I’m a newbie 50 and I am conflicted about how I feel about this. At times I want to announce to whoever is listening, “I just turned 50 two months ago” as if that really makes a difference. I also tend to choke on the words because – truth be told — I think I look younger (at least 40-something) and I don’t want people thinking “differently” of me (as in: Gosh, she’s OLD!). I still can’t believe I’m in the beginning of my fifth decade, especially when I can still be quite immature, prone to crying jags and, yes, even a tad “stupid” ( I honestly can’t figure out our TV’s remote).
Unfortunately, my body seems to be taking this 50-thing VERY seriously. My jowls are sagging, my neck is forever cracking, my eyes require at least two pairs of glasses, and my pride and joy — my once small waist — has somehow grown a flabby middle tire that refuses to go away no matter how many sit-ups I do.
Fifty is my new reluctant reality and sometimes, when plucking those dark chin hairs or trying to dab concealer on yet another larger-than-life age spot, I try not to think of my younger self who took for granted her great metabolism, thick hair and healthy (elastic!) skin.
I used to think women were crazy to not share their age when asked, but now I get it. It’s not that I’m embarrassed I’m 50. I just feel that people have preconceived notions of what 50 is like and judge you based on that. Admit it, ladies: It’s a hard number to swallow.
On the other hand, once you land on the other side, it’s a whole new world. Women have welcomed me in like it’s some sort of honesty club Where We Can Finally Be Who We Want to Be. Case in point — Felice, the founder of this amazing site, witnessed this first hand. A mutual friend gave her my name – she called me and we spoke on the phone about possible story ideas for the site — when she said, “Can you come over? It would be a lot easier to chat in person.”
“If you don’t mind me in my workout clothes and no makeup,” I replied. She laughed and told me to “Just come, no worries”
I ran out of the house with no makeup on. Nor do I care to put my contacts in (I see better with my glasses these days).
When I arrived at her home, she greeted me like an old friend – with a warm hug –despite the fact that we had never met. Was it that we’re both “better after 50?” I like to think so. Though, I’d love to know how to dial down the crazed hormones and get rid of that stupid spare tire that I swear I didn’t have when I was 49.