How to be 50: How to Feel Better About Yourself

By Charlotte Latvala

Be truthful: You’re not where you imagined you’d be, some decades back. Because, at 20, you pictured yourself living in a Duran Duran video, or at least working at some cool job like Martha Quinn’s.

Martha was a great role model. But not necessarily for you.

Martha was a great role model. But not necessarily for you.

The reality is that you have a pile of bills, an unpredictably leaky roof, and eyesight so bad you need to magnify your screen to 140% just to check Facebook.

But there’s no cause for sadness. You can feel better about your underachieving ways without tiresome soul-searching. Try these shortcuts instead:

  • Toss your college alumni magazine (subtitle: Bragging 101) as soon as it arrives.
  • If you can’t bring yourself to throw it away, at least read the obituaries first. (In fact, read obituaries in general. No matter how bad things seem, at least you’re still alive!)
You're one up on these folks.

You’re one up on these folks.

  • Don’t hang out with anyone who seems more successful than you. Granted, this strategy may limit your social circle to that guy with the flip phone who sits in the corner at Starbucks all day, muttering to himself, but he’s probably really fascinating once you get to know him.
Time for another drink.

Time for another drink.

  • Substitute pretentious terms for ordinary accomplishments. Dragged yourself out of bed? No, you carpe diem-ed, baby. Drove to the grocery store? Correction: You practiced another skill in your wheelhouse. Yelled at your teenager to take out the trash? Of course not! You empowered him to make good decisions.
  • Read biographies of late bloomers. (Grandma Moses, Colonel Sanders, Abraham and Sarah are just a few of the old folks who kicked it into high gear later than everyone else.)
Who knows? You too could start a dynasty in another 40 or 50 years.

Who knows? You too could start a dynasty in another 40 or 50 years.

  • Remind yourself, especially when the ATM is giving you an “insufficient funds” message, that money doesn’t buy happiness. Or love. (At least according to four very rich young men from Liverpool.)
  • Spend an evening with someone who has two or three more kids than you do. If there’s anything that will make you feel fortunate, it’s other people’s obnoxious offspring.
  • Post so many “throwback” photos on social media that people forget what you look like and think you’re 30 years younger than you are.
You still act like this.

You still act like this.

  • Dig out your old copy of Rio and give it a spin, dancing just like you did in the eighties. For you and Martha.
It's aged as well as you have.

It’s aged as well as you have.

Advertisements

5 Comments

Filed under eighties, humor, lists, middle-aged

5 responses to “How to be 50: How to Feel Better About Yourself

  1. I never wanted to be in a Duran Duran video, but, and I hope I get Brownie points here, I was at the same university as Simon Le Bon at the same time.

    My great consolation is that Rex Stout didn’t publish his first Nero Wolfe book until he was 54. He then churned them out for another 40 years (almost).

  2. Hey, I go for the long gray pony-tail and tie-dye t-shirt look. It horrifies the successful and lifts the spirits of the not-so-successful because “at least they are not THAT person.” I love doing my part to bring happiness into the world.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s