Fifty

It was my birthday yesterday. I don’t really celebrate birthdays in any big way. Haven’t since i was a kid. I’ve even missed my own birthday on a few occasions, being so busy that I forgot I had had another birthday until a week after the fact. I’ve been losing track of how old I am since my early 20’s. Each year seems to go by faster and faster.

I’ve always thought some of this perspective might be due to my depressed and suicidal times, which go all the way back to elementary school. For many years growing up I never thought I’d live past 18. I remember when I was about 12 years old, friends were talking about the year 2001 and figuring out how old they’d be then. I didn’t bother because I had no interest in still being alive then. Outside of being able to get my driver’s license, there’s never been an age I’ve looked forward to turning. I’ve certainly never come across any man saying, “I can’t wait to be fifty!”

Also, so many people have told me over the years about all the horrors of growing older. As a child, my dad often told me high school was the best years of his life. Older men I’ve met complained about life turning downhill at 30, 35, 40, 45…. So it seemed to me there was nothing to look forward to. My body was going to fall apart suddenly, I was going to cynical, divorced, miserable and alone — at least that was my impression based on the unsolicited advice that was often shared with me.

All I know for sure is my experience. That has been that my 30’s were better than my 20’s, and my 40’s were even better than my 30’s. Now I’m 50. A number I never expected, never looked forward to, yet here I am. Nothing has me feeling “over the hill” or even past my prime. I feel I am in fantastic shape; emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. Especially compared to my own prior experience. I think my 50’s are going to totally rock!

So if you’ve had anyone telling you getting older sucks, ignore them. If you yourself think your own aging has sucked, focus on something else, and for God’s sake don’t dare come tell me any of shitty stories. I hear 70 is the new 25.

Be well and enjoy!

Andy

 

PS – I did have a lot of fun making this Ode to Myself

 UPDATE: I saw my dad today (July 3, 2016) and told him I wrote a post about turning 50. He said, “It’s all down hill from there.” I pointed out to him that he’s said that about almost every age since 18. He looked at me in silence for a moment, then said, “Yup, getting old sucks.”
I love him, but I don’t like talking to him.
50
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