So this is 50.
It’s a milestone that causes writers to create lists or retrospectives or manifestos for the second half of life. It’s also scary milestone because the truth is that most of us don’t live to 100. Many of us don’t make it to 80.
Life is a ride that isn’t slowing down, and without incredible luck and terrific genetic makeup, it’s a ride that’s probably two-thirds done. Two-thirds if you’re fortunate. It’s a bit scary and depressing, especially if you’re ambitious and energetic, filled with optimism, hope and love — and that am I. So, I think about mortality only briefly and then let it go, working to make tomorrow the best tomorrow it can be.
Turning 50 means getting more stubborn and stuck in your ways. Most of my ways are harmless, but I’m hardly stuck in them. I enjoy them.
Turning 50 means not caring too much about what others think, but we all care a little bit about others think. It’s why we wear clothes.
Turning 50 means you’ve lost a step physically, and ain’t that the truth. My wife got me an in-ground basketball goal for my birthday because I love to shoot hoops. Basketball has always been my favorite sport to play, but my hops haven’t taken flight since 2015.
Turning 50 means you don’t recall why you walked into a room. No earthly idea. I didn’t realize I was writing this until the third paragraph.
Turning 50 means you really have to start watching what you eat, which for me means putting on my glasses.
Turning 50 for men means never more getting a full night of sleep uninterrupted. Peeing becomes the thing you do most every day.
Turning 50 means you get the AARP card, but you’re not getting any of the really cool discounts for another 10 years.
Turning 50 means you need to get a colonoscopy. My hope is that the doctors can “scope out” all the extra belly so I can see my six-pack just once before it’s lights out.
Kidding aside, I’m looking forward to the next decade of life. The movie is just starting to get really good. But in the spirit of a good list, if I had any wisdom to pass along, it would be the following 10 items:
- Don’t waste time, none. Every moment should have a purpose, even if it’s to take a nap.
- Arguing over sports or politics is an energy-suck. Avoid it at all costs. ALL costs.
- Don’t be in a rush to get married. There’s somebody for everybody, and if you find that person, you’re the luckiest person on Earth.
- Get organized the best you can. Clutter is chaotic energy, and chaos leads to stress. And stress is a killer.
- Outsource everything if you can afford it. Time is more valuable than money.
- Subscribe to a good newspaper. Supporting journalism is the most patriotic thing you can do.
- Lose the phone while you’re driving. All of it: texting, calling, talking. Drivers have never been worse, and you need all your faculties to make sure you get home in one piece.
- Sleep is sacred. Keep the temperature low (65-68 F). Eliminate all blue light. No TV. And get a routine. Go to bed at about the same time every night and get up about the same time every day. Sleep impacts your metabolism, which impacts things like stress, hunger and mood. Ergo sleep is medicine.
- Move. Motion is lotion. Thought another way, be sitting as little as possible. Did you know: the greatest predictor of your longevity is how quickly you can get down to the ground and then get back up?
- Last one: Get a bidet. They’re amazing.