FIT@50: What’s Life Over 50 Like?
So this week I decided to head over to Smoothie King and grab a shake and a plant-based alternative for a no-bake chocolate cookie.
Why? Because I like those cookies, but they don’t like me. Besides, the package said they were gluten-free. That has to be a bonus.
While there, I met an older man who was talking about meal replacements, and then another older man who talked about intermittent fasting.
Of course, I felt the need to contribute that I was buying a gluten-free, plant-based alternative to good old fashion chocolate.
We were all strangers, but shared a good time at the Smoothie King talking not about football, politics or bad news; but about taking care of our health and enjoying life over 50. It set me to thinking about what was it like being over 50.
Young and Dumb
I’ll admit as a much younger guy, I used to declare that I’d never live past 32. Why 32? I have no idea, but when you’re half that age, you really know absolutely nothing about anything beyond 16 or maybe 17.
Our oldest daughter tells us how old we are. Of course, she’s 16, and depends on us to get her everywhere. Yeah, who’s old now?
But back to this pondering question, I had a friend post on Facebook that it was her 50th birthday. I typed, “Welcome to the Club.”
And you know, there is a club, and like the AARP, it has privileges. One privilege is that we’ve shown those know nothing 16 year olds, that we lived past 32!!!
Being over 50 is a great deal. You’ve matured beyond the wild 20’s, the conquer the world 30’s, the OMG what happened to my life 40’s, and now you’re in a stride before hitting the 60’s. Actually, the 50’s are like the young kids in the really grown up world.
It’s a decade sweet spot where you get to call everyone from 0 to 49; kids and you still get to say yes ma’am and yes sir to your elders without them thinking you’re being condescending.
Over 50 also means no longer worrying about what anyone else thinks about you. I spent almost three decades in public service.
If you ever want to experience the confidence shattering sensation of having every single thing you say and do examined under a critical microscope and launched back at you with a poo-poo shooter, then give law enforcement a try for a day.
When I retired at 50, the following year’s transition to civilian life came at a price. I was so accustomed to performing the public-face façade, that once the mask was removed and the spotlights of an expectant public had vanished, I was left with being lost.
Honestly, no one gave a rat’s patutee who I was or what I did. Gradually, that helped me to see that who I was, was okay.
I no longer need anyone’s approval or opinion to get along or be that guy who retired at 50.
Even better, there’s no one to impress with an elevated resume or scaled down body fat composition. It’s cool, just being me.
Had you taken us three guys at the Smoothie King and placed us back about 30 years, the conversations would’ve been about how much we bench pressed, what kinda car we drove, or how dumb people over 50 were.
But there was no sucking in our guts to poke out our pecs. We’re all just thankful to be healthy and walking upright.
There’s a calm that comes with age, and while I’d like to add that we gain wisdom, I’m not sure I’d crown myself with that gem of being wise.
It’s mostly a peace we gain with the passing of time. We’ve either accomplished what we wanted, or accepted that what was left on life’s table wasn’t for us to have in the first place.
Gift of Time
Peace. We have grown, stumbled or happened upon it. It looks different to each person, but as we move further away from the actual day we were born, we no longer arrive kicking and screaming.
No, instead, we show up, check it out, and make the best of whatever it is that awaits us.
Growing older isn’t about getting old. It’s about making the most of friends, family or Smoothie King strangers.
It’s about understanding there is a premium value on everything, but most importantly, on time. Enjoy yours.
Men, connect with me over at Brick Breakers Men’s Ministry.