Thoughts on turning 55

Mid decade birthdays tend to be significant to me. They’re the ones that most often prompt me to pause, evaluate, and reflect upon where I am and where I want to be.

As my “double nickels” birthday approaches, I find myself needing to catalog (Ha, a librarian joke) some thoughts and lessons learned recently. It’s an exercise, like the physical activities which I embrace, that invigorates me more than it exhausts.

There’s a tinge of sadness coloring my mood as I write this, it’s been a tough year in some ways. My response to feeling a little down, however, is unlike how I may have reacted when I was younger. I no longer feel as if I have to either wallow in or try to escape it. Instead, I’m acknowledging the emotion and simply inviting it to leave.

I need that room in my soul for good things.

Unlike the number 55 on a road sign, I don’t perceive my soon-to-be new age as a limit. It’s just a new year filled with promise and the opportunity to learn more lessons like the ones below.

Patience and tolerance are not the same things. I’ve gotten much better at being patient (thanks, fabulous Lilly boys), however my tolerance for nonsense is definitely diminished.

Allowing others to define who you are is one of the worst things anyone can do. We all make mistakes and missteps in life, but when somebody pins a name on you that you know doesn’t reflect who you are…f*ck ‘em.

Feelings expressed are no scarier than feelings felt – let that shit out.

Aging can be really scary. Our bodies change, the prospect of what comes next professionally grows increasingly closer, and, for single people, the thought of being alone at the end of life becomes a real consideration. Fear doesn’t help – and it’ll also cause those forehead furrows to get deeper.

Embrace grace. It’s all going to work out.

Middle ground is not always the 50 yard line. In fact, it’s a line that shifts constantly. The most important part, I think, is learning to compromise without losing yourself.

The joy of excitement is one of life’s greatest gifts. Pursue experiences and cultivate relationships which bring delight.

For some, we will be too much, while for others we won’t be enough. That’s their decision. We all have our own yardsticks to measure our needs and wants and should make use of them.

Life comes with inherent risks and without guarantees. Accept it.

While I really enjoy adult indulgences, I’ve realized I’ve been guilty of using them mindlessly. Being more thoughtful about my consumption has left me feeling better in every way.

Hearts that are exposed are the ones which shine the most brightly. Why not light up the world with yours?

4 thoughts on “Thoughts on turning 55

  1. I so get this….I turn the big 60 in less than a week….your words ring true to me….especially today as I got an email for Funeral and Burial Insurance……

    1. Funeral and burial insurance? Yikes! I’m still not past the AARP mail I receive far too often. I’ve met a couple of 59 y/o people this year and they are wonderfully vital and active – as you are. Stay healthy and lean in. I need you as my example!

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