Nothing makes you feel quite as grown up as signing your will. That’s what I did recently, just shy of my 50th birthday. For so many years, I’ve been anticipating my 50th more than any other year. It seemed to me to be the age at which women are truly free. Certainly freer from parenting responsibilities, self-doubt and body image issues.
But the closer I get to fifty, the less enthusiastic I feel. At fifty, I am a different demographic. I check a different box. All around me I see the optimism—“50 and fabulous”. “50 is the new 40” And now, if recent research holds true, sixty, not fifty, is now considered middle-aged. But suppose 50 isn’t fabulous? Suppose 50 is the new 50? For the most part, 50 looks good. Brooke Shields, Viola Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker. But I’m finding fifty has another, not so pretty face. Sure, fifty is freedom, confidence, self-awareness and strength but 50 is also, signing a will, burying a parent,attending the high school and college graduations of your children, getting a colonoscopy and root canals. getting a stress fracture in your ankle from running around a track and the orthopedist suggesting that a woman your age should no longer be running, but doing aqua aerobics. Some mornings I wake up and wonder, didn’t I just graduate from college?