Sunday, July 20, 2014

Reasons it's great to be 50 years old

This Thursday, July 24th will be my 48th birthday. I'm excited about it because I like patterns and 48 is twice 24. I'm also partial to multiples of 12 and have been waiting for this birthday ever since I turned 36. (Anyone familiar with the Chinese Zodiac knows that every twelve years your Chinese animal sign comes around. This is the year of the horse and I'm a horse.)

I enjoy birthdays for a few reasons: I like getting together with friends, I like eating cake and I like getting older. When I was a child, people taught me that adult women don't like getting older or letting people know their age. I thought this sounded ridiculous and couldn't imagine ever feeling that way. I'll be 48 years old in a few days and I still don't understand why women don't like revealing their age. This is one of those adult mysteries that people said I'd understand when I grew up, but it never happened. (They also told me I'd eventually enjoy the taste of alcohol, but that didn't happen either.)

A friend asked if I'm looking forward to turning 50. I'm not because 50 isn't a multiple of twelve -- although 60 is! But as I thought about it, I realized there are plenty of reasons to look forward to turning 50. Here are a few.

(Just some) Reasons it's great to be 50 years old:

1. It's the age when the senior discounts begin.

2. You have more authority to talk about things that happened, even in the distant past, because you were there.

3. People can no longer give you that patronizing “Wait until you get older. You’ll change your mind.” (For example, when a 48-year-old says "I don't want children," you have to believe her!)

4. All you have to do is put on a suit and a serious expression and you look like a person with decades of experience in business.

5. Your opinions count more because they’re based on actual experience and not speculation (such as managing employees, child raising, running your own business, divorce, surgery).

6. The cost of auto insurance goes down.

7. It's easier to rent an apartment, get a loan and do other things that cause people to size up how responsible you are based on your appearance.

8. If you’re a 50-year-old woman who isn't trying to look younger (with short skirts, wild shoes, etc) men don’t give you the same bullshit as when you’re young, such as “Smile, honey,” “Hey, baby,” etc.

9. If you’re a 50-year-old man and who isn't trying to look younger, you’re less likely to be hassled by police just for standing on a street corner (not necessarily true for men of color).

10. For women, self-esteem at age 50 tends to be higher than at younger ages. I know it's true for me!

So let's hear it for middle-age! Yes, I'm talking to you, Reader-in-Your-40s-or-50s. We are middle-aged and it's a great place to be. Have doubts? Write me!

I'm middle-aged and I'm at peace
 P.S. This is a photo of me with my new reading glasses that I bought at a chain store for $15. I'm not only old enough to need bifocals, but to need glasses to read with in my own home! This pleases me.

1 comment:

Dave Hildebrandt said...

When I was turning 40 someone I held in high regard who was then in her 50s said: "Ah yes, the 40s are the decade where it all comes together. I had so much fun in my 40s." Blessed an entire decade, she did. Now that I'm 49 (a mathematical year: 7²) I'll have to ask her how her 50s were. I expect great things, because she was right about the 40s.