I celebrated Labor Day at the Sausalito Art Festival, where Jefferson Starship closed off the entertainment festivities for the weekend. While this particular festival is a world class art show, my boyfriend, Dean and I make our decision on what day we will attend by the music schedule.
As the day approached, I had been contemplating why the bands of my youth still held such appeal to me. While I looked around at the crowd today, many of whom were older than me, I got more in touch with the answer. The music is a part of our history. As we gathered there in Sausalito, it was like we were reclaiming a part of our soul. For that one hour while the band played, my heart felt an elation beyond the every day. It touched the spirit of what I felt in my youth–optimism, hope, joy of life, and most of all, a connection to those around me. We had all experienced a lot of life since we first heard those lyrics, yet despite all the changes, somehow the music reminds us of who we once were.
As I sit here on the morning after, I still feel a hightened sense of peace and aliveness. This experience has inspired me to strive to bring all parts of myself into my daily life so that the most precious pieces can live on and continue to touch me.
I’m not going to hide from it. I am turning 50 this year. A year and a half ago I attended my 30th high school reunion and reconnected with a number of people from my youth who are also turning 50 this year. Suddenly I’m noticing the statement, “50 is the new 30” being thrown around. Hmm, I ponder. Is it true, or are we just fooling ourselves?
I’ve always believed that age is very much a state of mind, yet decorum and a dose of reality do come into play. I have four beautiful mini skirts hanging in my closet that I can’t bear to part with, but I know will never again see the light (or dark) of day, at least on my body. I can’t leave the house now without a pair of glasses because I can’t read a menu, ingredients on a label, or anything I might have to sign my name to without help. And the gray hair that I have inherited has made me recognize that I can choose to replace it with any color that I want.
If these are the biggest grievances I have about turning 50 (and they are!), then I consider myself pretty darn blessed. Although I still fit into and wear clothes I had long before I was 30, I’ve come to the conclusion that, at least for me, I don’t feel 30. And that’s a good thing.
Why 50 is better than 30:
- I’ve come to value a nice man over a bad boy.
- It’s no longer all about me.
- I’ve come to prefer authenticity over sizzle.
- I’m way comfortable with myself.
- I cherish every moment with my parents.
- I’ve come to value meaning over money.
- I’m in touch with the fact that I’m not going to live forever.
- I no longer care about what people think.
- I think about how much I am blessed.
- I’ve experienced some painful, challenging times and have come out stronger.
- I’ve learned to trust myself.
- I’ve taken some big risks and survived.
- I’ve learned that being true to myself is more important than security.
Am I missing something in the “50 is the new 30” statement? If so, please enlighten me.