On Being Fifty
When I hit the big Five-Oh a lot of people (friends, co-workers) asked me “So, what's it like being fifty?” To me that question was on par with “What's it like to have six toes instead of five?” Well, I've got an extra one just in case. . . . . .
Actually at the age of 50, it felt just like it was when I was 49, only I'm older by one digit. That was 6 years ago. Now, that I am rapidly approaching my 57th year of existence, I've noticed some significant changes.
For one, I'm much more focused on goals in life. I don't have time for the stupid distractions. Hang out and shooting the breeze are a waste of time to me. Neither do I have time to party, go clubbing, and all the crazy stuff I used to do when I was younger, like get drunk or high. These things were exciting back when I was half my age, now I just shake my head chalk it all up to teenaged and young adult stupidity.
Also, back in the late 70's and early 80's it was much safer for women to go out and paint the town red. Now. . . . well, according to my NYPD co-workers, you'd have to be nuts to do that.
Plus, back 70's and 80's there was much better music. The stuff the recording industry palms off as music these days is pure trash. In my humble opinion, of course. . . . .
I've also noticed that I have a lot more freedom to be who I am. When I was younger, in order to fit in with the crowd I had to keep up with the Jone-es. It was of up most importance to wear the right clothes, have my hair done just so, and to hang out at the right places. Yeah, I lived in Clique City. Now, I look back at that and laugh because though I did the dance, I never had a partner. Meaning, I was never truly accepted even though I tried like the dickens to fit in. A fie upon them I say, I'm proud of being a GEEK, a book worm, a neebish, whatever you want to call me.
Nowadays, I couldn't care less about having brand name clothing (unless it's on sale), having my hair done (unless it's washed and trimmed), etc. As long as I'm properly groomed and dressed, I'm good to go. That can mean anything from jeans, sweatshirt, a sweat suit, t-shirt, running shoes, mocossins, or Uggs. It is tantamount for my clothing and footwear to be comfortable.
I've also discovered that I've become a straight shooter, a sort of female version of John Wayne. I've grown a lot less tolerant of Bravo Sierra (The United States Military slang for BS). It's like I can see people coming a block away, with the bucket of crap to dump on me. Like my late West Indian Mom used to say in her heavy accent. “You tink I born yesterday?” She warned me I wouldn't understand that question until I got older. Well, I did and I do.
I'm no longer the shy and quiet mouse I used to be. I find myself standing up and speaking out against wrongs and injustices at work and life in general. The expresions on folks faces are priceless. All they've known for the past 20, 30, or 40 years was a convienent doormat for them to wipe their feet upon. Now the doormat has turned into a lion. Listen to that roar, and watch out for those teeth!
I'm no longer part of the women's rat race. With the onset of Change Of Life (*cough* Menopause) my whole outlook of the opposite sex and the dating scene changed. I seriously wonder what was I thinking back then? Why was I in competition with four other women for one man who was a “creep”?
I gladly bid that nonsense adios and continued with my life. I'm perfectly happy with my family, my cats, and my writing. What more do I need? If The Creaor wants me married with or without children, He will send the guy to me. I don't need to chase him down the way cheetah chases the gazelle on the Serengeti. . . . . .
Last but not least, I have room to breathe and the freedom to write. In fact, I didn't seriously take up my pen until the age of 50.
I had been writing most of my adult life, but had stopped for twenty years because I was taking care of my Mom. But during the last two years of her life I was introduced to and started blogging. I used my blog (named “The Pot Calleth The Kettle Black”) as an outlet for my pain and frustration. It short, it became a digital shoulder to cry on.
I had no clue I was documenting my last years with Mom. Now that I look back at it, I'm glad I did it. I'm now seriously considering editing and publishing it.
To me, growing older meant cutting the fat out my life. Like all of those ridiculous things I used to cling to, and thought I couldn't live without. They're gone, never to be seen again. The things which remain, including my unencumbered writing, are definitely here to stay, and I'm enjoying it!
Do you agree with Amadi's opinions on turning 50? Do you consider her outlook to be a positive one? What is your personal opinion on growing older?
I, Amadi Kyymm (aka Nanci E. Maynard) am a humble writer. I've written, fanfiction, and written RPGs for Star Trek fandom for years. My latest adventure into fiction writing started with NaNoWriMo 2011, and I've been officially been bitten by the writing bug. I'm now working on editing and publishing my very first novel,“The Knight Riders”. I am a life long New York City resident where I reside with my two fur-kin (cats). I'm also a mild mannered woman, who works on a not so mild mannered job as an NYPD police clerical.
My mixed bag blog: Radical Scribblings
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My Twitter Handle: @WriterKyymm