My best day is every day I’m alive and taking steps toward my dreams.
- I’m noticing body parts, joints, and muscles I didn’t know existed.
- Mornings are getting harder and harder. They were already tough as a non-morning person. But I never dreamed they could get any tougher.
- Getting closer to senior citizen discounts!
- Seize every opportunity.
- Introspection becomes a daily habit.
- Being tired is a way of life.
- Time is moving faster or I’m getting slower. Or both.
- Life isn’t passing by. Only time passes by. (Boy is that deep!)
- I’m eligible for ourtime.com.
- Eating healthy and exercise are a must.
- As Popeye used to say, “I yam what I yam.”
- I’ll add to Popeye, “Stop trying to be like someone else or wishing you were like them.”
- Thoughts of death and planning a will intrude normal, everyday thoughts like what to fix for dinner.
- The bucket list gets bigger and smaller at the same time: items get added as others are crossed off.
At this point, I needed help. It could take until my 51st birthday to come up with 50 thoughts on my own. So the list continues with thoughts from some of my Facebook friends.
- Debbie H: At first I was very nervous [turning 50], but now I feel good about it.
- Cindy J: Don’t count what you missed in life, enjoy what is to come.
- Donna K: It is interesting to see how age changes our perspectives for the good, bad and fun of living.
- Don J: With each decade of our life we think we are getting old. But now 32 years later, 50 seems young. Just enjoy each year you have.
- Amber B: I went to the mailbox to see if there any cards, and yep, there was the AARP card!
- Pat W: Since we can live to a hundred years old, I would say the glass is half full at age 50, not half empty.
- Shelia S: Pretty is prettier. Funny is funnier. My body hurts most days but my heart doesn’t. Things are definitely better on this side of life!
- Connie H: Fifty can be freaky or fabulous! I chose fabulous!
- Niki G: I felt a freedom that released me to find myself, the true me, not the me that everyone expected me to be. Now I discover something new about myself every day.
- Connie S: It’s just a number. Take time to enjoy. I enjoy life more.
- Vicki M: Along with aging troubles come joys and blessings. Each day is a gift. Having experienced many bad days, it makes the good moments so much more special.
- Linda G: Life is too short to waste it on temporary things.
- Debbie R: I got a new perspective on so many things. Then my opinion on things, my outlook, my being relaxed and I love it! I still want to be the best me that I can be but it’s not for show to others but it’s for me and me alone.
- Bob J: Being half a century old isn’t that bad. Put this way…a fifty-year-old car is a classic.
- Rachel T: Turning 50 is a turning point and a time of convergence. Life gets sweeter and mellower.
- Dawn M: I dreamed bigger than ever when I hit 50…I always believe “the sky is the limit.” And even more so after 50.
- Russ V: I would tell my thoughts about turning 70, but you can’t print it on Facebook. (I just had to include this one for the laugh factor!)
Then my juices got flowing again—
- You’re still trying to find your way in life, which may turn in a different direction than you expected.
- They say age is relative. What does that mean anyway? It means it’s a relative you wish would leave you alone.
- Hello, age spots. Where have you been all my life?
- Doctors become your best friends after spending so much time together.
- Doctors’ phone numbers replace speed dials previously reserved for pizza joints.
- Inexplicable aches and pains.
- It’s okay to feel like a kid and do kid-like activities. (Think: catching lightning bugs, jumping in a pile of leaves, or making an eclipse projection box.)
- And don’t care what others think when they see you playing. Go ahead. Look strange.
- Never stop believing in yourself or fulfilling your dreams.
- It doesn’t matter how long you live. It’s the quality of those remaining years.
- Oh, to be able to sleep through the night without the bladder interrupting.
- It’s never too late to pursue your dreams. And don’t let fear or your age stop you.
- It’s a great time to accomplish “firsts.”
- Don’t miss opportunities to leave a legacy.
- Ride the wind. Relax, see where it takes you. And don’t sweat the small stuff.
- Now, why aren’t my sunglasses in their case? Oh, they’re in my hand.
When I asked some of my fellow new 50-year-olds their thoughts on turning 50, they claimed they felt no different. I think they may have been lying. It was fun compiling and collecting these thoughts, even though it was challenging at times. What I gathered from my friends has inspired me to embrace the next 50 years, or whatever years I have, in a new way.
Whether you’re younger or older, what thoughts would you add to the list? Add them to the comments below.