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About to be 50 - life feels different

Zac495

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I'm about to hit 50 and suddenly I'm not wishing it would be summer so I could go on vacation. I just want to savor every day - hug my kids (they're growing up way too fast - all of a sudden it's bothering me). When the kids were very little, I enjoyed watching them grow up. Now I want them to stop growing.

I worry now about life and the amount left. I hate thinking about retirement - I think retirement sounds nice - but yet it's not nice - because it means being older. I keep changing my feelings about what's old.

I'm rambling. I keep having strange dreams. I know it's just a number, but somehow it's not really JUST a number.

Anyone have thoughts like this? (not that my thoughts are coherent).
 

FlyerBobcat

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I'm about to hit 50 and suddenly I'm not wishing it would be summer so I could go on vacation. I just want to savor every day - hug my kids (they're growing up way too fast - all of a sudden it's bothering me). When the kids were very little, I enjoyed watching them grow up. Now I want them to stop growing.....

Ellen,

Having turned 50 this year, I like to think this way:
The only thing worse that reaching 50.... is NOT getting there!

Enjoy each day... Those kid hugs will feel just as great when you reach 50 than they did at 49. I guarantee it!

Sounds like you've done a great job in getting those kids started in life so that they can someday enjoy the special moments with their kids that you are now recalling....

Live each day as it comes... and enjoy the heck out of it (as you have been doing). If you do it any differently than in the past, it sounds like you will only make things less special....
 

jmzf1958

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I also turned 50 this year, in January. As you get older, your kids grow up,
your parents pass away, you can't help but think of the passage of time,
the cycle of life. I've been reflecting on the past a lot, thinking about the
different stages and memories in my life. I think you realize that life is short
and you know what is important and each day is special. Life is a journey,
not a destination as it seemed to be when I was much younger. This is just
a different stage of my life. I have very few responsibilities now and can
do anything I want to. There is still so much to look forward to. I know when
my mom and dad passed away, they were ready - they were 78 and 80, so I
don't worry about that. Enjoy each day - think about the alternative! Not
so good. It is what it is. Judy
 

AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
Shux, I Remember When I Though 50 Was Old.

I keep changing my feelings about what's old.
Me too. When I was in my mid-40s, I thought 50 was old. Now that I'm pushing 67, age 50 seems positively youthful.

My late father (1916-2002) told me once, "I know I'm an old guy. I've been around a long time. I see an old guy's face in the mirror. I have white hair. But the experience of living life just walking around from moment to moment is the same as when I was a young man."

That was before he got sick with 2 kinds of cancer, which he battled with perseverance & dignity, living with decent quality of life for several years before he was overcome. Even so, I've always remembered what he said about the experience of life moment to moment & I have found encouragement in that. I have also found that it's mostly true.

Back during my working years, a friend & colleague down at the office said, "Age 50 is the Youth Of Old Age." At the time I thought he was just being witty, but now that I've entered my late 60s I can see what he meant.

There are certain small practical compensations for being Old Folks. McDonald's offers sr. citz. coffee for about 50¢ -- also sr. citz. decaf & coke & diet coke, etc. Burger King & Arby's (some locations -- you've got to ask) give a 10% sr. citz. discount.

The thing about being sr. citz. is that the onset is gradual. It's a good thing folks aren't plunged into being sr. citz. without an appropriate period of preparation to get ready -- as in all your life from age 0 up to whenever Old Age begins. (It varies from person to person.)

Two of my friends & Animal House fraternity bros. from college days never reached 60. Both assumed room temperature just short of the Big Six-Oh.

Right before his planned retirement at age 55, a guy at work who was healthy & vigorous -- ran 4 or 5 miles every day & was in good shape -- blew out an aneurysm & dropped dead.

My girl cousin (a year younger than I) perished last year from an aggressive form of cancer.

When we were younger, deaths in our family circle & social groups were lots rarer & we didn't think much about the ending time of life. The very young generally don't. That's why so many of them take so many risks & why so many behave as though they think they are immortal. We old folks know otherwise.

So we treasure every day, give thanks for the gift of time, & cultivate an attitude of gratitude as we enjoy the lives we have been given to live.

Congratulations as you hit the Half Century mark.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​
 

pgnewarkboy

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In some ways life is like a house with many rooms. As you go through life you shut the door on the rooms you have passed through and cannot return to those rooms. It is also true that there other rooms that will be opened to you. Explore those rooms with awe and wonder and innocence.
 

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There's nothing you can do about it so why worry. Be happy :cheer: that you have your health, that your children are healthy, that you have a home so you know where you will sleep, that you have little fear of hunger and that you live in a somewhat free society. Not having these things would make me worry.
 

Cathyb

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zac495: Try being 71 :eek: :)
 

AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
The Thing About Birthdays Is To Keep On Having Them.

Try being 71
With luck, she'll get there.

With luck, so will I.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​
 

Zac495

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zac495: Try being 71 :eek: :)

I know! My dad is 83. I asked him last night - he said 50 bothered him most of all his birthdays - though of course I'm sure he'd love to be 50 again.

I love the posts from all of you. Thank you. It's helping. :clap:
 

Karen G

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I think retirement sounds nice - but yet it's not nice - because it means being older.
My husband had to retire at age 60 because that was the arbitrary age at which airline pilots had to go--it's been changed to 65 now, I think.

But, having been retired now for almost two years, we think RETIREMENT ROCKS!! This is definitely the best time of life we've experienced.:whoopie:
 

dmharris

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Hi Ellen and all,

I'm wondering if this aging thing we face bothers mothers more, especially during the time when they know their children will be leaving the nest within X amount of time. I also wonder if women are bothered more because we sag and wrinkle and guys seem to get better looking (speaking generally here).

But whatever, I struggle with trying to stay upbeat and focused. I worry more about things. Everyday is a struggle to stay positive and find the joy. My girls are in college or just out and not living here, so these two weeks they're home are grand, but I know I'll crash after January 4th. I've invested so much of myself into raising them that being physically not near them is very hard.

I didn't like turning 50, but 60 will be my next milestone and I really don't like thinking of myself as that old, so I'm telling myself 60 is the new 40 (oh us crazy baby boomers). I actually am in total disbelief at the number; how can I be that old????

I think it takes courage to face your fears, so good for you Ellen to bring this up to see you're not alone.
 

mas

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...But, having been retired now for almost two years, we think RETIREMENT ROCKS!! ...

Coming up on my first anniversary for retirement (1/3/08). I whole heartedly agree.

Congrats Ellen on hitting the big 5 oh.

Allen: You better hang around until at least 71!! We would sorely miss your posts if you didn't.

mas
 

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I think now there are reports you could have some good chance to life upto 150 now. So 50 is just 1/3 of your life time. Even if you live to 100, it is 1/2 of your life time.

50 years ago, most people don't expect to live pass 60, so in a comparison, you are about 30 years old compare to the time you were born.

The difference is now, with 50 years pass, hope you know what you will do to your life. And the 1st part of you life, you were heavily depends on your parents (upto around 20 years old, and another 30 years just to save for the next half of your life) and has your kids depends on you, now maybe a good time to figure out your purpose of life. What you like to learn more, what experience you want to add to your life.

Congratulations. Make sure you keep the good health.

Jya-Ning
 

AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
Retirement.

Now that I'm retired, every day is like the 1st day of a 3-day weekend.

Once I thought it would be great if I could be age 18 again, knowing what I know now.

Then I realized: What Do I Know Now ?

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​
 

AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
Nightmare.

When the kids were very little, I enjoyed watching them grow up. Now I want them to stop growing.
I had a bad dream about that, which I remember vividly.

Our grandson was 2 years old -- cute, funny, interesting, lovable, an all-round joy.

In the dream, he kept on being his own wonderful, healthy & happy 2-year-old self while everybody else in the world kept on aging normally.

He didn't know anything was out of order. He just stayed happily stuck there at age 2 while his mom & dad grew from young adults to middle age, while we grandparents grew from late middle-age to early Old Folks, while all his little friends grew from toddlers to pre-schoolers, and kept on maturing the way they're supposed to.

It was awful. And sad.

I have strong feelings about The Gift Of Time. Some of those are captured in an odd song lyric by Dan Bern that I find moving & affecting despite its strangeness. Click here for that if you think you're up to it.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​

 

rickandcindy23

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Ahhh, not so bad to be 50. I am 53 and didn't feel terribly depressed about 50. Coming up on 54 in March. :)
 

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I'm not sure how I reached this stage so quickly. Well, it seemed to be quickly. I always feel a bit surprised to say "I'm 76 yrs. old".
My most disturbing birthday was my 30th, for some strange reason. It felt devastating to me to realize I was leaving my 20's behind. At this point I can't recall ever looking back and wishing I were back there, though.
I'm a big fan of the saying that "Inside every old person there is a young person wondering, 'What the Hell happened?'"
I'm just happy and thankful for each new day, and I wonder how it is that the older I get, the more I realize how little I know. I am still a little surprised when I pass a mirror, and have to do a double-take, to realize that old lady looking back is ME. High Five, old lady! We're still going strong!
I definitely believe that Alan's "attitude of gratitude" has much to do with the many good things that happen to us, and keeps us going through the rough spots.
This is getting too long, but I'd like to share a philosophy I got from a lady I used to work for. She sang in a Sweet Adeline's group, and laughed about how they sang so many songs with, "Forge On", and "March On", that it always came out sounding like "Farch On!"...From thence came a favorite word..."Farch". When things would get tense in the office, and things weren't going according to schedule, the advice was to "Pull up your socks, and farch on!" I love it, and try to live by it. Enjoy! ...and I wish you all a very wonderful new year. Jean
 

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Age is all in your mind (and on your birth certificate), as I feel you are only as old as you feel you are. And I've got 3 kids over 50!! My step-Grandmother used to tell me that she used her age to her advantage...when she forgot something or did something 'strange', she'd say...oh, well, you know I'm 80 something. That was her excuse. I don't feel 75, some say I don't look 75 (but days I feel MUCH older) and I won't be 'the next' age for about 5 weeks yet!!!
Love your kids & other loved ones and appreciate every day you live. And I thank God for all those days I've had.
Enjoy being 50...it goes by fast.
 

pedro47

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Turning fifty (50)!!!! You should be smiling and counting your blessing. Now think how many of our classmates and friends never turned fifty (50)?
Enjoy your family and keeping on having birthdays !!!!!!
 

Zac495

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I want to thank everyone again for responding. Wow how you’re making me feel good. Karen and Alan, I’m sure retirement will rock! I’m glad you’re enjoying it. Diane, I do think it’s a mom thing – NOT saying moms love their kids more than dads. But I know my husband likes doing things with just me including vacations where I prefer to be with the kids. Jya-Ning, living to 150… you think? What worries me about living that long (LOL – now I sound like a nut –worrying about getting old and worrying about living too long) is that modern medicine keeps people alive, but quality of life CAN be terrible – people living out their years in a nursing home alone.

Jean, my mom says the same thing – she says she looks in the mirror and thinks – who’s that old lady? :eek: She says that our youth with our good looks gave us the confidence and personality that continues into old age. She says she knows she’s no longer beautiful (actually, she is – check out my picture trail with her photos), but doesn’t care. I wonder about that movie Benjamin Button – what would it be like if we were born old?

Tom, Judy, Joanne, Pedro, Cindy, Mas, Buddy and Ed – thank you for your kind words. Thanks! Now I’m getting excited about 50 years young. :cheer:
 

Patri

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I'm also 53 but feel young. Our attitude matters and there is still so much life to enjoy. I kid my parents that THEIR kids (most of us) are members of AARP. My folks are my role models. Going strong, happy, living out their dream retirement that they carefully planned for. They are still in pretty good health and I am determined to take care of myself as well.
Hey, we're still a product of the 70s. A good decade to be teenagers. We just look a little funny in the yearbooks.
 

Passepartout

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For me, the decade of my 50s was the BEST! Work position, and retirement funding was secure, a new love, learned to fly, lots of travel. Still enjoying good health, grandkids came along.

The initial birthday of my 50s was sort of traumatic, what with realizing that it's hard to BS ones self about being in 'middle age' when darn few see a century.

There are payoffs. Nobody cards you for the senior discount. Waitpeople roll their eyes when you chastise them for addressing you as 'You Guys'.

So go with the flow. There's a lot of life ahead for those old(er) bones.

Jim Ricks
 

Janette

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You are as old as you feel. Retirement is wonderful. I do water aerobics and swim 10 laps three days a week, I walk 5 miles 3 days a week, I play pickleball, and love playing with my grandchildren(all under 5). There is so much to do in these 24 short hours each day. I'm fortunate to have been born with a positive attitude and count my blessings daily. It's not my age that bothers me. I just can't understand how I could be the mom of a guy who will soon be 40!!! Develop a healthy life style and enjoy each day!:cheer:
 

Pat H

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I just turned 61. 40 was my worst birthday so far. 50 was fantastic and 60 was a non-event except it sounds so old. My mom turns 87 next week. Sometime during the last year she told me, "You're no spring chicken, anymore!" I disagree. I just signed up for step aerobics and ballroom dancing classes. I enjoy my grandkids much more than I did their parents. I'm looking forward to retirement, moving to SC and making new friends!
 

andrea t

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Ellen,

I could have written your exact words when I turned 50 one year ago. NO other birthday has ever bothered me before. I see more time behind me then in front of me. But I don't feel old...physically or mentally. It's only if I actually "think"" about being 50 something that I find it so disturbing! :shrug:
 
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