Today I turn 50 years old! I can now claim a half century of life. I’ve been looking forward to this—honestly!
You see, I was lucky to be born in 1960, a good year for people who can’t remember how old they are. It’s easy to figure your age from a decade year. Unfortunately, my birthday doesn’t come until the 10th month of that year, so the best I can do is figure the age I’ll turn once the year is practically finished.
Not this year! No figuring needed—50 is 50! I’ll have no problem remembering how old I am this year. I’m 50, dammit! That will be my mantra for the next 365 days.
Turning 50 also inspires me to take a slightly different attitude toward life. I’ve always been very deferential, perhaps too much so. Sometimes I wonder if I’m not a little too old for that now. The next time I find myself deferring to someone else when I shouldn’t, I’m going to say (join me!):
“I’m 50, dammit!”
It’s high time I began my journey toward becoming an irascible old man, don’t you think?
But, maybe not. I’ve attended a lot of 50th birthday parties since moving to this neighborhood, and I’m always surprised to learn whose birthday we’re celebrating. None of the people I’ve seen turn 50 strike me as that old, at least not as I envisioned that age as a younger man. This is to say nothing of the 60 year parties, and even older, again with surprising birthday boys and girls—and I do use those words advisedly. These people are too young, too fit, too lively, too fun, too beautiful to be 50, or 60, or 70, aren’t they? With their shining examples ahead of me, I realize that in many ways, life is just getting started at 50.
At least, I fervently hope so!