Fifty Is the New Fifty


I would like to write something about loving others, or being in love, or some Valentine’s-themed column. It is February, after all …

Nope. Not going to happen. I’m writing about self-love. If you’re worried that this means I’m venturing into the realm of self-help, don’t.

You see, on Super Bowl Sunday, I’ll not only be watching the commercials, eating processed meats, and watching Justin Timberlake during the half-time show, trying to figure out what his new single is actually about; I’ll also be turning 50.

As the day approaches, people have said some very cute things to me, like, “Fifty is the new thirty.” My other favorite is the passive-aggressive, “You don’t look a day over 25.”

To the latter I say, “Stop. In the name of all that is good in this world, just stop.” No one who is about turn 50 looks 25 – except Christie Brinkley; and she’s actually 60.

Even more offensive than someone essentially telling you that you’re so old, they’re going to ridiculously low-ball how old you look, is someone trying to make you feel better and convince you that you’re not really as old as you are.

“Fifty is the new thirty?”

No, thanks. I was 30 once, bought the t-shirt. Not going back. It is somewhat embarrassing to admit that when I turned 30, I was obsessed with things like my body fat percentage. I was worried that I’d be a miserable, old spinster if I didn’t quickly find a man to validate my existence, and have a child to give my life purpose.

When I was 30, I told myself things like, “I need these boots more than I need to pay my Consumers bill.”

I’m a reading glasses-wearing, gray hair-pulling, belly pouch-fighting, “what is this nonsense kids are listening to these days?”asking, 50-year-old woman.

I am all of those things; but don’t you dare for one minute think you have to make me feel better about getting old. I am not old. I’m just getting started, in fact.

I am concerned about my health, funding a fabulous last 30-40 years of my life with a solid retirement, and giving back to the world to fulfill my life’s purpose.

How I look is not nearly as important to me as whether I’m giving my best to the people and things that matter to me.

I’ve also lived long enough to know that even the cutest boots will not keep your feet warm enough when Consumers cuts off your power in the dead of winter.

We are all exactly how old we are. No amount of passive-aggressive badgering will change how long you’ve been on this planet. It’s now how old you are, it’s how you feel about yourself that counts.

So, AARP, keep sending me membership information. I’m delighted to start using my discounts one day.

Fifty is the new fifty. Yes, to paraphrase one of Justin Timberlake’s biggest hits, “I’m bringing … 50 back. Yeah!”



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