50 Thoughts: Ready (or not) for 50

Originally published October 2, 2018

With less than a week to go, I thought I’d peek at what the Interwebs have to say about 50.

Color me nonchalant.

A 2016 article from Prevention details a few of things I should expect next week. (Because I will wake up Sunday , be 50, and suddenly all these things will occur.)

Thankfully, I’ve already addressed hearing loss more than a year ago. My sight literally went south on my 40th birthday and I caved and got big girl glasses at the same time I got the hearing aids. (Although, thank you, Prevention, for the link to the article about red wine preserving my hearing!)

And speaking of drinking, it sounds as if I will discover I can’t tolerate as much. We’ll see about that. Thought I will say the days of throwing back several on a special occasion in one sitting passed a while ago.

Perspective? Already covered. Not recognizing anyone in celebrity magazines? I couldn’t pick Kylie Jenner out of a lineup.

The AARP promises me a more positive outlook. That’s saying a mouthful these days. But I also get my card, which means DISCOUNTS. Ka-ching!

Several health sites, like this one, keep telling me my skin is creeping ever closer to those sunset years. Not as elastic, more wrinkles. As long as I wake up Sunday looking like I went to bed on Saturday, I think I can take that in stride.

Really — I’m not all that worried about the physical changes. Silver hair seems kind of sparkly, after all. It’s the mental decline that scares the crap out of me. I want to hold on to all my brain power for as long as I can. Having had relatives with dementia, it’s just the worst — and not even just for the person affected, but for the loved ones struggling to support and cope.

It feels like the cruelest of cuts — to allow someone to grow and gather a lifetime of memories only to lose hold of them when those memories would seem most dear to you. I want to remember my friends, my family, the places I’ve been. When I head into those golden years, I want to relish in the life I have lived, as full as it is, and to not remember, not recognize, just seems intolerable. (OK. There are a few things I wouldn’t mind forgetting. But I’m sure cleaning up a 4-year-old’s vomit out at 2 a.m. is a memory that will fade naturally and doesn’t need assistance from Alzheimer’s, right?)

So forgive me if I pass on trip to the bar for an evening in with my book and a game of Solitaire on my iPad. Gotta get those brain games in if I am going to remember your name next week.

Today’s recommendation: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. All about (well, not ALL about, but there’s a thread there) a woman entering middle age still longing for the one thing she struggled to become — a mother.

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