I turned 50 in 2018. I could have stuck my head in the sand, but for some reason, I had a good feeling about it. Now that I’m almost 52, I have to say that there are many reasons to be shout-from-the-treetops happy about it!
1. I’m mature (in a good way)
I had my daughter when I was 38, which was, in hindsight, the perfect age for me to have a baby. I was emotionally mature enough to be a good parent – with some stumbles, of course – and I had plenty of travels, parties, concerts and other adventures under my belt. Nothing to regret.
2. Friends are like family
I am surrounded by a crew of the coolest, smartest, funniest people around, some of which I can say I’ve known for DECADES.
3. Cheap travel
I now have an AARP card, which felt like a bummer at first. But now that I know I can save up to 30 percent on Avis and Alamo rental cars, up to 20 percfent on Hertz and get discounts on select British Airways flights, I’m ok with it.
4. I’m in amazing company
In addition to my amazing friends and family members who are 50+ there are some seriously kick-ass women who recently turned 50, including Rachael Ray, Jillian Anderson, Julia Roberts, Parker Posey, Carrie Ann Inaba and Naomi Watts. And Lisa Bonet & Molly Ringwald (my teen heroes).
5. So many clothes and accessories
It’s not because I have a shopping problem (or at least a bad one – and I’m definitely getting a good deal on everything), but I have all these great outfits and shoes and jewelry that I’ve been collecting over the years. From vintage pieces from the ’50s and ’60s that I’ve purchased from thrift stores to things are would probably be considered vintage because I’ve had them since I was 30, I have so many gems in my closet.
6. All the parties!
Several of my friends have turned — or are turning — 50, so it’s almost like 15-ish years ago when so many people I knew were getting married, or 13-ish years ago when so many babies were being born. The celebrations just keep coming.
7. I have experience (or, wisdom?)
Now that I’ve been working for over 30 years, I have a lot of experience under my belt. This means that it’s easier to make solid decisions and I can provide sage advice to friends and colleagues.
8. Discounts on gifts – yes!
Etailers, like 1-800-BASKETS.COM, Harry & David and Cheryl’s Cookies, offer AARP members 20 percent off orders under $79.99 or $20 off orders of $79.99 or more.
9. I know what works
When I break out or when I’m not feeling well, I know which remedy will do the trick. When I was younger, I felt like I was shooting in the dark a lot. Not at 50+.
10. No sweat
Well, I do sweat, and sometimes I sweat a lot for about a minute at a time, but I don’t sweat the little things that would have sent me into a tailspin even ten years ago. I do feel stress, don’t get me wrong, but I’m much more Zen than stressed these days.
11. Discounts for my peepers
I was nearsighted most of my life but I had almost 10 glorious years of 20/20+ vision, thanks to Lasik surgery. I knew my perfect vision would come to an end someday. Now, I sometimes need glasses to drive at night, and also need readers, but at least I can get a 15-20 percent discount at Glasses.com with my AARP membership!
12. I can age gracefully
In 2018, silver hair was named the hair color of the year by Allure. I feel very on-trend. And while many women around me are getting cosmetic procedures to keep their faces looking young, I choose not to dabble. And I don’t judge. After all, I might just change my mind someday (my husband would kill me, FYI), but for now, it’s just good skincare for me.
13. There’s no place like home (kinda)
After growing up in a terribly racist, historic port town in Massachusetts (it’s better now, apparently), being called horrible racial slurs and feeling woefully substandard on the regular, I’ve finally worked through all my crap and can finally go back there without feeling sick. I can even see why people love it there. I’ll never love it, but I can at least enjoy it as a tourist.
14. Aaaand, I like myself
While I wouldn’t repeat my childhood if given the choice, it formed me. If you know me and wondered why I won’t take your sh*t, it’s because of my experience growing up. I learned that I had to be big and bold and bossy and weird, lest I be crushed. At 50+, I can say without hesitation that I love myself and I love my life and if you don’t like it, you can, well…you know.
15. I do it my way
When I was looking for inspiration for this piece, I saw lots of “Top 50” lists for turning 50. Because “Top 50” lists are the editorial trend these days. Well guess what, I have 15 things I’m happy about, so 15 it is.
Thank you to Cheapism for digging up most of the deals referenced here – and for sparking the idea that I needed to celebrate.