Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Contemplating the Realities of 50

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by Patti Stedman | Mar 3, 2018

I’m not talking about the fifty-mile distance, I’m talking about the half-century mark of longevity, the hallmark birthday when the AARP begins to send you postcards, the age at which (I read and now believe, based on a one-rat self study) women become invisible.

I hit the big 5-0 in July without much fanfare. Some time with family friends at my brother’s family pool, amazing margaritas with my bestie, no big whup. In a moment of vain frivolity, I got myself a set of eyelash extensions — Anita laughed in horror and told me it looked like spiders were crawling out of my eyes.

But there are some realities about this age, and some things which simply cannot be denied if you’re a Face Reality Head On type of girl.

• It is not untrue, that conventional wisdom about spending the first 50 years of your life accumulating stuff and the rest of your time on earth attempting to get rid of it. I rented a 30-yard roll off box this fall because I was suddenly overtaken by the need to purge items accumulated on our farm over the last twenty years. (Richard did not read this conventional wisdom. At nigh-unto-52, he is terribly attached to items like empty yogurt containers and a generator which is, as he describes it, “a piece of junk” and long-ago replaced by a newer one.)

• You really do find yourself with fewer effs to give, and look forward, in a very detached way, to having even fewer. It’s not that I’ve given up diplomacy entirely, but I no longer look inward to fix issues which are clearly not mine to fix. Sure, I circle the drain of self-doubt from time to time, but the self rescue has become quicker and easier.

• My seat, in so many ways, is not what it used to be. And let’s be frank, no one with any significant degree of horsemanship has ever described me as a “Velcro butt.” But somewhere between 25 and double that age, the ability to ride bravely through nonsense with a laugh and no heart-clutching fear has eroded to near non-existence. Two significant concussions from horses I would now consider “too much horse” and a recent ruptured neck disc diagnosis, and yep, I have dropped a category or two in the Risk Tolerance spectrum. (And see above, I give no effs about standing up and saying so.)

That leads me to this blog...

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