…You need your reading glasses not only to read The Seattle Times but to decipher the items on your dinner plate.
…Y2K is the last date you remember having a recognizable waistline.
… Your chief career goal is to retire early enough so that your Social Security benefits are grandfathered-in before the government goes bankrupt.
… Someone mentions “50 Shades of Grey” and your first thought is not a spicey novel, but the number of black turtlenecks in your closet (see Nora Ephron’s “I feel bad about my neck” ).
… You still lay awake at night wondering if Madonna might one day get back together with Sean Penn. Still. Not. Over it. Sigh.
… When you were 12, you wanted to be Pinky Tuscadero.
… You know the truth: a muffin top is not found on the top of a muffin. It rears its ugly head when you try to save money by trying on jeans in the juniors department at Macys (formerly known to The Bon Marché loyalists as “The Cube”).
… You’re on a first name basis with the gal (Diana) at the Origins Plantscription counter.
… You have come to grips with the fact that you are no longer 40. But you’re not yet 60. A point you like to bring up only around your friends who are older than you. And closer to 60.
…There are necessary evils in growing older, like enduring lycra and mammograms.
…There are few necessary evils whose pain cannot be mitigated by the unadulterated joy of a dark chocolate salted caramel.
… You’d stick a fork in your eye before you’d pay full price for a stick of furniture, a blouse, a piece of jewelry or grind-your-own organic peanut butter at Whole Foods. But you’d pay the note on the farm for a good pair of yoga pants and an even better bra.
There are also many upsides to turning 50, such as learning that…
…Life isn’t perfect and it never will be. And while there’s no guarantee that life’s curve balls won’t cause you a few sleepless nights, you know you’ve gotten through hurdles before and you can get through them again. There will always be challenges, but there can always be good friends to walk with you through the “ish”. And that alone can make life so much more than ‘just bearable,’ but really, really good. And, not just Martha Stewart good, but really good.
…A happy marriage is built by happy people who both consistently work to bring their best happy to the table. (That, and having Jaz surprise you on your birthday with a hot cup of coffee in bed at 6:00 a.m. And a beautiful bouquet of flowers. And balloons. And a poem. And tickets to Cirque du Soleil. And a card from your son that says “Happy half way to 100 mom!”) #blessed
…You know in your heart that you won’t find out whether or not you’re a good parent until your child is about 30. Do your best, keep learning, make changes, & don’t get lost in the comparison game.
…You are strengthened by the knowledge that Julia Child didn’t ‘find her calling’ until she was 40, and she published her first cookbook at 50. And then her career began.
…You know that you cannot stop your body from aging. But, you can make good decisions about taking care of your heart and your mind.
…Having a strong faith in God and believing He is in control does not mean He’s going to ‘serve up’ your life to you on a silver platter. The good stuff still takes work.
…You discover that finding a good neighborhood starts by being a good neighbor.
…Every year won’t bring a winning season, but sometimes your team does make it to the Super Bowl. And they win. And you float. And in other years victory gets snatched away at the 1 yard line. And you’re stunned. And you grieve. And seeing it all as a metaphor for life, you’ve learned to NEVER miss a chance to celebrate the miracles, and NEVER camp out in denial and forget to grieve a big loss. But after both, as “President Bartlett” and Seahawks QB Russell Wilson would say, you have to hit the re-set button and focus on the next opportunity.
And, yes, 99% of this has nothing to do with getting to know my neighbors and I’m not the first writer to satire the deliciousness of mid-life. But, I figure it’s my blog and I’ll opine if I want to.
Yep. I am turning 50 today. Life isn’t perfect, but it is really good.