It is frequently noted in numerous magazine articles and TV shows that 50 is the new 30. Having now hit The Big 50 I can safely say, that at least for me, this is completely false.
When I was 30, I lived in a high-rise Manhattan apartment with my husband and our cat. I worked in a beautiful Park Avenue office and was going to college part time. I wore pretty clothes that had to be dry cleaned. I went to movies with my husband and lunches with my girlfriends.
At 50, I live in the suburbs with my husband and three kids — 16, 13, and 10. Sadly the cat died five years ago. I am a part-time writer and a full-time mom. I spend most of my time behind my computer or in my minivan. My wardrobe consists primarily of mom gear that can be dropped in my washing machine. When I do need to get dressed up for the occasional work-related event, the whole family views it as a big deal.
I don’t feel at all like I did when I was 30.
I do, however, feel an awful lot like I did when I was 16. I know, it sounds crazy but stay with me on this one.
At 16, I wondered what I would be when I grew up and spent a lot of time trying to figure it out. At 50, I’m still wondering what I would like to be when I grow up, and I am spending a lot of time trying to figure it out.
At 16, I had to wait for my parents to leave the room so I could make out with my boyfriend. At 50, I have to wait for my kids to leave the room so I can make out with my husband.
At 16, my hormones were all over the place and affected everything from the texture of my hair and skin to my waist and chest. At 50, my hormones are all over the place and are affecting everything from the texture of my hair and skin to my waist and chest.
At 16, I daydreamed about living in New York City and ditching the suburbs. At 50, I daydream about living in New York City and ditching the suburbs.
When I was 16, I felt restless and on the brink of something amazing. I knew I had my whole life ahead of me, and I was anxious to see how it would end up.
Totally appropriate for a teen.
But at 50? My life is as settled as a married mom of two teens and a tween can be.
Yet, I do feel on the brink of something new. At times I find it thrilling, and at times it scares the heck out of me.
Though my youngest won’t be starting college for another eight years, I no longer am in a sea of babies and toddlers. I can envision a life beyond my role as mom. Unlike my younger self, what others think about the way I look or the way I choose to live my life carries very little weight. There is a freedom that comes with age. Not unlike the freedom we feel in our teens.
The heck with feeling like I’m 30. 50 is the new 16.
Kathy Radigan is a writer, blogger, social media addict, mom to three, wife to one and owner of a possessed appliance. She posts a weekly essay each Sunday on her blog, My dishwasher’s possessed! Kathy is a Huffington Post blogger and a frequent contributor to Scary Mommy.. Her work has also been featured on, Yahoo, Elephant Journal, What to Expect,and other online publications. Kathy lives outside New York City with her family. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter