OK. I’ll admit it … I’m 50. I know, I can’t believe it either. One day I was 40 and then, boom, I was 50. At first there was quite a bit of denial, and then anger and sadness, and finally acceptance. And that was just the day before I turned 50 when I did the laundry and accidentally shrunk my favorite jeans.

The good news is they say 50 is the new 40. I don’t know who they are, but I suspect they are not 50 yet.

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with turning 50. I’d rather be 50 than the alternative. However, 50 is that birthday when you realize definitively that you probably have more years behind you than ahead of you, unless of course you live in Okinawa, Japan, which has the largest number of centenarians per capita. I don’t happen to live in Okinawa, so I’m not counting on the fact that Willard Scott will be wishing me a happy birthday on “The Today Show” one day. Of course, if I live to be a hundred and Willard Scott is still around wishing centenarians a happy birthday, then chances are he is doing it from Okinawa, Japan.

They also say that 50 is the time when you should get your first colonoscopy. Personally, I can’t think of anything I’d rather do less than celebrate this milestone with a colonoscopy, except, maybe, get root canal, which, by the way, I had four times when I was 49. I like to think that the root canal was my mouth’s way of preparing me for all the fun times to come. Considering I also had knee surgery and shoulder surgery when I was 49, you’d think I’d be grateful to turn the corner on my 40s. I was … until the doctor called the same day that my AARP card arrived to tell me it was time to get my colonoscopy. At least I think it was my AARP card. My eyesight is going and the print on the card was hard to read.

Fifty is also the year I become an empty nester. I’ll have two kids in college and one dog at home. My husband and I have been waiting for 20 years for the chance to reconnect as a couple without having to do everything through the filter of parenting. Of course I’m not sure my husband will still like me as much as he did 20 years ago, especially with the prospect of having to listen to me complain about getting a colonoscopy over dinner for the next six months, which is approximately how long I expect to put off getting my colonoscopy. However, he’s 51 and hasn’t had his yet, so maybe we can get a two-fer. That would be a romantic start to our golden years together.

I remember when my parents turned 50 and I thought they were so old. Fifty sounded old and 50 looked old. But when I look in the mirror at 50, I don’t see myself as old. I see a wide-eyed, eager 20-year-old. I see a new mom nervously entering her 30s. I see a confident, career-minded 40-year-old. They are all there … in the fine lines around my eyes and mouth and the creases in my forehead that I refuse to dull with Botox because I earned them and they don’t make me look old, they just make me look real.

Not that I can see them anyway, you know.

Because my eyesight is going.

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