I read an article about Michelle Pfeifer the other day in which she says turning 50 has been liberating. I thought, “Huh? Liberating? Don’t think so. Who is she kidding? Aging sucks!”
And then, after chewing on it a bit, I thought, “Well, yeah, okay, maybe.” So, I looked up ‘liberate’ in the dictionary to see how it might pertain to me. For purposes of turning 50, liberating means:
To free from social or economic constraints or discrimination.
Let me see how I might apply this definition to my life.
At work, I’m no longer trying to climb the corporate ladder. I don’t bring work home or even think about it after I leave the office for the day. I no longer dress to impress or attend after work functions that don’t appeal to me. I am not into office gossip. I am no longer affected by the office bully, brown-noser or back stabber. The office bully can’t get to me or get a reaction from me, because since I no longer care about getting ahead, I’m not even on his radar and he spends his time bullying others. This same concept is true for the brown-noser and back stabber at work, too. They spend so much time and effort being petty, that they’re not doing their jobs, which seems pretty stupid to me.
Life is different at home, too. One huge difference is that there are no children living in the house anymore, which means there’s no diapers to change, school activities to get to and from, no fractions, multiplication tables or algebra to help with and no teenage dramas. Whether you miss having your children at home or not, there is no denying that empty-nesters have much more freedom to do what they want when they want.
And then there’s hubby. After this many years of marriage, we both know our roles in the household. There’s no arguments as to who should do what or who contributes more or who works harder. We both know it was me. We know what we want and both do our parts to make it happen. Oh, sometimes one of us fails at it. But, we’ve learned that even that is not a big deal in the scheme of life. No melodrama, no nagging over the little stuff. And, on the rare occasion there is a disagreement (argument), neither one of us frets or loses any sleep over it, because we know that at the end of the day, we’re still together and moving forward.
On the social front, one thing I know is different; I don’t take crap from people anymore. See, I no longer care if everyone (even complete strangers) likes me, or thinks I’m cute, or funny. That is truly liberating. (Remember Kathy Bates in the parking lot scene in Fried Green Tomatoes?) Towanda!
I believe that with age comes wisdom and with wisdom comes maturity. I have experienced enough in life to know what matters and what doesn’t. Little things that used to bother me when I was young, no longer matter. I’ve learned to choose my battles wisely. That’s liberating!
There’s a lot to be said about turning 50, but sadly, most of it deals with the frustrations of aging. So, Michelle Pfeifer, if you are reading this article (dont laugh, it could happen), “Thanks.”