Being 50

I can’t believe I’ve just written those words. That’s probably because I can quite believe I’m actually 50.

It’s just a number right? I went to a girlfriend’s 60th birthday lunch the other day and said exactly that to her. She does not look 60 for a start, and her attitude is youthful. But that’s when you say it to someone else and believe it. I’m finding it’s a little trickier to say it yourself and believe it.

I decided not to have a party. Instead I am escaping. I gathered up a merriment of various points I’d collected here and there over time and cobbled them all together to buy a couple of return airfares to Hawaii.  I have entitled the trip Hawaii 5-0 (five oh). You have to be 50 to get that. I’ve booked a mustang convertible, downloaded the Open Table app and have a few restaurant lined up I like the look of, and will try and still my busy mind for a few days and cogitate on what it means to be 50, and what happens next. Or maybe I just read a good book.

Yes, 50. What does it mean? Well firstly it means the pedestrian things like a double appointment at the doctor for ‘the 50 year old check’. I imagine that will pretty much be a discussion about my boobs, bits, bowels, bones and bloods and what state they are in currently as well as how to make sure they’re ‘normal’ going forward. I’m pretty relaxed with the boobs and bits checks as giving birth to three children is a good yardstick for privacy and pain. Blood tests? No worries. A bone scan? That’ll be a new experience. But the colonoscopy? I believe suggesting you ‘trot’ off (ha ha) to the colonoscopy clinic is best practise for a 50 year old health check. That one I might be a bit slower making the appointment. I know people that have done it though and they tell me it’s all in my head. Hmmm…I am really more concerned with it all being in my other end, but anyhoo…. you’re suitably lala-ish I hear, so what would you care about your end anyway?

I care about the ultimate ‘end’ though, and what I can fit into those years before I am dust. At an impromptu dinner out with a few friends recently we put together our bucket list. Four women’s collected late night wisdom with a ‘to do’ list to hit 80% of by the age of 80.

There’s 20 items on there we mostly agreed on, none of which we had done yet.  Going to be a busy 30 years on re-read. Most on there I definitely want to do- others on reflection might have been born of late night musings and an empty wine bottle or two. Regardless, they make for good reading and I reckon having goals is what keeps us trucking forward. I’ll work on the short term goals first though – like the doctor’s appointment…oh and Hawaii 5-0 in that Mustang convertible with the wind whistling through my hair feeling like I’m half my age for a day or two.

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