Ever since I entered my 50’s I’ve had many people say to me, “Don’t worry, fifty is the new thirty.” As if I needed comforting or something. As if it is preferable to live in a state of denial.
Here’s the thing (yes, yes, there’s always a thing): I don’t want to be thirty. I like myself a lot more now than I did then. As a matter of fact, if I were to meet the me of 20 years ago, I’d probably give her a stern lecture about some of the bonehead decisions she is about to make.
I also genuinely believe that my generation is probably going to be the last to squeak through life while the environment on this planet is relatively habitable. That makes me sad for future generations, because it’s not their fault that we have done so much to destroy their world, and so little to fix our mistakes.
I’m glad I won’t be around for the riots over water, and won’t have to watch the ever-increasing population fight over the ever-shrinking coastlines. I’d really rather not experience the mega-storms. I’d prefer to skip the time when most bugs are resistant to antibiotics.
I also don’t feel that 50 is so freakin’ bad. My body might be a little slower getting started in the morning, but it still functions. I’m still perfectly capable of having new experiences and seeing new sights. I know that there is still much for me to create and write about and do. My future is still unpredictable enough to be exciting.
My advice to you is to own your age. Embrace it. Don’t look at aging as a source of shame, but rather as an accumulation of knowledge and life experience. That’s something to be proud of.
The fact is, we all have an expiration date. When I was 30, that thought scared me. Now, it’s kind of comforting, and I’m okay with it. I don’t mind playing my part in a much bigger picture. In fact, that’s exactly what I want to do.