50 Is Right Around The Corner And I Can’t Wait

50 Is Right Around The Corner And I Can’t Wait

If someone had told 20-year-old me I’d be okay with turning 50, I never would have believed them. I thought 40 was really old, so 50 was way beyond my comfort zone. I had visions of limping around with a bad back, unable to do things like running or wearing what I wanted to. I thought my life would be over, basically.

I was so wrong.

For one thing, the stigma around getting older has changed a lot. But more importantly, I’ve learned a lot about what my mind and body are capable of, which is a whole lot more than I anticipated. In fact, I’ve found with each passing year I can do anything I want. I can chase any career or fitness goal that I choose. There’s no actual rules about what I’m “allowed” to do at this age. In fact, if I use age as a barrier or an excuse, then not only will it definitely not happen, I won’t get to experience the joy of the journey. How enlightening!

It wasn’t until my 40s that I realized I could do anything regardless of how old I was. Just because I’ve reached a certain number of years on this earth, doesn’t mean a ship has sailed. Each passing year I’ve learned some huge lessons: who to share my time and energy with, that sometimes you have to say goodbye to someone even if you love them, the best brand of jeans for my booty. (Oh, yeah, and you still get to have fun and feel sexy, too.)

I’m excited to enter this fifth decade. I’ve heard life just keeps getting better. (It helps that I actually know older people now as peers, not impossibly out-of-touch “grown ups.”) You’re at peace with yourself. You stop chasing; you attract. You aren’t afraid to be vocal about something if it doesn’t work for you. You are empathetic because you’ve had a lot more of your own experiences and that helps you connect with more people and is a lot more fulfilling than passing judgment, or wondering why someone is living their life in a certain way.

Of course there are things about getting older that scare me, like my kids growing up and moving out. There are times I think about health problems, and my face doesn’t look the way it did when I was 30. But I now know something that I didn’t when I was younger: I have a lot more control over my mind and body than I thought. And I wouldn’t have realized that without the opportunity to get older.

I don’t know how long I’ll be here. But I do know that life has taught me that it’s important to be thankful for what I have every day, and that your quality of life goes way up when you’d live and learn.

If only I’d know these things when I was 20, I never would have wasted so much time worrying about getting older.

Katie lives in Maine with her three kids, two ducks, and a Goldendoodle. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, at the gym, redecorating her home, or spending too much money online.

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