The Top Things I Love About Being Over 50

It is all too apparent none of us are living on the "Benjamin Button" timeline. As I don't intend to add fodder to the excessive lamenting about aging (except maybe in the first few minutes of climbing out of bed), I am choosing a posture of downright celebration, calling out the abundant benefits of each passing year. Here are the things I love about being in my 50s; regardless of our age, these things apply more broadly to the beauty of getting older, and when embraced can perhaps allow you to skip some stages and realize earlier freedom before reaching mid-life.

1. I've stopped attempting to be all things to all people. I've learned to focus on the things I do best, and the people who need them most.

2. "No's" are no longer immediately followed by guilt and second-guessing and "Yeses" have become even more certain and enthusiastic.

3. Life's embarrassing moments have a much shorter smack and now quickly move to my "hilarious memories" file.

4. No one expects me to be the one who knows how to work the remote on the Apple TV (but I do, and I get a kick out of how much it impresses people).

5. I now know there are only a few things in life really worth putting your stake in the ground for--and for those things, I am confident enough to stand up for them with all my might.

6. My relationships are truer and deeper then ever. The friends and family who have endured together through heartache, triumph, loss, conflict, or just a bunch of normal Tuesdays, are those who I now truly know -- and feel deeply known by.

7. Glasses have become a fun fashion accessory (albeit a total necessity). They are also a handy prop for slipping into a sage-esque alter ego, should the need arise.

8. I no longer feel a strong desire to be the one who is right. I simply want truth to be found, regardless of who points to it.

9. I've learned how to make really amazing lasagna because I no longer feel captive to recipes.

10. I've embraced YOLO more than FOMO (for my friends without a 19-year-old daughter as an interpreter, that's "you only live once" and "fear of missing out").

11. Now that my daughter is grown, I get to spend my time in awe of the woman she's become instead of worrying about what she might become, navigating the dance of both speaking up and shutting up.

12. I've found a liberating simplicity, going through drawers and closets letting go of "stuff."

13. If I overreact or get a little teary, I can slough it off with a little laugh, muttering something about "hormones."

14. I've let go of "balance." It really doesn't exist. Instead, there is a willingness to let go of what doesn't matter for the sake of the things that do and doing them fully.

15. I've learned true strength is rarely obvious and never self-promoting.

16. The phrase "Actually, I'm going to bed" rolls off the tongue, with a lilt of triumph.

17. Research has shown that cognitively, we are at our highest point between the ages of 40 and 68. We more quickly solve problems and recognize patterns (which has definitely strengthened my position when stressing a point with my husband).

18. I've embraced the power of admitting I don't know how to do something (which has also strengthened my position when my husband is stressing a point with me).

19. My husband and I now value one another's differences.

20. I've seen that the core of business is solving problems. When problems come up, it is not a crisis -- it's the job.

21. I know that no problem to be solved is more important than a person to be loved.

22. I'm one step closer to getting away with those quippy truisms that the Dowager Countess of Grantham can cunningly slip in.

23. With time comes more great stories. I have a treasure trove of zingers (both heartfelt and hilarious) that I can bring out at dinner parties.

24. I have "gotten complete" with my past. I know my story, the parts of it I want to carry forward, and the parts I want to leave behind.

25. For the first time in my life, the President of the United States is younger than me, giving me the opportunity to say "Well, when I was your age ..." with an air of wisdom, should I ever meet him.

26. I no longer care if I get the credit. In fact, it can be a fun game to avoid it.

27. Research show that three quarters of women in their 50s feel more confident than ever before (which may be why I'm so much better at getting out of speeding tickets; wait -- should I not be proud of that?)

28. As women age, we are more willing to take risks (while men grow more risk averse). Because ... YOLO.

29. I've learned that if I give any time to comparison, I lose time I could be using to love life and people better.

30. I am more able to see how "this OR that" can be "this AND that" through increasing sophistication of thought.

31. I now assume the best about people's intentions. This one action breathes abundant grace into all relationships.

32. Tough conversations are no longer something to put off, but rather something to go after with boldness.

33. I am eager to both give and receive feedback and understand that both postures take intense humility. I'm willing to risk a little bit of relational equity for the greater good of speaking and hearing truth that yields growth.

34. They say, "It's not what you know, but who you know," but there is also some truth in "who you know won't want to know you for long if you don't know much."

35. My days are always better when they start out with a yummy breakfast, and end with a yummy dinner. Good food does enough for my spirit to allow a few extra pounds.

36. I love my mom and dad more than I ever have in my life.

37. My grandfather was right; you'll never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul so be generous while you can enjoy seeing the difference it makes.

No matter your age, what are the things you love most about the decade you're in?

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

  • Betty White
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    Doesn't it seem like Betty White has been around since David torpedoed Goliath with a slingshot? Our favorite golden girl is only 94 though. Even though Miss Betty White began her career in the 1940s on radio, and later appeared on late night talk shows and game shows (including "Password") in the 50s and 60s, she wasn't really a household name until, at the age of 51, she began playing "The Happy Homemaker" Sue Ann Nivens on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (1973-1977).
  • Morgan Freeman
    Who doesn't love Morgan Freeman? This Academy Award winner paid his dues and then some. Freeman worked for several years as a
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    Who doesn't love Morgan Freeman? This Academy Award winner paid his dues and then some. Freeman worked for several years as an actor, but really came into his own playing chauffeur Hoke Colburn in "Driving Miss Daily" at the age of 52 (although he was 50 when he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in the film "Street Smart").
  • Sharon Osbourne
    Heavy metal vocalist Ozzy Osbourne has been famous for over 40 years as lead singer of the English band Black Sabbath. His wi
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    Heavy metal vocalist Ozzy Osbourne has been famous for over 40 years as lead singer of the English band Black Sabbath. His wife, Sharon, however, did not become a household name until their family reality show "The Osbournes" premiered on MTV in 2002. Just barely 50, Sharon became a media darling, which opened up many doors. She went on to become a judge on "America's Got Talent" and has been co-host of the CBS daytime show "The Talk" since it debuted in October 2010.
  • Regis Philbin
    Regis Philbin was comedian Joey Bishop's sidekick on the ABC television show "The Joey Bishop Show" from 1967 to 1969 and hos
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    Regis Philbin was comedian Joey Bishop's sidekick on the ABC television show "The Joey Bishop Show" from 1967 to 1969 and hosted his own local talk show -- "A.M. Los Angeles" -- from 1975 to 1983. But his name wasn't exactly on the tip of our collective tongues until he became a daytime staple with Kathie Lee Gifford in 1988 on "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee" when he was 57. His vibrant, caustic, yet fun-loving personality pushed him over the top sometime after the show began to gain in popularity with daytime viewers.
  • Abe Vigoda
    Born in 1921, Abe Vigoda captured the role of Salvatore Tessio in the film "The Godfather" in 1972 at the age of 51. His next
    Getty
    Born in 1921, Abe Vigoda captured the role of Salvatore Tessio in the film "The Godfather" in 1972 at the age of 51. His next big role came in 1975 when he signed on to play Sgt. Phil Fish on the television series "Barney Miller." And that's when Vigoda -- who passed away in 2016 -- really became a household name.
  • Tom Bergeron
    Sure, Tom Bergeron became the host of "Hollywood Squares" in 1998 and of "America's Funniest Home Videos" in 2001, 
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    Sure, Tom Bergeron became the host of "Hollywood Squares" in 1998 and of "America's Funniest Home Videos" in 2001, but he didn't really become widely known until joining the wildly popular "Dancing With the Stars." The amiable host was 50 when the show premiered in 2005. After more than 20 seasons as host, it appears he's a keeper.
  • Mike Wallace
    Maybe Mike Wallace was well-known in some hard-core news circles, and perhaps he was on a first-name basis with a few news ju
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    Maybe Mike Wallace was well-known in some hard-core news circles, and perhaps he was on a first-name basis with a few news junkies many moons ago, but it wasn't until he laid his groundwork as a superb gotcha reporter on "60 Minutes" which he did from 1968 (after he turned 50) until 2008 -- that his star really began to shine. This well-respected news journalist sadly passed away on April 7, 2012 at the age of 93.
  • Samuel L. Jackson
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    Born in 1948, Samuel L. Jackson appeared in more than 100 films before the age of 40. However, it was only after he landed the role of a hitman in "Pulp Fiction" in 1994 that his star really began to shine. For this performance, Jackson received a Best Supporting Actor nomination.
  • Andy Rooney
    Andy Rooney is another personality that seems to have been around since the beginning of time, and we're all glad to have bee
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    Andy Rooney is another personality that seems to have been around since the beginning of time, and we're all glad to have been the recipients of his off-the-wall satirical takes on human nature. In 1978, at the age of 59, Rooney began his "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney" segment on the CBS news show "60 Minutes," continuing through 2011. He made us laugh, he made us cry, he made us think. It doesn't get better than that. Rooney died on November 4, 2011 at the age of 92 only a few weeks after his last appearance on the show. 
  • Joy Behar
    Joy Behar was 54 when she was cast as one of the original members of "The View," which made its debut in August 1997. A few y
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    Joy Behar was 54 when she was cast as one of the original members of "The View," which made its debut in August 1997. A few years before that, you could catch Behar doing hilarious stand-up comedy on television. But she only became a household name sometime after "The View" became a must-see, daytime television talk show.