Today We are 55

Birthday tea time

Fifty five is the age of the season and a lovely age it is too. When I turned fifty I wrote a list of things learnt and as half a decade has passed I have decided to update my list :

Rodney Smith, Woman in Red Hat with Book, NY Public Library, NYC

Rodney Smith, Woman in Red Hat with Book, NY Public Library, NYC

Things learnt by 55

Quiet is good. Quiet is very, very good.

Being a grandparent is the world’s most wonderful gift.

Read to your children, for all else follows.

Don’t give up on education and reskilling, no matter your age, or the length of the road in front of you.

Grey hair means freedom from the recolour schedule and no more fear of looking like a skunk at important events!

Find a good beautician because the hair is not only on the top of your head.

Now is the time to organise the rest of your life.

If seeking a sea or tree change, make sure that amenities are not too far away. You may be happy to drive to shops and doctors now, but in 10 0r 15 years it may not be so easy. Think, how long will it take an ambulance to get to you? Also, if buying as a couple, what are the plans for when there is only one of you? Can you handle where you live solo?

Sometimes, perhaps more often than you would like to admit, your adult children know better than you.

It is still important to have a job that interests you and gives you some motivation and is not just a pay check. You’re going to be working for a long time yet.

Exercise has to be more than moving from one end of the couch to the other.

You can learn healthy eating habits from your children.

Try to be the mother in law you wish you had been given.

Declutter your house so that your children don’t have to do it when you can’t.

Know when it is time to go into care – and do it. Your children should not be asked to give up their lives for you.

Adult daughters can be your best friend. Know the boundaries.

Life experience builds wisdom and confidence. You also realise the rat race is a farce as your ego no longer needs materialistic props.

Needs become quality not quantity.

Sharing laughter brings more meaning to life.

There is no answer to life, and life itself has no meaning – we create the meaning in our lives.

Being in your fifties is a best time of your life.


Jirí Jíru - Swinging grannies, Slovakia, 1966

Jirí Jíru – Swinging grannies, Slovakia, 1966

Birthday 1

Birthday balloons

birthday candles


19 thoughts on “Today We are 55

  1. Happy birthday FD. I love your list. However, given the fact that I’m in the “10 or 15 years from now” category, there were a few things that made me chuckle. “You may be happy to drive to shops and doctors now, but in 10 or 15 years it may not be so easy. Think, how long will it take an ambulance to get to you?” Gads, that’s a thought. We live three miles out of town and get around just fine, but I timed the paramedics when I was 60. I thought I was having a heart attack. Six of them were standing in my living room within ten minutes–too long for a heart attack, but just right for a panic attack, which is what I had (after a family Christmas when we thought mom was dying of cancer–she wasn’t and she didn’t).


  2. OMG. I opened this post on April 6, my birthday. (We are always a day behind here in North America, so when you are kvetching about Monday, I’m usually enjoying my Sunday afternoon.

    Happy Birthday, dear FD! I hope it rained rose petals on your day, and cake and champagne magically appeared at your breakfast table. Perhaps your baby granddaughter will stop crying for that one day too!


  3. Some of the items on your list made my heart hurt… to think I’d need to plan for (the inevitable). You sound very organised for the slowing down of life. Even though we don’t know each other I hope you have a lovely birthday and enjoy many more to come!


  4. What a wonderful page full of wisdom! I hope your 55th year is your best one yet!
    Thanks for deciding to follow my blog today – I am honored 🙂


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