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Snyder column: Thoughts on turning 50

Iím not in denial. Itís just that fifty isnít as scary as it used to be. In retrospect, I am confident that when I turn 60, I will wish I was turning 50 again.
People used to say you were ěOver the Hillî when you hit 50 years old. Then theyíd try to spin it in a positive light by saying, ěItís all downhill from here!î
Iím pretty sure, though, that as soon as they saw me approaching the hill, they moved it. All those senior discounts I was looking forward to are no longer available until Iím 55 or 60.
I still have a mortgage and will have it for another 20-some years. Whatís so ědownhillî about having a mortgage? Added to that is the fact that if I was of a mind to get a job to pay that mortgage down faster, Iíd have to pay someone to hire me. That kind of defeats the purpose, doesnít it?
It helps that I still have young children at home. Oddly enough, cleaning toilets, having peanut butter smeared on my microwave and repeating the words ěClean your room!î, ěBrush your teeth!î, and ěDo your homework!î makes me feel young.
Perhaps itís simply that Iím too busy to take the number 50 seriously.
Considering all the medical advances in the past 100 years, I have a good chance of living to be 100. Thatís the good news. The bad news is that Iím already halfway there.
It was spent in a blur of seasons, one after another, celebrated by birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, vacations and productive, fulfilling endeavors. It was also spent doing things Iíd rather forget; like toilet training, wiping noses, and soothing vomiting children. Yeah, better to develop amnesia where those things are concerned.
There is still a great deal on my ěbucket list,î but I have put a hearty dent in it over the past 50 years. My bucket list is not one filled with death-defying feats of courage and bravery. I have no intention of trying to climb Mt. Everest or jump out of an airplane with a scrap of linen strapped to my back. I am certain that my life will be complete without the need for freezing my nether parts off on the side of the tallest mountain on Earth. And why tempt Fate by intentionally trying to have a heart attack jumping into thin air just to see an unobstructed view from 30,000 feet? I have TV and a good imagination. I donít need to actually experience that.
These things are not necessary for my sense of fulfillment. They are actually on my list of things to try if I ever needed an inventive way to kill myself. As long as I want to live another 50 years, I donít see myself consulting that list any time soon.
The question is: How shall I spend the next 50 years?
I will probably spend them the same way as the first 50: In a blur of seasons, one after another, celebrated by birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, vacations, productive, fulfilling endeavors and vomiting grandchildren. Of course, there will be new births, new marriages, new places to go, and new challenges for me to try.
The only difference between the last 50 years and the next 50 years is that I canít put a name to those future events yet. And isnít that exciting?
Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author & speaker. You can reach Laura at lsnyder@lauraonlife.com Or visit her website, www.lauraonlife.com for more info.

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