On Turning Fifty

I thought about how to write this article for days. I thought that it would be a breeze. After all, I’m a confident and secure mature woman! I thought about the different approaches I could take; the female side of the story, perhaps? You know, how it feels to see your hair turn gray, your hips expand, your boobs go south, hear your grandkids say that your tummy makes a good pillow, that sort of thing.
I could speak about the pressure on women to always look young. How aging men are called “distinguished”, and we women are expected to go get a tummy tuck and a boob job, or at least a face lift.
I could write about how hard it is to find a mature man who isn’t casting side glances at the teeny boppers in the supermarket; or worse yet, chasing one down the aisle! Maybe mention that the fifty year old man looks just as old as I do, when he’s naked! No, that’s to personal.

Perhaps I could talk about the circle of life. Tell about all the wisdom I’ve gained as a daughter, mother, aunt and grandmother. Or how it feels to have raised five children, watch them grow up, actually survive and not be living in prison.
I could tell how they have families of their own. I could share how being a grandmother feels. I could describe for you how it feels to see little pieces of my parents, myself and my children, running around tearing up my book collection or unrolling the toilet paper down the hall. Boy! do I love that gene pool; they’re all geniuses you know! Nope, I never did like it when others bragged about their gene pool.

Perhaps I could talk about the metaphysical side of growing older; explain the virgin to crone thing. The circle of life. But then I’d have to relate a labor and delivery story or two for the men to really appreciate what I meant. And besides, when I got to the crone stage I’d lose half my audience. Does anyone know what a crone is anymore? Nope, to deep.

Perhaps from a health angle? Explain how diabetes and heart disease are just around the corner, and arthritis is a daily friend; how when I forget where my keys are, I fear Alzheimer’s! Or worse yet, maybe I’ve had a stroke!
I could tell how I asked my thirty year old best friend (who is the DON at the nursing home I work at) to make sure that certain co-workers of mine don’t work the hall I’m put on when I’m finally living in the nursing home, because I know their work habits!

Or maybe I could talk about the life style of the elderly. How it’s important to eat right, drink lots of water, and take your vitamins and supplements. Oh, and don’t forget to get enough fiber and exercise. And we can’t forget good health insurance. Oh, and don’t forget having your oldest child ask if you have a living will…geeesh! Nope, to depressing. Did you happen to notice the advice on not forgetting? Seems lists have become my new accessory.

Now, after all that thinking, I realized that turning fifty was not so bad. Forty was worse. At 39 I was still a hot mama but when I turned forty I was some body’s gramma! There were not so many gray hairs at forty but it was then that I found my first one and that was freaky. I wasn’t so worried about heart disease and diabetes at forty because I was to busy watching my parents die of those degenerative diseases. Now it is ME being told the same things I heard the doctors say to them.

I have learned a lot of cool stuff over the course of my years but it only seems to come in handy when Jeopardy or Who Wants to be a Millionaire is on. I can say with confidence to my grandchildren, “I remember when”. Oooooh boy, that is scary to hear yourself say. At forty, I got used to all the changes in my body, my mind, my soul. Now I can relax and enjoy the ride even if it is all down hill. Shoot! I’m not that old, I tell myself! I still listen to the top 40 on the radio, remember the words to the songs and exchange CD’s with my kids. I even have a heavy metal collection; does Led Zepplin count? Now, ask me in ten years to write a article on how it feels to be sixty and I may have some real trouble! Excuse me, I have to go take some fish oil for my heart and Metamucil for my bowels, be right back. Well, maybe. If I don’t fall and break a hip or forget where the computer is.

On Turning Fifty

debrakcarey

Joined February 2008

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Artist's Description

Written for a friend about to turn fifty….laughter is the best medicine! Don’t you think?

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