1-Appreciation and gratitude for the simple pleasures in life.
2-Peer pressure has no effect on me.
3-For over three decades, I have not been grounded, I have not needed to ask to borrow the car and I did not have to worry about a curfew.
4-The ability to eat gummy bears after brushing my teeth, even if it means incurring the wrath of my dental hygienist later.
5-The ability to change dental hygienists whenever I feel like it.
6-Appreciation for the fact that in life, it’s not always about quantity, but quality.
7-The ability to appreciate those who genuinely offer kind words and the ability to tune out people who make me the object of their criticism.
8-Being past the stage of having so many things to figure out. I think I know myself pretty well by now. However, my challenge is how to make them happen when life throws me a curve ball, and how to keep them going.
9-Confidence… it’s that little thing that crept up on me over the years.
10-The freedom to be who I want to be.
11-Respect of my own energy and of my limits, and the wisdom to know when it is appropriate to challenge them and when it is not.
12-The realization that I really can’t please all the people, all of the time, even when I give my absolute best. While it may sound pessimistic on the surface, it really is about reality.
13-Trusting my instincts… My instincts can’t be that bad if I survived 50 years on them.
14-The knowledge that sometimes letting go is easy, sometimes it is hard. Either way, there was always something else waiting once I did.
15-The ability to graciously thank people for advice, notably unsolicited advice, especially about my life, and then doing what is right for me, whether that involves aforementioned advice or not.
16-The ability to fearlessly wear white after Labour Day and not worrying about showing up on a “fashion don’t” list.
17-I know what consistently makes me happy. Life doesn’t always deliver it, but that just makes me pursue it with greater determination.
18-The ability to pair a fine wine with a fine bag of chips, after a hard week at work.
19-Having many fine friendships that lasted over 30 years.
20-The knowledge that no matter how bad things get, things will get better. They eventually do, I just have to be patient. Along the way there is a lesson to be learned, even if it is simply a lesson about patience.
21-I no longer feel a need to explain or to apologize for wearing earplugs to a concert. I have been successful in maintaining (most of) my hearing to this point. I see no sense in voluntarily letting what I have slip away for the sake of an unnecessarily thunderous arena concert.
22-The occasional forgetting of a name is not a huge problem, it is a fact of life. I just needed to develop a kind and diplomatic method to recover from it.
23-Living on the edge at age 50 can mean something as simple as eating yogurt 6 hours before its expiry date. I am ok with that!
24-A stronger ability to say no, diplomatically and graciously, even though that is still a work-in-progress.
25-The joy of never having to explain an afternoon nap (on a day off or a weekend, of course!)
26-Knowing the difference between when it is appropriate to speak up, diplomatically but firmly, and when to just keep my mouth shut.
27-Knowing how to articulate what I need.
28-Knowing how to articulate what I feel.
29-Slowly detaching from the material things in life, even though it won’t stop me from hunting for a great pair of shoes.
30-An increasing appreciation for calm and serenity.
31-An increasing appreciation for the benefits of a clear head, which I think we are often too busy to recognize and therefore we tend to take for granted.
32-The joy of the journey of trying new restaurants, foods and beverages.
33-I survived the shingles… friends who are 50 and over, find out if the shot is right for you. It’s not fun.
34-It never gets old when someone checks my ID for my age, does the math, and either does a double-take or says “You don’t look it”.
35-The knowledge that a great cup of coffee can really start my day off right.
36-The knowledge that chocolate can make almost anything better.
37-The value of giving people the benefit of the doubt… to a point.
38-The beauty and majesty of a crisp fall day when the leaves peak in their change to bright red, orange and yellow.
39-Knowing how to negotiate well rather than argue (and when to drop it when the person I am negotiating with is not on the same page).
40-The value of agreeing to disagree.
41-Knowing when and how to pick my battles, and which ones are really not worth my time or limited energy.
42-Knowing that sometimes just being there to listen to a person is all it takes to help them feel better, instead of tripping over myself to try to fix it for them.
43-Knowing that social media is a snapshot of life, it is not real life.
44-The ability to take certain things with a grain of salt.
45-The ability to take certain things at face value.
46-Keeping a stiff upper lip, putting on a brave face, keeping up appearances and keep smiling are appropriate for minor setbacks. We all have them and must persevere. But when life kicks me in the “family jewels”, there is nothing wrong with being human and allowing myself time to retreat and to heal. That was a tough lesson to learn… being human is ok!
47-The privilege of meeting many fine people, personally and professionally, who continuously inspire me.
48-The privilege of being blessed with such a great extended family and friends.
49-At 50, I have accumulated so many great memories. If the next 50 follow the same trend, I will have been a very lucky man.
50-At 50, I have accumulated a number of stories to tell, which I cannot wait for the next 50 years to share with you.
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Have a great day,