• author
    • Terri Connett

    • March 11, 2014 in Columnists

    Fifty is the new f*cked

    It’s not the new 40.  It’s certainly not the new 30.  Being in your 50s is a punch to the gut.

    Oh sure, the signs of aging are gradual, but the minute your first, unsolicited AARP membership card comes in the mail, a bright spotlight appears out of the heavens to expose you to yourself and the world.  As I pulled the presumptuous envelope out of my mailbox, I noticed brand new little brown spots on the back of my hand.  I seriously thought they were from the chocolate ice cream cone I’d just inhaled.

    “Geesh I must have wiped my mouth on my knuckles in my haste to get to the mailbox,”  I mused to myself.  But when I couldn’t rub them off, my heart sank.  I have my grandmother’s age spots.

    I threw the AARP devil mail into the trash in the garage and made a vow that no future solicitations will every make it inside my door(Since that first mailing, I’ve received hundreds of pieces of paper from them.  Doesn’t that seem like a big waste of money? Wouldn’t it make more sense for AARP to save the literature and mailing costs, not to mention the trees, and invest that money in something more worthwhile, like Alzheimer’s research?  They would be such heroes and at the same time increase the size of their membership pool.)

    Okay so those “50s freckles” really rattled me.  That night after my shower I noticed the wrinkly skin inside my arms just below my armpits.  Over time, our skin loses elasticity.  Youthful, smooth skin gives way to elephant girl skin.  And while I’m at it, when did my pubes lose their curl?

    Of course, none of this happened overnight and touching the AARP literature didn’t straighten the hair on my lady parts.  But it all came crashing down.

    Gone is my monthly reminder that I’m a woman.  That bloated, crampy predictable inconvenience has been replaced with sweaty, embarrassing flashes of hell heat that come out of nowhere 52 weeks a year.  And who calls me out on it?  Menopausal women who think it’s clever to ask if I’m having “my own personal summer” or a “power surge.”  I guess they found a way to accept it gracefully, with humor.  I consider them delusional traitors.

    I take pills for improved eyesight, blood pressure, cholesterol, bone strength, memory improvement and daily pooping.  All the drugs are counted out in those weekly pill containers for old people.

    My eyebrows are thinning and take shape more from pencil than actual hairs.  However, there’s no shortage of white, bristly lady whiskers sprouting from my chin.

    And my metabolism is slower than Florida justice for innocent and unarmed black teenagers.

    My career was cut short in my 50s.  I was replaced by a 30-something woman, probably at a substantially lower salary.  But that’s all been hashed out in an earlier column “58 and fired.”  I could write another one entitled “59 and unemployable.”  It seems experience and wisdom are undervalued these days.

    I can see why you’d think I’m on an old lady rant, but I’m not.  Being in your 50s sure beats the below-ground alternative.  My mother died at 59 and my dear father’s life was cut short of his 28th birthday.  Trust me, I’m happy to be on this earth as I leave this decade and head into my 60s.

    What does irritate me is the “blank” is the new “blank” bullshit.  I get it, we are living longer with a better quality of life than the previous generation.  But society is enamored with youth and corporations are obsessed with profits.  So yes, in your 50s you can look and be great.  You can be healthy and happy.  You can be sexy.  But you can’t be 40.

    I won’t be writing a “60 is the new screwed” column because once you’ve lived through your 50s, you know the truth and can’t be fooled.  We benefit from health and technological advancements our parents and their parents didn’t have.  My grandmother felt old in her 60s.  I feel older but not old.

    Labels don’t matter.  Health and happiness do.  I’m no longer trying to prove myself to anyone or attempting to keep up with a generation where I don’t belong.  I am what I am.  I’m figuring out the transition between midlife and old age.  I’m learning to accept my droops and wrinkles while still feeling like the same girl inside.

    And the truth is … 60 is the new 60.

    • OMG… I am SO WITH YOU, girl! 😀
      On the other hand… in your 50s, you can go cut the lawn in a pajama top and shorts, with a daisy hat and unmatched socks…. and you just don’t care. You no longer have to worry about “bikini season” because… why bother…
      50s means FREEDOM! (That was the column I wrote! 😀 )

        • Terri Connett

        • March 11, 2014 at 1:01 pm
        • Reply

        Thank you, Debra!! I’m going to look your column up. I agree, it is free-ing. 🙂

    • Terri – It gets even better after you turn 60. Bottom line: we are all whatever we are…or as Popeye would have said, “I ams what I am, and thats alls that I am!”

        • Terri Connett

        • March 11, 2014 at 1:02 pm
        • Reply

        I believe it! And I love that you quoted Popeye! 🙂 Thank you.

      • Heather Alani

      • March 11, 2014 at 9:56 am
      • Reply

      We will never be any younger than we are right now. I am a firm believer that “Youth is wasted on the young”. By, the time we have it all figured out we are exhausted!

        • Terri Connett

        • March 11, 2014 at 1:04 pm
        • Reply

        I love that line about never being younger than we are right now. I wish we all could live Benjamin Button lives.

          • Heather Alani

          • March 11, 2014 at 3:22 pm

          Terri, there are times in our lives, especially as women, that society does lessen our value. We live in a horrible superficial world and if a woman is fat at twenty no car is stopping to let her cross the street. Let, us not argue with a mentality that sets young girls off to starve to be “attractive”, a society that would prefer to pay us less than men, we all KNOW no matter how old we are that were are always deemed worthless regardless of how much we do. We cannot, we will not buy into these lies! No, we cannot live Benjamin Button lives. We don’t want to. You are an accomplished beautiful woman. If you were replaced because a weak person wanted to spank some chick. Don’t let that sum up who you are. That is who he is. You are not worthless. Please don’t stop trying. You are greater than. You are never ever ever less than.

    • I am now 65 and I love medicare and my life. I also don’t give a shit when anyone thinks. Rock on sister friend. Enjoy aging, there is nothing else to it.

        • Terri Connett

        • March 11, 2014 at 4:01 pm
        • Reply

        I’m with you, sister friend! It IS kinda liberating!!

    • Funny, honest, fun. Would love you to submit a piece to Roel Resources! http://www.roelresources.com Take a look, Terri.

        • Terri Connett

        • March 13, 2014 at 5:56 am
        • Reply

        Thanks so much, Ken! I just took a peek at Roel Resources and I can’t wait to read some of the columns. Love the “40 Forward” concept. The wheels are turning about what to submit. I appreciate you sharing this.

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