Tag Archives: self-help

How to be 50: How to Know What’s Cool

By Charlotte Latvala

One of the most disconcerting things about turning 50 is that inevitable moment when you realize – perhaps in the midst of your Yoko Ono impersonation at a party – that you have completely lost your ability to judge whether something is amazingly hip or not.

After all, many once-cool things have plummeted from grace. Aluminum siding. Margarine. Bill Cosby.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: If it was un-cool when you were growing up, it’s probably super cool now. Such as….

  • Broadway. Then, it was something corny and old-fashioned your parents forced you to go see. Now, Hamilton.
enigmatic

Cats are always cool. 

  • Filming your cat doing weird stuff. If you followed your cat around with your 8 mm as a teenager, you were quite the dork. Now? Still a dork, but possibly one with 20,000 followers.
wall of sound

Vinyl is a work of art. 

  • Vinyl. So passe, once CDs came out. Now? Vinyl is the gold standard of vintage cool. (You’re kicking yourself for getting rid of those three Boston LPs back in 1998, aren’t you?)
cassette

Whereas cassettes are just confusing. 

  • Cassettes. Which are apparently the new vinyl. Eight-tracks and picture discs will follow accordingly.
  • Arena rock. Who knew that Journey would have such a long shelf life? We’d love to stop believing, if only we had the choice.
bike

A hippy’s preferred mode of transport on his way home to his tiny house.

  • Hippy life. In the eighties, what could be less cool than an old hippy, clinging to her memories of Woodstock and bralessness? Now, hippies are back. They are “crunchy.” But still hippies.
  • Tiny houses. In our day, bigger was automatically better; the bigger the square footage, the better. Now, dollhouses are chic.
crockpot

They almost predate electricity. 

  • Crockpots. Filled with disgusting sloppy Joes in the 1970s, they have now been rebooted as “slow cookers” and touted as a way to cook healthy homemade meals without actually doing any cooking.
smith-bros

This is a modern man. 

  • Beards. No normal person in our day wanted to look like a lumberjack or the cough drop guys. Now the Grizzly Adams meets Kris Kringle look simply will not go away.
  • Thrift stores. Who used “thrift” as a verb way back when? Hippies, that’s who. Case closed.

 

 

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Filed under hipsters, humor, life advice, mid-life, Uncategorized

How to be 50: How to Argue with your Spouse*

By Charlotte Latvala

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Decades ago, you and your spouse* had heated arguments that went on for hours. Days, even. Your relationship was a spicy stew of emotion; you fought hard and made up passionately.

At 50, it’s harder to get quite so riled up, especially with someone you’ve known since you both dressed like Joan Jett. When you do fight these days, your goal is usually to wrap it up by the time Dancing with the Stars comes on.  

But just in case you need a refresher: Continue reading

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Filed under fighting, humor, marriage, middle-aged, self-help

How to be 50: How to Find More Energy

By Charlotte Latvala

You, most days.

You, around 3 p.m. most days.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that at 50, you have as much energy as a damp paper towel. And not one of the expensive, super-absorbent ones you can use over and over again, either.

So here at How to be 50, we’ve come up with some ingenious and scientifically proven ways to combat the mental and physical sludge. Such as: Continue reading

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Filed under exhausted, humor, middle-aged, self-help

How to be 50: How to Live Vicariously through Your Children

By Charlotte Latvala

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If you have children, it is your God-given right – no, it is your duty – to live your life through them.

Otherwise, why do the little fiends exist?

Ok, we’re being facetious. They exist to fetch wine and hummus when you don’t feel like walking all the way to the kitchen. But by 50, you deserve more. Whether your children are 13 or 30, they should fulfill every desire, whim, and wistful longing you ever had.
To begin:

Continue reading

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Filed under humor, kids, mid-life, parenting, self-help

How to be 50: How to Romanticize Your Past

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By Charlotte Latvala

It’s possible that your past was not all that fascinating. We here at How to be 50, for example, spent much of the 1990s swilling Sutter Home and contemplating another serving of General Tso’s chicken. Our evenings were carefully planned around new episodes of “thirtysomething” and we rarely bought anything that wasn’t 30% off at Macy’s.

But what tale didn’t benefit from a little careful editing? Read on for tips on how to embellish, gloss over, and/or fabricate your real past into something worthwhile. Continue reading

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Filed under 1980s, humor, middle-aged, self-help

How to be 50: How to Retire

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By Charlotte Latvala

Retirement? What? you’re saying – I’m only 50, for crying out loud. And although you’ve heard those urban myths about people retiring at 50, you’ve never met anyone who actually has.

Still, the Big R is kinda, sorta looming. Mathematically, you’re closer to retirement than, say, having your first legal drink.

And because you’re the sort of 50-year-old who’s reading How to be 50 instead of Forbes, you probably need some friendly advice about facing this major milestone.

First and foremost: You can’t just stop working.

You need money. You need a plan. You need a dream.

But mostly, you need money.

How to be 50 can’t simply write you a check. But, as usual, we do offer some handy shortcuts: Continue reading

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Filed under humor, lists, mid-life, retirement, self-help

How to be 50: How to Appear Successful

By Charlotte Latvala
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By Charlotte Latvala

By 50, you’ve figured out who you are, where you’re going, and how to get there.

Except that you haven’t. (Don’t feel bad. We at “How to be 50” are experts at being middle-aged and clueless.)

However, even if you have an empty checking account, a comatose career, and no discernible talent or ambition, you can still fake success with the best of them.

Don’t believe us? Try this: Continue reading

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Filed under life advice, mid-life, middle-aged, money, parody, satire, self-help, successful

How to be Tech-Savvy

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By Charlotte Latvala

We all know the stereotype: Middle-aged man or woman staring in utter confusion at a screen, unable to decipher the gizmo without an eye-rolling teenager to help.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Go ahead and laugh, kids – but Steve Jobs was from our generation. Stick that in your USB port. Continue reading

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Filed under middle-aged, parody, satire, self-help, tech