Wednesday, August 10, 2005
50 is not middle aged - an introduction
I used to thnk of being a newspaper writer, a columnist. Hey I even did a college English paper on Humorists in American Literature in the 18th Century. I like people who can write a good piece of satire because often the only time that people (readers) will take a serious topic and even consider it is if they can laugh at or about it.
I am a menopausal woman who was 50 seven years ago come this September. I didn't mind turning 50. Unless you're dead before then you'll pass that milestone yourself. Fifty is just another number you cross off before you reach death.
What really annoyed me about reaching and surpassing that milestone is that people refer to it as middle aged (even now at 57 they call it middle aged). For crying out loud, 50? Hey for those of you who can't count, let me tell you that 50 is the middle of 100. Exactly half of a century. So how many of us are going to live to 100? I don't think I will, nor do I want to live that long.
So why do people want to insist that 50 or even 57 are assigned to that "middle aged" tag? I don't get it. Are people so unsure of reality that they have to pretend that they aren't "past" middle age"?
Maybe the problem is that there is no in between name between middle age and senior citizen? I mean we start as a child, progress to a teen or a young adult. After that it's a long time through the 20-30 somethings, into the 40's (which I consider middle age since we average an 80 year lifespan here in the US). But from 49 through retirement there is no catch phrase for the older than 40's younger than 65 generation. Except that they do lable us the "sandwich generation" when refering to the fact that we are obligated to care ofr our own kids and more and more our aging parents. Who wants to be called a sandwich? What am I? Ham and Swiss on whole wheat?
I'm tempted to just call it "still living" but people think that's morbid. I think it's real.
Hey, I'm not one of those that tell everyone I can still do the things I did in my 30's. I mean yeah, I probably can but who wants to? Been there done that. Who wants to be the 38 year old working mother of two teens? No thanks, one trip through hell is sufficent in a lifetime thank you.
Maybe that unlabled group can be the invisible generation. You know, the group people take for granted, with enough cash to help out the kids and spoil the gradkids (if you should be lucky enough to have them by your 50s) and enough energy to still drive around the aging parents when they need transportation for their errands and doctor's vists.
So what dow we call the 50 somethings? I don't have a definate answer, but I dont' know I don't want to call it middle age!
Feel free to blog at any time. I jsut thought I'd do this rather than clog the menolist with OT stuff when I get the urge to vent.
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