Lesson Learned: The Good and Bad on Turning 50 Part 1

Now that we’re in the year 2013 and I’ve experienced being 50 for a few months, I thought I’d share some insight to what I’ve learned so far. I have both good and bad to blog about so I tossed a coin to see which one I’d write first. Heads, I’d write about the good; tails, I’d write about the bad. Tails won. Today I’ll write about the negative aspects of turning 50 – my perspective. On a note, I will put some positive insight into the blog as well. Next week will be the good.

Bad #1: My body parts aren’t the same. Should I say more? I notice the wrinkles and the saggy skin. I hear and feel my bones snap when I exercise or when I get up after sitting too long. And hot flashes are a common occurrence. Yippee skippee.

Bad #2: I just had an aunt who passed away on Thursday. Jeanette was a vibrant woman who looked after those she cared about. She learned a few months ago that she had leukemia and started chemotherapy. I talked to her after the first two treatments in November and she seemed fine. In fact, my aunt said she felt great and that she was going to play 500 (cards) with her friends in the afternoon. In a matter of days from our conversation, she turned from a busy and happy person to bedridden and sick. Her death came as a surprise.

With her death, I wonder how many more unfortunate surprises will strike me now that I’m 50. An old high school classmate died last month of cancer. A friend just learned she has cancer and this is her second round of it. My co-workers have parents and spouses battling cancer. I keep wondering WTF? Why am I hearing the word “cancer” so much?

I then wonder when will it be my turn? Will I battle cancer, a stroke, or heart failure? Will I be lucky and stay strong, keep my wits, and live to be 100? I wish that I didn’t have to think about it, but that’s not the case. Now that I’m “up there” in age, I continue to hear more and more of friends, relatives, and acquaintances dying. I’m not looking forward to losing people in my life. And I think of my parents, how their entire circle of friends and relatives are slipping away. I’m sure they wonder why they’re the ones staying on (especially with their health issues). Grim thoughts, huh?

As I continue on, I know that I can’t give up or wait for disease to happen. I know how important it is to stay positive and appreciate life more than I have before. My outlook has changed as I realize how life is precious. I will move ahead and continue to achieve the goals and dreams that I want. I will change or make new goals. I will continue to grow (in wisdom not weight). And I will appreciate those I know and care about. I will value spending time with family and friends. Laugh, love, hope, wisdom, goals, dream, and wrinkle cream are all good words to live by as the second half of my century begins.

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