Five Things I Learned After I Turned 50

1) I’m not doing myself or anyone else a favor by taking on more than I can do.  I do like to help people, and it does make me feel good to agree to contribute my time to a good cause.  But when I over commit to too many activities, I end up being so stressed and crabby that I don’t do any of it well.  And no matter how good my original intentions were, that doesn’t help anyone.

2) I don’t need a lot of friends, but I do need a few good friends.  They don’t even have to live nearby (one of the benefits of technology is how easily you can stay in touch with long-distance friends these days).  They just have to be the sort of people who know exactly what my faults are and yet manage to like me anyway.  Which is, of course, exactly the way I feel about them!

3) True beauty comes from within.   The only advantage to all the wrinkles, sags, and bags I’ve grown with middle age is the realization that my youthful looks really weren’t that big a part of who I am.  I have figured out that if I want others to see me as attractive, it will have to be as a result of my behavior.  Because it’s our words and actions that make us beautiful.  Really.

4) My children will always be my children, no matter how grown up they are.  They may be stronger, bigger, and probably smarter than me, and I often have to ask their help to move heavy furniture and set up my new electronic gadgets.  But at a very basic level, they will always be my babies.   All it takes is for one of them to be sick or upset for me to switch right back into my “momma mode.”  If you have kids, you know exactly what I mean.

5) I will never, ever be too old to try new things.  And that’s good, because trying new things is what keeps me feeling young, even in my middle years.

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