Okay, so it's actually a birthday, which is an anniversary, if you think about it. Today marks the moment in time when I officially become a half century old. And you know what? I wouldn't change it for the world. In fact, I boast that I'm going to make fifty look so good that everyone will want to be fifty. My young-un co-workers say they believe me too.
What's so special about turning fifty? Well, for one, I now can spout little tidbits of wisdom like these:
1) While having your heart broken hurts like hell, you'll survive.
2) Love doesn't cure all ills. And you have to work at it.
3) Don't believe those new-lover-every-week celebrities. A person is perfectly capable of being happy on their own.
4) If someone says they'll give up something for you when you didn't ask them to, they're actually telling you the one thing that you can never compete with.
5) If someone close to you doesn't bring something positive into your life, they shouldn't be in it. (Boy, I wish I'd known that at twenty!)
6) Sometimes people are bad, and you can't do anything to change them. But you can pray for them. And aggravate them by being nauseatingly nice. (That really pisses them off!)
7) There are three kinds of people: those who like you, those who don't, and those who don't really care one way of the other. Expending time and energy on the last two groups will get you nowhere. Treasure your friends.
8) You have ultimate control over your decisions. And let me tell you, it took the full fifty years for me to figure that out.
9) Be kinder than you have to, for the person you're talking to may be on the edge and needing one kind word to pull them back.
10) Hugs cost nothing, but feel really good.
11) Sacrificing lunch breaks and working while you should be at your kid's school function isn't actually going to impress your company, isn't going to get you that promotion, and isn't going to get you a raise. What it will get you is a resentful kid who didn't have a parent cheering them on at the school play. I'm not saying ditch your job all the time, but for important events in your family's lives – be there.
12) If you think your lover is cheating, they probably are. And no, it's not your fault. They are responsible for their own behavior.
13) As in point twelve, no one can make you angry, hurt, or disgusted. You do that yourself.
14) Parents get old and won't always be there. Spend time with them now. They still have so much left to teach you. And you will miss them when they're gone and say, "Why didn't I go to see them more?"
15) Everyone has something valuable to teach you, even if it's just to stay the hell away from them.
16) You don't have to have kids to go to "kid movies."
While there may more, these are the ones that stand out in my mind on this day. I used to think fifty was ancient, not I realize I'm merely getting started. Here's to the best years of my life.