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2011-12-15 digital edition

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2011-12-15 / General Stories

Thoughts On Turning 50

I’m not in denial. It’s just that fifty isn’t as scary as it used to be. In retrospect, I am confident that when I turn 60, I will wish I was turning 50 again.

People used to say you were “Over the Hill” when you hit fifty years old. Then they’d try to spin it in a positive light by saying, “It’s all downhill from here!”

I’m pretty sure, though, that as soon as they saw me approaching the hill, they moved it. All those senior discounts I was looking forward to are no longer available until I’m 55 or 60.

I still have a mortgage and will have it for another 20-some years. What’s so “downhill” about having a mortgage? Added to that is the fact that if I was of a mind to get a job to pay that mortgage down faster, I’d have to pay someone to hire me. That kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?

It helps that I still have young children at home. Oddly enough, cleaning toilets, having peanut butter smeared on my microwave and repeating the words “Clean your room!”, “Brush your teeth!”, and “Do your homework!” makes me feel young.

Perhaps it’s simply that I’m too busy to take the number 50 seriously.

Considering all the medical advances in the past 100 years, I have a good chance of living to be 100. That’s the good news. The bad news is that I’m already halfway there.

It was spent in a blur of seasons, one after another, celebrated by birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, vacations and productive, fulfilling endeavors. It was also spent doing things I’d rather forget; like toilet training, wiping noses, and soothing vomiting children. Yeah, better to develop amnesia where those things are concerned.

There is still a great deal on my “bucket list,” but I have put a hearty dent in it over the past 50 years. My bucket list is not one filled with death-defying feats of courage and bravery. I have no intention of trying to climb Mt. Everest or jump out of an airplane with a scrap of linen strapped to my back. I am certain that my life will be complete without the need for freezing my nether parts off on the side of the tallest mountain on Earth. And why tempt Fate by intentionally trying to have a heart attack jumping into thin air just to see an unobstructed view from 30,000 feet. I have TV and a good imagination. I don’t need to actually experience that.

These things are not necessary for my sense of fulfillment. They are actually on my list of things to try if I ever needed an inventive way to kill myself. As long as I want to live another 50 years, I don’t see myself consulting that list any time soon.

The question is: How shall I spend the next 50 years?

I will probably spend them the same way as the first 50: In a blur of seasons, one after another, celebrated by birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, vacations, productive, fulfilling endeavors and vomiting grandchildren. Of course, there will be new births, new marriages, new places to go, and new challenges for me to try.

The only difference between the last 50 years and the next 50 years is that I can’t put a name to those future events yet. And isn’t that exciting?

Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author & speaker. You can reach Laura at lsnyder@lauraonlife.com Or visit her website www.lauraonlife.com

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