Sadly, it’s a fact. After turning 50 a month ago, I am now officially closer to death than birth.
I thought that panic would set in (just like Old Fart experiences every Run Squad when a public toilet is out of sight) as my ever-expanding bucket list bursting with wants and desires remains unfulfilled… but strangely I feel liberated. Let me explain what it was like to turn 50.
As usual with me, I always start with the negatives.
Any minute now midlifepause will end my childbearing years (believe it or not I am still attending primary school spelling bees!) My complexion has become dull and my hair lacklustre with the build-up of permanent dye leading to confusion about exactly what my original hair colour was all those years ago. On the outside I resemble my very wilted birthday flowers that I refuse to throw out weeks later. A permanent companion is now mandatory to read menus for me as I am always losing my glasses. Gravity has taken its toll as my boobs droop, face wrinkles and my upper arms have grown bat wings. My knees and back now start aching before 9am.
But as my birthday came and went as quickly as Adonis’ (aka Tom Cruise Risky Business I love wearing just a shirt and socks out) dance moves at my party, I realised that 50 isn’t the end of the world, but a turning point that has opened new horizons. It’s taken me 50 years to gain a slither of self-acceptance. As my children are becoming more independent, I am learning to focus more on myself and shock, horror even spending money on myself (much to my Princesses disappointment)! I have more time for the gym (most importantly coffee after) and I am fitter and stronger than I have been in years. I refuse to try and turn the clock back with Botox injections, plastic surgery, face and eye lifts, instead I have experienced a heightened sense of self-esteem and self-acceptance.
FOMO has been replaced with FOHTGO (Fear Of Having To Go Out) now that I am finally comfortable with my own company and am having an intense affair with Netflix.
I have discovered the joys of emotional honesty. I’m not holding back with anyone – I mean, with such limited time left why would I want to waste time with political correctness? Let me just get straight to the point and finally not give a damn what others think.
I always thought that reaching midlifepause would be so depressing, and I would be hysterically begging to stop the clock. But I no longer want what I used to want. And now that I’ve lost my fear of forward motion, I won’t be wasting my energies treading water, struggling to stay in the same place. The last six months have been wasted in a destructive cycle of binging because of my disappointment and self-loathing around my perceptions about where I should have been by 50 – career wise, financially and most obsessively what my weight should have been on the big day.
Well, the big 50 has come and gone and I finally know what I want to do when I grow up! I better book a really long Empower session with McSweaty … it’s time to create some new goals for the next 50 years!