They say that with age comes wisdom. Since I turned 50 over the weekend, I thought I would share three of the most important things I learned during my first half century.
1. There’s no such thing as a small tear in the seat of your jeans. Throw them away. Think you’ll keep them and just wear them around the house? You’ll forget. Throw them away. Think you can sew and that you’ll get around to fixing them? You won’t. Throw them away. Throw them away before you wear them Christmas shopping.
2. I should not drink wine and attend an auction of any sort. At a live auction, I will drink wine and bid against myself. It’s true. I’ve seen me do it. At silent auctions, I will drink wine and become so fixated on something that I lose perspective and try to keep other people from the bid sheets … without being obvious. I often succeed on obtaining the item, sometimes at a cost that far outweighs its actual value, but I rarely succeed at the not being obvious part.
3. It’s true that you’re only as old as you feel, but I’ve learned that things more important than age affect how I feel. For example, I absolutely loved to fly when I was younger. Loved it until the day I became a parent, when it became terrifying to me. It took Dramamine, or tequila, to get me on a plane. Sometimes it took Dramamine and tequila, and still I gripped the armrests tight enough to leave indentations, all the while worrying about my kids. I would not sleep the night before a flight and frequently drove alone from Glenwood Springs to Kansas City and back to avoid the plane. And I do not like that drive!
Fast forward to this year. I’ve flown more than 10,000 miles and can hop on a plane with nary a motion sickness pill. Tequila is sometimes still involved, but now it’s just for fun.
The difference? I believe it’s because I’ve realized that my kids have grown into amazing, capable and responsible adults who, as much as I don’t want admit it, can take care of themselves remarkably well. This realization gives me a little more freedom, not because we’re past the point of the daily tasks of parenting younger children, but because of the confidence I have in their abilities. I have a feeling this is also why I finally felt brave enough to ride a motorcycle.
I’m still not going to jump out of a plane, go paragliding or ride the Giant Canyon Swing, but I’ve come a long way, baby.
(For my brother-in-law pilot, I know that flying is statistically safer than driving, but rational thought sometimes eludes me.)
© 2014 Mandy Gauldin