50-something

Remember the t.v. show called 30-something? Well, the way today’s society is tiered, we now need a show called 50-something.

I attended the surprise party of one of my friends who has just turned 50. Little does she know, turning 50 is going to be a bigger surprise than she could have ever imagined. Let’s work our way up to 50, though, shall we?

Ladies in the 50ish age bracket, do you remember turning 30? Think hard now, that memory is in there somewhere. Was it a difficult day for you? Sure was for me. I was 30, my husband was off at seminary, our children were 7 and 4. We lived in a little peanut farming community in North Carolina called Pendleton. For me, turning 30 meant the end of, well, being 20. It meant I was THIRTY years old. At the time, that seemed like a big, depressing deal. After a while, though, life took over and I forgot about being 30, because all those numbers after 30 came along, and before you know it, I was 40.

Forty was also depressing. We had just moved (again) into a new location, we didn’t know a lot of folks, the weather had been bad and church had been cancelled. When it warmed up outside enough to drive, Dave took me shopping (smart, smart man). When we got home from shopping, the kids were acting goofier than usual. They kept looking at each other and snickering.

“Just great. Way to treat your mom on her birthday,” I thought. All of a sudden, from our living room closet (yes, these are the sorts of friends we have), four of our very good friends flew out. They had driven up from North Carolina to see me just for my birthday. What a wonderful surprise that was! I was so excited, I literally jumped up and down like a little kid. These are the kinds of friends you can do that around and not be ridiculed, so I jumped up and down, hugged everyone’s necks and had a wonderful visit that day. It helped turning 40 go down a little easier.

Speaking of going down….. it was in my mid-40’s that my body parts began to, um, shift, if you will. To this very day, I vividly remember (a real feat at my age!) the morning I was preparing for work and realized as I looked in the mirror I could no longer see my “girls.” “Where did they go?” I asked myself out loud. When I looked down, there they were, but they were no longer in their original location. Now THAT was a depressing day. And from there it’s all been a slow slide downhill. I’ve developed quite a repertoire of b**b jokes; there are some pretty good ones out there. I even developed a line of clothing called Landslide! (pictures available upon request). It’s a type of therapy for me. Helps me realize I can still laugh while falling apart.

Ever so quickly, 50 arrived at my door.

Ladies, recognize this room? Yeah, the torture chamber. This year when I had my test, I took some notes and asked a few questions. First of all, what’s with the picture on the wall? Is that supposed to help me stay calm and feel better? Oh, I get it. Just focus on the lovely little scene, and you’ll never even notice that certain body parts are being crushed. The technician told me to be very still and hold my breath. I’m sorry, was breathing really an option? And exactly how does one move when their body part is trapped under 1000 pounds of weight? Uh-huh.

Second, I never noticed before, but the “masher” comes in different sizes. When the technician came in, she looked at me and replaced the tray. Being the observant one that I am, I commented, “I noticed you replaced that tray with a larger one.” She responded, “I need to be sure I get all of this.” Ha ha. Very funny.

Third, after the “procedure,” the nurse took a rag and began to wipe off the machine. “Are you wiping off my blood?” I asked her. She got a good laugh out of that. I’m so happy to have given her cause for merriment. Then we exchanged comments about the new colors on the lovely little gowns we wear, and I was done until next year.

And the 50 and over fun continues. Let’s talk about it.

Colonoscopy. Actually, let’s not talk about that.

Our skin loses its elasticity–lose weight, look older and jigglier. Forget running–you might knock yourself out with bouncing body parts! For other benefits of older skin, see 40’s paragraph above.

Bones break more easily. This is no lie–I dropped a Pepsi can on my foot and broke it. Oh, yes I did.

Cleaning house takes ever so much longer. I used to be able to clean a house in a couple of hours. Now, I take aceto-, aceta-, aceti— tylenol before I begin to clean, because I know my arthritis is going to kick my butt by the time I finish loading the dishwasher. My best time to do any housework is morning. By afternoon, I need a nap*. If it doesn’t get done by noon, forget it; tomorrow is another (half) day.

What about all those wonderful emails we receive about old people? Those just really make my day. Old people jokes. Hmph! It’s not that they aren’t mostly true. It’s not even that they actually are pretty funny. And it’s not even that I have thought some of those things from time to time out loud. It’s that they are about ME now.

So, to my newly-turned 50 friends, I say, … well, I forgot what I was going to say… Just read the article.

*About that nap thing…if I’m honest, I’ve always enjoyed naps. When my kids were little, their doctor told me once that when they took naps, I should too. He never had to repeat that to me. I took him at his word, and to this day, I faithfully take a nap when I get the chance. Naps are wonderful, whether one is old or not.

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