50 Thoughts: Ready (or not) for 50

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.

Day 1: 50 Days, 50 Thoughts, 50 Books. Book recommendation: The Bitch is Back

Day 2: There Aren’t Any Do-Overs, Are There? Book Recommendation: A Place for Us

Day 3: Is Pop Culture Circling the Drain? Book recommendation: Live from New York

Day 4: Perimenopause in the Age of Trump Book Recommendation: Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Day 5: Take A Knee at the Altar of Common Sense Book Recommendation: How Not to Be a Dick

Day 6: Perspective is the Gift That Keeps on Giving Book Recommendation: A Fine Balance

Day 7: The Accidental Editor Book Recommendation: Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977 – 2002)

Day 8: The First Last of the Firsts Book Recommendation: The Little Book of Hygge

Day 9: All Kinds of Tired Book Recommendation: Believer

Day 10: Overthinking is Anxiety’s Bitchy Best Friend Book Recommendation: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

Day 11: Where Would You go with a Wayback Machine? Book Recommendation: A Little Life

Day 12: Fall in my Favorite Chicago

Day 13: On Having It All Book Recommendation: Lean In

Day 14: Where Were You When … Book Recommendation: The Nix

Day 15: 5 Things to Purge Before you Turn 50 Book Recommendation: The Art of Tidying Up

Day 16: A Labor Day Salute to Bad Bosses Everywhere Book Recommendation: Steve Jobs

Day 17: Do You Validate?  Book Recommendation: Less 

Day 18: Identity Crisis Code Purple Book Recommendation: Amp’d

Day 19: Character Really Does Count Book Recommendation: Believer

Day 20: Death Before Public Speaking Book Recommendation: The Gifts of Imperfection

Day 21: 15 Things You Should Do Before You Turn 50 Book Recommendation: Drop Dead Healthy

Day 22: Calling BS on “Sticks and Stones” Book Recommendation: Love Warrior

Day 23: My Feet Are My Favorite Part of Me Book Recommendation: Born to Run

Day 24: Self-Help Books Aren’t Half Bad  Book Recommendation: The Book of Joy

Day 25: Going for Gratitude Book Recommendation: The Gratitude Diaries

Day 26: Past Self Meets Future Self Book Recommendation: A Wrinkle in Time

Day 27: The Book is Always Better Book Recommendation: Big Little Lies

Day 28: Three Cheers for Volunteers Book Recommendation: A Secret Gift

Day 29: The Social Network Book Recommendation: The Circle

Day 30: 50 People Who Can Text Me Before Trump Does Book Recommendation: Purity 

Day 31: I’ll Take My Joy Where I Can Find It Book Recommendation: The Book of Joy

Day 32: Humor is My Sixth Sense Book Recommendation: Sick in the Head

Day 33: Anger Comes Second Book Recommendation: The Leftovers

Day 34: Hypocrisy, Much? Book Recommendation: The Favorite Sister

Day 35: Girl Power Book Recommendation:Girls

Day 36: The Kids are All Right Book Recommendation: Ohio

Day 37: Banned Books Week Book Recommendation: the Banned Books list

Day 38: An Open Letter to Congress Book Recommendation: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Day 39: The Importance of Guilty Pleasures Book Recommendation: The Actress

Day 40: On Stories Never Told Book Recommendation: After Visiting Friends

Day 41: Thank You, Judge Kavanaugh Book Recommendation: Missoula

Day 42: With a Little Help from My Friends Book Recommendation: Bad Feminist

Day 43: Life Doesn’t Flash ... Book Recommendation: Shotgun Lovesongs

Day 44: Crazy Love Book Recommendation: To Be Sung Underwater

Day 45: Simplify, Simplify, Save It Book Recommendation: The Immortalists

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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