As I reflect on my first 365 days as a "fifty-something"," I realize I've learned a few things. Some good, some bad and some, dare I say, sensible.
For the record, at 51, I still do not like being 50-anything. The word fifty does not roll off my tongue, it more like spits out when I can't avoid saying it. Throw in menopause mania on top of it, and well, the morning of my 50th birthday is still a distant, painful memory, to say the least. You see, 50 and menopause hit me simultaneously like a mac truck.
Over the past year, it seems like so much has changed-- other than just my body. I'd like to think I've learned something in the past 12 months and half a century on earth, but believe me, there are many, many days when all I've learned is that I don't know jack! So now, as I face my 51st year head-on, I'm making note of a few things I did learn but wish someone had warned me about...
1) I do not look "40-something". Period. I look pretty good "for my age" but that age is now 51 and I'm not fooling anyone when I don't fess-up to it.
2) Many women in their fifties, and facing the cringing realities of menopause, prefer not to talk about it. I, on the other hand, am going into it kicking and screaming-- I write and rant about it all the time. Others prefer to keep it under-wraps, are in denial or believe the "new forty" applies to them. Whatever works ladies!
3) My husband doesn't care how old I am; he loves me unconditionally. That's a nice feeling and one I've come to believe with age.
4) I have less patience these days-- a lot less. I remind myself to take breath and let things go, but honestly, I'm shocked at my short fuse and hope I can blame it on menopause-- Which means eventually it will get better?
5) It's true, damn it! My metabolism has come to a screeching halt. There are not enough hours in the day, to rack up enough miles on the treadmill, to thin things out again. I'm afraid I'll have a permanent speed bump in the middle of my stomach for the rest of my life-- Not a happy thought.
6) If I don't make a daily list and carry it around with me, I will not remember where I'm supposed to be, or what I'm supposed to be doing. That's a fact of life these days.
7) I'm more aware of my big picture "Things To Do In Life" list and make a concentrated effort to make them happen. At the top-- Dancing at the Rainbow Room in NYC before it closes for good, see Paris, learn to make the perfect pie crust and, as crazy as this sounds, grow corn.
I'm also learning to accept a few things that will never happen again, like (8) looking good in a bathing suit-- those days are over. (9) Gone is my ability to wear 4 inch heels for hours and hours at a time. Oh how I love a great pair of heels, and have a closet full to prove it! Unfortunately, I now also have several pairs of sensible shoes-- Because I've learned (10) my aching feet need them.
But, oh well, along the way, I've gained character, confidence (well, sometimes), a great credit score and, occasionally-- the reality check of common sense.
If only I could wear those ruby slippers and click my heels together three times....
Welcome to TheFiftyFactor - Joanna
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