How to tell if you’ve really accepted turning 50

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You gotta love a baby boomer who admits to … well … um … getting a little older, and even looking it! So you gotta love Amy Koko of Tampa Bay, who writes the blog “ExWifeNewLife,” and for our friends over at HuffPost50, wrote this piece entitled How To Tell If You’ve Really Accepted Turning 50.

The other day I came face to face with fifty. By that I mean I came to terms with it, accepted it, conceded, and dealt with the fact that I am no longer “around fifty.” I am 53 and overdue for a bone density test. During Pilates my knees sound like Fourth of July fireworks. Also, whereas I used to be obsessed with commercials for sexy new perfumes and face creams, I am now way more interested in the ads for Fosamax and Cymbalta. What? Possible dry mouth, and diarrhea? But I won’t wake up counting the hours until I can go back to bed? Okay, I’ll take that sweet deal.

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Anyway, the way it happened was this: I was on my way home from spin class wearing the bike shorts my ex wore when he competed in an IronMan triathlon fifteen years ago and a Nike sports bra that I wore in Aerobics class, doing routines to “Let’s Get Physical” by Olivia Newton John. I mean the swish is long gone on this thing. Without getting too graphic here, the word BRA is being used loosely as I pretty much have to jam my boobs upinto it and then hope I don’t see them later peeking out around my lap as Ipedal away to Timber.

Suddenly I needed frozen yogurt from the self-serve place where I like to get a small cup, as I’m such a petite and dainty thing, fill it half way with NATURALLY TART and then add like four cupsful of chocolate sprinkles and a quart of hot caramel sauce. I knew that if I first went home and showered I would end up eating half a box of Cheezits and a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich and most likely after washing that down with a diet Dr. Pepper. I would never make it to Menchies, and my body was really craving it.

Therefore, there was a huge decision to be made. Do I actually go into a food establishment with sweat rings around my nipples or do I miss out on one of the few things besides Chardonnay and Mad Men that help me keep my mind off the fact that I only get six more years of alimony. It dawned on me right then, I don’t care what people think of me or my sagging bike shorts or sweaty boobs. I WANT YOGURT! I went in and loaded up. So, that is one way I know that I have come to terms with fifty. Ice cream over vanity. Here are a few other ways I think prove I have accepted the fact that I am definitely well into my sixth decade:

I now stand at the Publix checkout after I have paid the bill going over my receipt like a radiologist viewing a bone scan. The line builds behind me but I don’t care, I have to make sure I got the BOGO on my Oreos.

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I will virtually try on any type of underwear that promises to hide back fat. Even if I see that it is constructed with what appears to be toilet paper and Elmer’s glue I never lose hope. This could be the one.

When I go out to dinner, instead of laying my purse on an empty chair or on the floor next to me I clutch it close to me on my lap and realize now it’s only a matter of time before I start sneaking sugar packets into it.

I now say, “Will you share something with me?” when I am out to dinner as if later, I am not going to go home and eat a bowl of Honeycomb cereal while watching Millionaire Matchmaker.

I invariably will tell my sister during one of our long distance cell phone conversations that “I’ll call you right back, I can’t find my phone.”

Believe it or not, I find there is a freedom in admitting to yourself that you are pretty much middle aged now, and it is more than eating yogurt in sweaty gym clothes. You can do what you want when youfeel like doing it (within reason, you don’t want to end up on Dateline or anything), with the knowledge that those who love you will love you just asmuch with a little caramel sauce on your chin and even a tiny bit of back fat.

3 Comments

  1. Love that! Yes, people will love you just as much with a tiny bit of back fat (make sure it doesn’t get too big, though…) and the main thing is to realize you can do and even should do what you feel like: that’s growing up into the “Second Adulthood”.

    My growing up moment was when I gave up coloring my hair and let it grow white – I was scared at first of what would happen. The period of growing out of the color was sheer agony (I was chestnut-haired so the difference was immediately obvious and nasty looking). But it was worth waiting for, Nature does things well! The hair turned out a luscious white with many shadings of bright grey, I really have never looked better even when I wake up in the morning with no make-up on (of course!! I never slept with make-up, that’s something Hollywood actresses do on film)

    So I think, yes, we all have a decisive turn in our lives when we grow ready to face our Second Act, and rather than being a downer, it’s a formidable, uplifting moment! Thanks for sharing yours, great post!

  2. How about a little more back fat? some of us have already crossed the tiny bit.

    I’m 63 and loving it. The opinions of others no longer matter. I always look decent and relatively presentable but I dress comfortable and do what brings me joy. God’s opinion is the only one I care about . It’s freeing!

  3. I’m one of those women who began mourning turning 50 at 41..suxh a waste! My mother assured me that I would love my 50s and she was right. A nice surprise? I get as more attention now than 10 yrs ago. The difference? CONFIDENCE. And I am unapologetic about my food choices, my love of television shows I previously categorized as guilty pleasures, and changed my life motto from something dutifully insightful to one that celebrates my sometimes irreverent humor.

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