I have been told the 50s are nifty. Nifty, eh? Hmm. Well, my 40s were pretty good – better than my 30s, which were significantly less angst ridden than my 20s, so I’m hopeful that the trend continues.
Nifty however is not a word that makes me quiver with anticipation. Nifty brings to mind the other 50s – an era of sock hops and June Cleaver, and well all nice stuff, but not exactly my chosen path.
My path seems to be less predictable with a trajectory that refuses to be boxed in to a pattern. Each decade has had up years and down years, as well as years that kind of flat-lined; the ‘licking of the wounds’ years.
So far the best thing about entering the 50s is that I am becoming a woman who is more interested in all the possibilities life offers than in what people may think of me if I pursue those possibilities. Yet, the urge to embrace my boldness is sometimes curtailed by a bit more reticence, not out of fear of what others may think, but just a bit of fear that wasn’t there before.
It must be overcome. I have seen people who are fearful their whole lives, and I’ve seen people who begin to be ruled by fear with each passing year. The more fearful seem to pay rapt attention to the news allowing pessimism and suspicion to become their mode of operation. Learning new things is not even a consideration as their worlds close in on them and they hunker down and batten down the hatches. It isn’t living – it stagnating – while waiting to die.
I can’t live that way and won’t live that way. I would rather approach life with the words of Mark Twain ringing in my ear: “It’s better to wear out than to rust out.”
I’m going to use it all up on living.