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?