How Do You Feel About Turning 50? An Interview by Melisa Cammack
by Melisa Cammack
My dear sister-in-law, and best friend of 13 years, is turning 50. I thought I might commemorate this momentous occasion and get some insight by interviewing the wondrous mother of four children, wife of over 20 years, the sassiest, and most compassionate woman I’ve had the honor to know.
How Do You Feel About Turning 50? Feel Any Different?
Now that I’m there, I can’t really say how I feel, because really, it’s just a number… I mean, I don’t feel like a grown-up, I feel like the same person I was 20 years ago, only a whole lot smarter. I feel like people put too much emphasis on these “milestone” birthdays, thinking, “Oh my god, I’m turning 25… what do I do?! I’m getting old!” and “I’m going to be 50, I might as well bust out the moo-moo’s and let myself go.” It’s putting too much energy in the uncertainties, and stressing about the uncontrollable, and the inevitable, THAT’S what “ages” you, THAT’S what causes us to be unhappy about aging in the first place. So I feel great! I’m energetic, I still find myself attractive, and I feel like I’m more confident than I did when I turned 21 or 30!
What’s The Best Thing You’ve Learned in The Last 50 Years?
Other people’s opinions don’t matter so much, I know you certainly don’t care if my clothes are brand name or if my house is a little messy, and anyone that matters in my life doesn’t give a damn. They just like me for me. Not that I don’t care about my appearance, but I care about it for me not for someone else. Like, I recently went and got botox injections, simply because I wanted to, no one dictates what I do or how I feel about myself. When you’re in your 20’s and a majority of your 30’s and 40’s, so much of who you are is determined by how others around you view you and your lifestyle. “Does she wear cheap clothes? Is she single AGAIN? SHE EATS BREAD?” It’s all just needless fuss, there’s no point. So I guess I’ve just learned to tune others out, and tune myself in. That was deep, make sure you got all of that.”
Have Your Accomplished Everything You Wanted to Before 50?
Well, I don’t know. I think so. I didn’t even really have set goals or anything, but my career is where I want it to be, my kiddos are all healthy and happy, and I’m planning a trip to Rome with John in May. I learned a little Spanish, a little French, I can bake an angel food cake like I’m Martha freakin’ Stewart, and I smile every day. I mean, I’m happy. So happy. And yes, there are many things I wish I had done, like going back to school, or not accumulating so much credit card debt early on in my marriage, but I wouldn’t change anything, I love my life and who I am, and learning from mistakes and never forgetting them is what’s important, otherwise we repeat it.
Have You Noticed a Change in Your Life? A Spring in Your Step? A Gleam in Your Eye?
I’ve definitely noticed I take more time to enjoy the beauty around me. I am all the cliché’s, I stop and smell the roses, I listen to my heart… if I were any more of a cliché, Julia Roberts would play me in the movie about my life. I used to rush through my day and not really enjoy anything. I would complain and compare my life to others around me and wonder why my life wasn’t going like theirs was. It’s the simple pleasures that now fill me with joy and were missed when I was younger. I eat chocolate with wild abandon, I will never wear mom-jeans, I will try to put others before myself, and I’m thinking about taking up yoga again to balance out all the chocolate.
Are You Scared of Wrinkles or Grey Hair? How do You Feel About Your Appearance?
Since I’ve had grey hair pop up here and there throughout the years, I’m kind of used to them. I mean, I’ll fight them off until I’m around 55 or 60, then I’ll be like, ‘Jesus, take the wheel!’ I just don’t obsess about my appearance as much as I used to. For crying out loud, I’ve given birth to four babies, I’ve put my body through more diets than Oprah, I’ve spent countless hours at the gym obsessing and essentially torturing myself for 40 minutes at a time on the elliptical or stair stepper. After 30 years, I’m going to go easy on myself, I’m not going to say mean things about myself in the mirror anymore, I’m going to allow myself to live! I love food way more than I like wearing a bikini! I know I already admitted to the botox, and some might think that what I’m now saying contradicts my rant, but hey, going back to what I was saying earlier, it’s my decision, and I’m stickin’ to my guns.
Any Last Words About Turning 50?
Well, I hope that you got something out of my nonsensical chatter, but hopefully by now others are feeling better about being 50 or turning 50, or at least can see that life gets better with time. We can’t stop the years from passing, but we can definitely get SO much out of each and every day if we so choose to open ourselves up, and live with passion and joy.
Here’s to growing up! Go out and enjoy it.
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