Tracy Beckerman is a syndicated humor columnist and the author of “Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir.” Follow her on Twitter @TracyinSuburbia
I’ll admit it… I’m fifty. I know, I can’t believe it either. One day I was forty and then, boom, I was fifty. At first there was quite a bit of denial, and then anger and sadness, and finally acceptance. And that was just the day before I turned fifty when I did the laundry and accidentally shrunk my favorite jeans.
The good news is they say fifty is the new forty. I don’t know who they are, but I suspect they are not fifty yet.
It’s not that there’s anything wrong with turning fifty. I’d rather be fifty than the alternative. However, fifty is that birthday when you realize definitively that you probably have more years behind you than ahead of you, unless of course you live in Okinawa, Japan, which has the largest number of centenarians per capita. I don’t happen to live in Okinawa so I’m not counting on the fact that Willard Scott will be wishing me a Happy Birthday on The Today Show one day. Of course, if I live to be a hundred and Willard Scott is still around wishing centenarians a Happy Birthday, then chances are he is doing it from Okinawa, Japan.
They also say that fifty is the time when you should get your first colonoscopy. Personally, I can’t think of anything I’d rather do less than celebrate this milestone with a colonoscopy, except, maybe, get root canal, which, by the way, I had four times when I was forty-nine.
I like to think that the root canal in my forties was my mouth’s way of preparing me for all the fun times to come in my fifties.
Considering I also had knee surgery and shoulder surgery when I was forty-nine, you’d think I’d be grateful to turn the corner on my forties. I was… until the doctor called the same day that my AARP card arrived to tell me it was time to get my colonoscopy. At least I think it was my AARP card. My eyesight is going and the print on the card was hard to read.
Fifty is also the year I become an empty nester. I’ll have two kids in college and one dog at home. My husband and I have been waiting for twenty years for the chance to reconnect as a couple without having to do everything through the filter of parenting. Of course I’m not sure my husband will still like me as much as he did twenty years ago, especially with the prospect of having to listen to me complain about getting a colonoscopy over dinner for the next six months, which is approximately how long I expect to put off getting my colonoscopy. However, he’s fifty-one and hasn’t had his yet so maybe we can get a two-fer. That would be a romantic start to our golden years together.
I remember when my parents turned fifty and I thought they were so old. Fifty sounded old and fifty looked old. But when I look in the mirror at fifty, I don’t see myself as old. I see a wide-eyed, eager twenty year-old. I see a new mom nervously entering her thirties. I see a confident, career-minded forty year-old. They are all there… in the fine lines around my eyes and mouth and the creases in my forehead that I refuse to dull with Botox because I earned them and they don’t make me look old, they just make me look real.
Not that I can see them anyway, you know…
Because my eyesight is going.
Monday 27th of April 2015
Happy 50th birthday! Life after 50 is full of new adventures.