Sunday, April 14, 2013

5 Reasons Why Life is Better After 50

So I turned 54 last month, the same age as Barbie. Actually I'm ten days younger than Barbie. Mattel gave birth to Barbie on March 9, 1959 at a New York Toy Fair. I didn't come along until the 19th.

Still, even though she's slightly older, Barbie seems to have aged much better than I have. Personally, I think she's had some work done. I mean, look at how immovable her face is! Barbie has definitely taken Botox to the extreme. I may be wrinkled, but I'm real. Just sayin'.

But that's not what I came to talk about today. I mean Barbie. I did come to talk about being 54.

So here's the thing. I talk about my aches and pains the way I always thought old people did. I have a lot of history behind me that translates into wisdom which comes with age. At work I am the oldest teacher in the language arts department. Next year, after this year's retirees leave, another 54 year old and I will be the oldest teachers in the school.

Oldest teacher in the school!

When my  mom was 54, I thought she was old. After all, she was a grandma. Like I am.

My mom, dad and daughter.
Look how pretty she was! She doesn't look old at all! And here's the thing. I don't feel old either. Deep in my heart, even though I can accept it rationally, I just don't believe I'm old. I'm NOT old. No matter how trite it sounds, I'm actually better than I used to be. 50 was a new beginning. I don't know exactly why, but so much is easier after 50.

In fact, let me share 5 reasons why  life is better after 50 (you knew I was going to work that title in somewhere, right?).

Glig Graphics
1. I care a lot less about what other people think of me. Really. I don't mean I don't care if I hurt other people. I'm still a caring person. I just don't need other people's approval for the decisions I make or who I am. Maybe it's just that I don't have enough energy to think about it very much. Or because I don't have much time left, and I don't want to waste it worrying about what people think about things that are none of their business anyway.

2. I know what's important in life. I'm really comfortable with my priorities in a way that I haven't always been.  I'm content with the things I have because I've surrounded myself with the people I love. I'll leave the rat race to the rats.
4 our of 5 grandchildren

3. I have grandchildren. Okay, technically, I did have a grandchild before I was 50, but you get my point.
The Princess and The Monster

4. I want to put this delicately. I'm beyond childbearing, and this makes...everything...better and much more relaxed. If you know what I mean.

My mama, my sisters, and I

5. I'm just really comfortable in my skin. I'm looking my age, and mostly that's okay. I mean, if you offered to magically make me look 25, I'd take it, but that's not going to happen. My hair has streaks of gray, and they're going to stay there and invite company. I'm not interested in covering them up. I earned them. I raised Ben and Alyssa, for pity's sake! I teach 8th grade!! Those are my gray hairs, and I stand by every one of them. Those wrinkles around my eyes? Too many years of laughter and smiling. Sometimes I was smiling through the tears, but I've always had reasons to smile. Ben and Alyssa for example.

So there we are. I'm 54, and my soul doesn't feel any older than it ever was. I have a feeling when I'm 74, my inner being will still feel the same. Pretty sure those wrinkles and gray hairs will have increased significantly, but that's okay. 

How about you? Are you comfortable with your age? What's good about your current age? Is there an age you'd rather be? Share in the comments.