What It Feels Like to Be 50+ in My World

It's hard to believe in just 50 days, I’ll be celebrating a half-century of living! It doesn’t feel possible and I don’t feel “50. But what is 50 supposed to feel like? When I was a kid, 50 seemed old; too old to be doing the things I’m doing now. So many things rush through my mind about my last 50 years; it's mostly good; and what wasn't all that good, I've learned to see the good in it.

I think we all can look back on our upbringing and find fault with it in some way...blame others for our shortcomings, failures, or low self-esteem. I used to do that, but the good thing about making it to 50, is it takes that long to finally "get it". The definition of the "Golden Years" means life after retirement. I think the Golden Years are whenever you finally grow up...I mean grow up mentally, rationally, and emotionally. It's when you stop beating yourself up, stop trying to please others, stop trying to fit in, and start believing you and your happiness are what’s most important in life.

I grew up constantly being told to "sit still", "stop running", "stop talking so much", "stop talking back". I'm not bitter about that [anymore] because I understand it was the generation/mindset at the time, but that doesn't mean it was right to suppress a child's desires to do, to be, or to speak, and label them as “difficult or unruly” because of a strong will. That never made sense to me.

I’ve always asked a lot of questions, which resulted in being told "because I said so" or "it's none of your business". I used to retort "that's not an answer" and stomp off to my room. Fast forward many years and many "stops" and now come the realizations. If I'd have "sat still", I'd never have accomplished anything. If I'd have "stopped running", I never would have achieved my fitness goals. If I'd "stopped talking so much", I wouldn't have so many wonderful friends or learned the social skills needed to be a good nurse, mentor, mother, or friend. Had I "never talked back", I wouldn't have learned how to think for myself, to be assertive, or to stand up for what I believe in. I still have a lot of "growing up" and learning to do, but it won't be by "stopping"!"

Backgrounds, upbringings, and circumstances may influence who we are, how we start in life, or how we feel about certain things. But, they aren't responsible for who we’ll become, how we’ll interact with others if we’ll be well-educated, have the career we want, or how we’ll raise our children. We're in control of our, thoughts, decisions, and emotions and only we can mold our destinies. We don’t have to become a product of our environment, so don’t use a not-so-perfect childhood as an excuse not to be better".