posted by Matt W on January 29th, 2014

I recently turned fifty.

I’ll let that sink in for a moment. 50. FIFTY. 50.

Fifty is one of those ages that people don’t let you pass through quietly. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the words colonoscopy, hearing aid, and prune juice. According to my kids, that would be because I NEED the hearing aids and miss most of what people are saying around me. Truth be told, I can hear MOST of what is being said and choose to ignore it, that or I’m napping. But while I’m telling the truth, being a quiet person by nature, most people don’t even know I turned fifty this year or that it was even my birthday so most thoughts regarding turning 50 have been in the form of self-reflection.

When I look back on my life’s birthdays, the major years have all been nice. 18, 21, 30, and 40 have all been a snap. As 50 stands right now, I’m feeling pretty good. The years ending in 5 not so much. They were all my aging years.

25, twenty-five, 25 or as I like to refer to it as Metabolism I. I had a second growth spurt at 25 and literally gained 50 pounds of muscle and went from a 42 jacket to a 48. Awesome. Then my metabolism crashed, and my caloric intake needed to be cut in half. I gained even more weight, not the muscly kind. Not so awesome. I went from eating a whole casserole to counting calories. It took me 20 pounds to figure that one out.

35 was a year that could be referred to as Metabolism II, but I refer to it as “the year my body started to fall apart.” First of all, my metabolism dropped off again which totally sucked. But also my body started to fall apart. 35 was the age for me that the things I used to be able to do without thinking, I actually had to start thinking about. I couldn’t pick up my end of a piano by myself during a move anymore, picking up 10 pieces of luggage at the airport was no longer possible (I got one of those poorly designed little carty things) and my god I even had to start stretching before playing a round of golf. If not, I was going to feel it. It was also the year my wife started referring to these activities as “emergency room” activities. “Do what you want, but you know I’m going to be taking you to the emergency room later if you do.” That phrase is still used a great deal in our marriage, which pisses me off, partly because it’s true.

45 was the year my body actually did fall apart. I blew a couple disks in my neck pulling a gigantic bush out of my front yard (refer to emergency room activities above). My arm ached all the time. The rest of my body fell apart trying to compensate. I lived at the doctor and chiropractor. My golf game fell apart. Oh and I was unemployed and mentally shot. Not a good year for me. Surgery the next year was a life saver. I probably shouldn’t have waited.

So as I approached 50, and am now living it, I’m feeling pretty good. I’m older but also wiser from the manly life lessons I’ve described. I’m well on my way to getting down to my 50’s weight and body (old men need to be skinny), my golf game is intact, and someone recently told me they thought I was still in my thirties so I have that going for me.

You’re only as old as you feel and I feel pretty good.

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