Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What We Believe When We Are Fifty

A follow-up to my last post, in which we reflected on what we believed when we were six:


Now that I'm fifty, I realize I may still know more than my young adult children, but that the gap is quickly narrowing.

I believe that no one should ever try to run away from their problems, but that a temporary escape into a great book or movie can be a life-saver.

I've concluded that each time I watch the movie Groundhog Day, I learn as much about how to live one single day as Bill Murray did, while laughing twice as much as the first (or eighth) time.

I realize my parents didn't know everything, but they weren't too far off about much.

I may be fifty, but I still believe in magic.

I've learned that pets may interfere with my independence, my housekeeping, and my sanity, but that I still wouldn't want to live without them.

After studying old photos, I now know the tight perm and oversized glasses I wore in the eighties were not, in retrospect, such a good idea after all.

I've come to accept I may never again be a size six, but that being healthier and happier are still good and achievable goals.

I realize that I've sometimes succeeded and sometimes failed, but that the two weren't always mutually exclusive.

I know that yesterday lingers and tomorrow beckons. And I believe that what's important, today, is to make the most of them both.


What have you learned, at your age?

27 comments:

  1. I've learned to listen to your sage advice. I've learned that letting go of the past is as important as discovering new things. I've learned that I should never leave the house without lipstick. Slow and steady is something I have to work at. Not all chocolate is good chocolate. Doing things is more important than having things. The mark I leave may not be what I thought it would be, but it's going to last a lot longer.

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    1. Lisa: Few people hear me, let alone actually listen to me, so thanks for that. And that slow and steady thing? You are so, so right. I'd like to believe it; I just wish I could learn to live that way.

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  2. I've learned that all those naps I refused to take when I was younger were a Very Good Idea (and I'd like them back, now.

    I've learned that I'm a much better writer now.

    I've learned that I was a lot cuter back in high school than I believed at the time.

    I know that delay isn't denial.

    I've learned that I should have kept up my German and added French.

    I've learned that all children under ten are accomplished con-artists, but Mother-in-Laws are the biggest narcs ever.

    I've learned that I'm not alone.

    I've learned that when I want to be alone, I'm allowed to ask.

    I know that more is survivable than I ever thought.

    and I've learned not to share all I know . . .

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    1. Sarah: Great list!! "More is survivable than I ever thought." Wow. Isn't that the truth. That's wisdom, my friend.

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  3. I've learnt that I don't need to focus my attention on only one thing at a time, but I do need to know an appropriate order of priorities before I flit between projects.

    I've learnt that some days it's all about my tenacity and stubbornness to just get things done. Other days, it's actually healthier to just give up trying and do something else.

    I've learnt that my dual extrovert/introvert nature actually has its advantages, rather than just making me feel awkward. I can enthusiastically connect with total strangers and still retain a great big buffer zone to be a hermit. These two things do not have to overlap. They can also exist simultaneously.

    :)

    ~Ashlee
    http://ashleesch.com
    http://theDragonsHoard.bigcartel.com

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    1. Ashlee: Absolutely agreed, on all counts! I also believe we were separated at birth...

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  4. Sherry,
    This is one of my favorite posts, especially "...I still believe in magic."

    I believe there is no such thing is multitasking, only doing many things, one at a time.
    I believe that you can have it all, but not at the same time, and not when you expect it.
    I believe that you can only grow from failure if you keep getting up.
    I believe one friend is worth all of the acquaintances in the world.
    I believe I'm never as good, or as bad as I think.
    -Lyra

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    1. Lyra: A damn good list of your own, my dear. Your last one particularly gives me pause. Seems to me to be the sign of someone astute enough to see life isn't always simply black and white. Thank you for always pointing out all the shades in between.

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  5. i just copied to paste:
    I may be fifty, but I still believe in magic.
    before seeing miss lyra's note. thank you for that line.

    in the last year, i learned that no matter how stable of a foundation you think you have built, there's always another metaphysical growing pain awaiting you around the corner, forcing you to move on into new territory and while it sucks as it is happening, it's completely worth it once it's over. (i think, i'm not sure i'm completely "over it" just yet.)

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    1. Amy: Yes. God forbid we ever stop growing, regardless of what it takes.

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  6. I had the tight 80's perm as well (at age 7, 8 and 9) and it looked horrible on me too. Then I decided that the late 90's needed more perm so I got another one in 98. Ah...stupidity.

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    1. Amanda: Hmm, perhaps an "Eighties Day" in the office?

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  7. I have learned that there's always a back story.

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    1. MSB: Yes, but how to include it all without a page of info dump?

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  8. Ahhh, the big 5-0 is just a year away for me and I have to admit that it is freaking me out a bit.

    I've learned that I still feel 16 inside, although my outer-shell is subcoming to gravity.

    I've learned to not really care that much about the gravity because of the wonderful invention of SPANX and advances in wrinkle creams.

    I've learned that while I may be 15 years older than the rest of the moms of 7-year-olds and may be mistaken for a grandmother, I am happy to have the wisdom of a "granny".

    I've finally learned to speak my mind in a productive manner and not let the small stuff bother me. Mostly because I can't remember it so well, but hey, who needs short-term memory anyway when you have a smart phone?

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    1. LM: I sometimes think I'd have made some better parenting decisions if I'd have been a later-in-life mother. Do you think you choose your battles more carefully? Appreciate the little moments more fully?

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  9. I learned that exercise really IS important and really DOES help with stress.

    I learned that I will always, always, always be a crazy-bordering-on-pathetic animal lover.

    I learned that sometimes it's okay to go with my instincts and not change my hairstyle for a decade at a time...and it's also okay to try something new that fails, too.

    I learned that when left to my own devices, I will gladly live as a hermit. Making more of an effort to go out is sometimes a pain, but worth it.

    I learned that people are usually too busy thinking about themselves to be judging me, and yet I have not yet learned to completely stop caring what others may think.

    I learned that friendships take work over the years and do not just magically happen.

    I learned how to glance at the cut of a dress/shirt and know whether it would be flattering on me or not. (Also: I learned that ruffles and bright patterns are not my friends.)

    I learned I will never stop writing and trying, not matter how much failure and hopelessness comes my way.

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    1. Laura: No surprise that your list is as thoughtful and insightful as your stories in Living Arrangements are. No failures there, I assure you. But please, teach me the ways to know what clothing doesn't make me look like a truckdriver.

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  10. I've learned:

    Being yourself is always good enough.

    Kindness is easier than anything else.

    Photos don't often represent the whole truth.

    The more you fail, the better.

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    1. Teri: I'm certain you are on target with every one of these, but boy, do I have trouble living up to a couple of them...

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  11. A good hair day only lasts until 10am.

    Chocolate is not as tasty as lemon--not even close.

    Being quiet is not the same as being shy.

    Whether I like, love, respect or despise another person, that feeling is not necessarily reciprocated.

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    1. Averil: I agree with you on numbers three and four, but I have to differ with you on the first two. My good hair day doesn't last as long as the walk out my front door. And chocolate is WAY better than lemon, always. Limes are of great value, however. Especially in the production of a margarita.

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  12. Leaving comments from an iphone don't always work.

    Never have that first chip.

    PS I'll see your 50 and raise it to 51...all too soon.

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    1. Downith: Ha! Yes, there's no going back after that first one! (See the wisdom that accompanies each new decade?)

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