Farewell Forties

Recently I’ve been grappling with the fact that by tomorrow I will have completed my 50th trip around the sun!  I can just hear the ‘Turning 50 Jokes’ now.

‘You know you’re a 50 year old woman when….

  • You purchase your moisturizer by the case instead of by the jar.
  • Your once fabulous behind now looks more like a set of mud flaps.
  • Your hot flashes have saved you money on your heating bill.
  • You finally understand that being over the hill beats being planted under it. (1)

Sad.

For some of you, this milestone has come and gone and you’d encourage me that ‘there’s plenty of living left to do’, ’50 is fabulous’ or ’50 is the new 40′.   Or even as my sister-in-law insisted yesterday ‘You should be proud of yourself.   You look great, you have a wonderful family and you’ve done so much in your life.’  Yes, I truly am very thankful, but even those thoughts aren’t helping me to embrace the BIG 5-0 !

Turning 30 was a breeze, and the 40’s were packed with incredible moments and tremendous memories!  Why should 50 so difficult?

Honestly……I really don’t have any regrets.  My presiding principle in life has been to align my choices with my personal values, which is the same advice I’d give anyone.  So that’s not the issue.  And I don’t feel like I’ve bloomed too late.  I am right where I need to be.  As a matter of fact, I feel quite centered.  Hey…..maybe there’s the answer.  Rather than adopting an ‘I’m old’ attitude, I could focus on being right in the middle of the middle!

These days, modern middle-age is considered to start around 35 and end around 65.  Since our life span has lengthened over the last century, we’re living in the middle longer.  Apparently there’s plenty of benefits to this stage of life!  My research (also known as Googling) indicates that during this time, our middle-aged brain actually performs better than a brain half it’s age.  The logical part of the older brain (inductive reasoning and problem solving) finds solutions faster.  As well, our all-grown-up brain is better at understanding a problem and finding a creative answer, than younger brains.  It analyzes arguments better and strategizes ways to win-win with more efficiency.  And, a Harvard study revealed that financial judgments peak through later middle age.  WOW….to summarize…because we’ve navigated the world longer, we can navigate the world better! (2) YAY!

And since I started writing this blog I have come to think of even more liberating truths that I’ve embraced on the road to the middle.   Like;

  • The point of exercise is to be healthy and not to fit into a size 6 dress.
  • Words can kill faster than sticks or stones.
  • I have experimented with so much hair color that I actually know what looks good on me.
  • My family continues to be my greatest investment.
  • Respect and care for others is a reflection of how someone feels about them self.
  • A smile is the most beautiful accessory.
  • I will never be too old to learn.
  • The more birthdays you have the longer you live.
  • Common sense isn’t very common.
  • I’ve lived so long that every new person I meet reminds me of someone I already know.
  • Every experience counts.
  • God can be trusted.

So as I spend my last few hours on this side of half a century, I have come across one more all important thought, which is likely the secret behind the encouraging words of those who have crossed this milestone ahead of me.  ‘Those who are planted in the house of the Lord …..shall still bear fruit in (middle and old) age; they shall continually be fresh and flourishing.(3)  Now that’s something to celebrate!

(1) http://seniors.lovetoknow.com/Turning_50_Jokes

(2) Thoughts from ‘The Secret Life of the Grown Up Brain’ by Barbara Strauch

(3) Psalm 92:13, 14,  (middle), my literary emphasis.

9 thoughts on “Farewell Forties

  1. Wonderful! There are many of us following in your footsteps and need a good role model of beauty and grace in maturation. Lead on! ( oh, and Happy Birthday!)

  2. Hey Elaine…thanks for the encouraging words with humour and good common sense from God! You are a wonderful lady and someone I look up to. Have a wonderful birthday!!!! I’m trailing a bit behind in age. You make it look easy…I think I can do it too!

    Patti S.

  3. I know turning 50 does suck, at least you don’t look like the women in your Valentine’s blog. ha ha!
    For most of us turning 50 reinforces our desire to do all the things we really want to do however we are still stuck with all the things we must do. It is a time of many responsibilities that we are too mature to ignore. Therefore we find ourselves constantly juggling but we need to remember to stop, take a deep breath and do our best to enjoy this life God has blessed us with. I was handed the big C for my 50th and it changed me in so many positive ways. Just one more bump on the road of life. So, in closing , open your cards and do the happy dance..
    Love Ya!

    JS

  4. You’ve written a good post on an age-old issue: aging. I think that people making better financial decisions after 50 is representative of the idea that age can bring wisdom. It doesn’t bring smooth skin (except on our grandchildren) but age does help us appreciate others and have some hard-earned and fairly accurate perspectives. Here’s hoping for ever more common sense and community!

  5. You are a true inspiration, your blog was fabulous. Thank you for sharing your insight and personal feelings. As I said on Sunday, you look marvelous, you take such good care of yourself, you are going to ROCK the 50’s. From one much older than you, you have just begun and you will always remain ageless!!! Remember, age is just a number – think young, act young and you’ll be young (for quite some time anyway).

    Love You!
    Bonnie F.

  6. Happy birthday to you
    Happy birthday to you
    Happy birthday dear Elaine
    Happy birthday to you………….and many more.

    I bet you are glad you couldn’t hear me singing this!!! Actually, Garry has the music on his Karaoke machine and we usually sing it over the phone to our friends and relatives when it is their birthday. You got off lightly!!!

    Nevertheless, congratulations on your “milestone” birthday. The next will be when you start collecting OAS!!!

    You have had an extremely rewarding first 50 years and I salute you and wish you the same for the next 50. You are a true inspiration. Sincerely, Avril

  7. ….Bless the Lord oh, my soul…forget not all His benefits….He who satisfies your youth with GOOD THINGS. so that your youth is renewed like the eagles! Psalm 103:5

    There’s your Psalm! Just look at you, Oh, stunning woman! Sarai….she was 75 and “a woman of beautiful countenance…they saw that she was VERY BEAUTIFUL (Gen.12)
    ….You look 35 and more importantly your heart is young and beautiful; Oh, the benefits of forgetting not but living daily in the benefits of our Gracious Lord & Saviour! Mary Kay , Oil of Olay….got nothin; on that!
    Well, Happy Blessed Birthday, Beautiful one….

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