Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Short List Of Wisdom

At small group tonight, some of us who are past our forties had occasion to offer wise counsel to the women just moving into their forties. In short, we told them that a woman's forties are THE BEST.

You get to the point where you start thinking that what all those other people think really doesn't matter.
You know you're sexy, because you are.
You still have energy but are wise enough to measure it out as needed.
You know things; not everything (that's for when you're eighty), but you know more than you did a decade prior, and you realize that's a good thing.

There are other things more pertinent to the discussion we had tonight, but it got me to thinking about the place I am now. I'm into my second year of the 50's, and I must say I'm still wavering on whether or not I would proclaim this "good". I'm still above ground, so there's that. But the jury is still out on a lot of things.

In no particular order, here's what I know about being a woman of 50 (or 51, but who's counting).

1. At least once a day, you think, "Crap. Am I really FIFTY YEARS OLD?" Because you don't feel like fifty, and you're not sure what fifty looks like, but it shouldn't be this.

2. You start wishing you'd worn sunscreen. Like, all the time. And everywhere.

3. Hairs grow in places where, in all honesty, they simply shouldn't. 

4. You sit cross-legged on the floor, like you always have, and then realize the error of your ways. Because either a) you can't get up, or b) you manage to stand up, but then you have to limp into the next room. Because your legs stop working.

5. Sneezing requires a certain dexterity involving squeezing your thighs and quite possibly placing your hand in a private place. Otherwise, things get messy and you'll need a change of clothes.

For a person who sees the glass half-full all the time, that's a rather depressing list, isn't it? Truthfully, some of this sucks. Seriously.

But, on the other hand...

6. You are happy when people are happy, but you finally realize that it's not your job to make people happy. That's for all you 30-year olds out there. Go for it.

7. You really want to hold a baby again, and you realize that in just a few years, you (hopefully) will. GRANDBABIES, Y'ALL.

8. Things about faith and eternity and salvation make a lot more sense; the pressure loosens and you become quite alright with love, pure and simple, and letting God be God. Because you're not. Thank God.

9. If you're lucky enough to have found the right person, love can be an incredibly rewarding - and refining - experience; one that's not about making you happy, but making you better.

10. You know a heck of a lot more good songs than anybody in their 20's. Or 30's. The pain of hearing someone say, "Who's Billy Joel?" is overcome by the joy of realizing that you still know every word to every song on The Stranger. Also, Hotel California.

Fifty-year old friends - what am I missing? What do YOU know now that you didn't before?


annie said...

It's a very good list. All I have to add is that "Crap. Am I really fifty years old?" precedes the "Crap. I'm nearly sixty years old!" stage.

Lori said...

Well dang Beth, I can give you a long list of good things about the 50's... because all the nonsense you still drag around in your 40's falls away in your 50's. And you let go of a lot of things. You are content to just be, more confident in just being rather than doing and yes, despite all those physical changes.. you forgot to mention that your breasts develop the need to seek haven in your armpits... I found a lot of happy when I hit 50. 55 I took on the chin... just a little. I'll be 58 this year and truth is all things considered, like I shouldn't still even be here, I still look and feel pretty dang good.... and there are more things right with me than are wrong with me...
Write that one down.. that's a keeper... for all women....

Lori said...

Annie's right... one of my joys in the 50's is knowing she's a good 6 months older than me, so she can warn me what's coming... thats what friends are for... and gee whiz girl, thanks for reminding me we're on the down side of 55... sliding ever so close to another decade....

Margaret Witt said...

I have to say, as one that will be leaving the 50's and entering the 60's next year, that I have loved every decade. I've changed (physically per the afore mentioned references), learned and have grown hopefully a little wiser. I don't think I could go back in years and I don't really want to. What lies ahead is more interesting!

Lindsay Durrenberger said...


I CAN'T. said...

awesome post.....I can't believe I am fifty either, I often forget , but wait....i'm not 50 ...I am 52...and counting ....its just not fair that when you get all of your smarts .....Or at least in my case....the youth is over.... but I am with LORI on most everything she said ^^^^^ YOU ROCK IT BETH 50 Is the new 30 FOR TRUE