Sunday, September 9, 2012

I'm Turning 50 and Didn't Get the Memo

I'm supposed to be horribly depressed this weekend, I'm told.

I guess I didn't get the memo, as I'm chipper as usual.

See, I turned 50 today, and therefore, my life is supposedly over and I should crawl into a closet and die just like all self-respecting middle aged men allegedly do as a matter of course.

But closets are boring. And there's a lot of guys my age and older who have just begun to really live. So don't ruin our party, OK, pal?

I don't disparaging anyone who's upset or depressed or disappointed by the arrival of a 50th birthday. Who am I to dictate how we're supposed to feel, when we've all had different life experiences, trajectories, health, outlook and taste.

Which is exactly my point. The stereotype is at my age, I'm supposed to have a raging midlife crisis right now at this minute. Or else.

Sorry to disappoint you, but.....

True, there's been some major transitions in my life lately. I got married a couple weeks ago, so that's a biggie, to understate the obvious. One of the worst reasons to get married is to beat a ticking clock, to get married just because you want to check that off your list before you die.

Luckily, my marriage had nothing to do with a midlife crisis. The right guy and the right time came along, and there you go. The whole thing was just inevitable.

Besides, if I'm supposed to be upset by turning 50, exactly what am I supposed to do about it?  Repeal the laws of mathematics? 

Like everyone who is aging, some things have gotten better with me over the past few decades, and a few have gotten worse. I'm still healthy and vigorous, but I don't have the stamina I did 20 years ago. But I can work a little harder to improve that.

I care less about what people think of me now. No, I don't want to be impolite or rude or arrogant. It's just that if somebody has a rule they expect me to follow and I think the rule is incredibly stupid, I'm less likely to follow it. So tough.

My sister Lynn, who's a tiny bit older than me said so far, her 50s are her best decade. I see little reason to dispute her on that.

I worry that the advice for guys like me turning 50 probably backfires more often than not.  I found these hilarious tidbits on an earnest Ehow post on how to help the man in your life who is traumatized by turning 50.

---Throw a party and invite his friends who are older than 50 to remind him all his buddies are aging, too.   Oh great. The end of the world. All my friends will die in five minutes so I will be both old AND alone.

---Assure hm he's doing fine. A little patronizing, don't you think? Kind of like a waiter calling an elderly woman in a restaurant "young lady."

---Encourage him to get heatlhy and see a doctor. Wait a minute! I thought you said our 50 year old is doing fine? Now you're saying he's collapsing from age before your eyes?

---Dissuade him from making impulsive, expensive purchases. Yeah, you don't want him to waste money on himself. He needs to save it so you get a bigger inheritance when he finally kicks the bucket, right?

The bottom line is most of us turning 50 are doing fine, thank you very much. So, I'll just have my usual day and get on with the rest of my life, which of course I'm looking forward to.

1 comment:

  1. Love your attitude. Well said Matt.
    HAPPY 50th Matt!
    May it be as fun and memoriable as your wedding.