A Birthday Message to my 50-Some-Odd Year-Old Self

How the hell did I get to be 50-some-odd years old?! I remember not too long ago where I thought 50 was OLD. And now here I am and….. I don’t feel like how I thought 50-some-odd was supposed to feel.

We’re so hard on ourselves when it comes to aging and, for that matter, a bunch of other stuff.  And it certainly doesn’t help when we have teen-agers pointing out even more deficiencies than we considered ourselves.

Today I’m having a great day – I had a date night with my husband last night, went to a yoga class this morning and had some afternoon delight with said husband (sorry kids but yes, we do indeed have sex!)  But there are other times when I feel exhausted, overwhelmed and emotionally drained from all of the stress and obligations in my life.

And so, while I’m in this good place, I’ve decided to write myself a birthday letter.  I intend to pull it out when I’m 70 and see the advice I gave myself and whether I took it.  I also intend to look at it when I need some reminders about how to be happy and healthy.

Dear Alison,

Another year – time flies.  Hey listen, I know there are times when you don’t think you’ve accomplished enough, don’t look good enough or feel guilty that you haven’t done enough for your kids.  Guess what?  You ARE fabulous not in spite of  being 50 some-odd years-old but because your 50 some-odd years-old.  In case you forget, here are some of the bits of advice you live (or try to live) by:

  • Be passionate about something (or maybe more than one thing.) Advocate for it, fight for it and put your heart and soul into it.
  • Keep dancing whenever you have the chance and hop up on the bar to do it at least once every year.
  • Laugh at people who try to criticize you or bring you down – honestly it will diffuse them immediately.
  • Don’t dwell on friendships that didn’t survive. Take ownership for your part of the demise but then let it go.
  • Exercise your body and mind – A LOT. Learn something new every day.  Don’t be embarrassed to try a new class at the gym (people aren’t really staring at you if you trip.)
  • Consider it a win if you can do something that embarrasses your kids at least once per week.
  • It’s OK to get Botox or Juvederm if you want. If that makes you feel good why not?
  • Make smart healthy food choices but also indulge every now and then. Life is too short not to have a chocolate lava cake.
  • Keep creating your vision boards. You know that you’ve actualized everything you’ve wanted, why stop now?
  • There will be people who don’t like you. It’s OK! Act honorably, respectfully and kind and you’re good.  As long as you can look yourself in the mirror and be proud of who you are there’s no one else that you need to impress.
  • Maintain a stable of good friendships – we always need our girlfriends to lift us up. ????
  • Try something new that’s out of your comfort zone as often as you can. Go to dinner by yourself.  Take a swing-dance class.  Make calls on behalf of a political candidate.
  • Don’t regret the past or fear the future. We can’t change the past and the future will never be as we imagine anyway.
  • Have faith that all your kids will find their way in life. Be OK with the evolving relationship you’ll have with them.
  • Be brave enough to be vulnerable to the people who love you.

Enjoy being 50 some-odd years-old – laugh, love and have wild adventures!

Love, Me