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Middle-Aged Jane

  • Writer's pictureVicki Jane

Fifty.

In just a few short weeks I will be turning the big 5-0. It’s the official middle of middle-age-dom and I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of my AARP packet so I can get discounts on everything from smart pill dispensers to cruises for the aged.


A lot of people have been asking me how I’m feeling about turning 50. Honestly, I never thought I would make it this long, so I’m grateful, but surprised. Obviously no one can predict how long we will live, but I do have a thing for risky sports and travel. I’m clumsy and I don’t carry pepper spray when I go for hikes or jogs by myself. I don’t necessarily take great care of myself, exercising intermittently, and I possess a palette for delicious fatty foods and Olympic level imbibing. I do drive quite gingerly though. I don’t have any family history as I am adopted, so I cannot gauge from that (not that it is a given) and 23 and Me didn’t shed much light on the subject, though I may end up blind. As I approach this milestone birthday and take stock of where I’m at, I am realizing that I didn’t plan well for the possibility of getting old.

I have never had a skin care routine, and it shows. I could have been more consistent with stretching, as I creak a little when I walk down stairs. I could be, and should have been, better at saving for retirement, just in case I make it. By choice I never had children, and this is most peoples first concern for me - who is going to take care of me when I’m old? To this I say, it is not a given that your children will assist you when you age, or that you will age at all, and it certainly would not have been a reason to have them. I do have a will, health care proxy, power of attorney, and life insurance in place. More people should have these done early and discuss them with their peeps. I have started training my brain by learning Spanish and using games on the Elevate app. According to the tests, my memory is shot, but my math is elite level. My recent blood work was excellent, even though I went in for an irregular heartbeat. They tell me that’s normal for someone my age. lol. I’m okay, today.

In the meantime, I have been receiving quite a bit of pressure to let people know what I want to do for the big occasion. Let it be known that I have planned some pretty fun and memorable events in my time, usually for others, from concerts to weddings and funerals. Some of my most creative work happened during the pandemic, when I organized an elaborate scavenger hunt for Thanksgiving, and for a birthday, interspersed Cameos from Ice-T, Sofi Tukker, and celebrity chefs, with recorded tributes from family and friends. However, I am finding myself stuck with a case of the “indecisives.”

The adventurous, charitable, and practical sides of me are having a moment, and all of the targeted ads for aging skin, leaky bladders, safety devices, and retirement planning, are just a bit effing blah! I have thought about having some friends over and hiring a band, going to a retreat center, taking a trip to a faraway land (perhaps Argentina?) or should I just do nothing and save the money for a rainy day. I did call a dear friend to ask her what I should do and we chatted about how all of these sides of me are incompatible. We ended up catching up, which was lovely, but ultimately deciding that she needs to get a puppy.

I have lived an interesting life so far, with few regrets. However I decide to mark the day, I am working on my ambitious 50 goals for 50 list, and wrapping up a few from my 49 list (starting a blog was on that list). I will be sure to share the list when it’s done. Maybe it’s just going to be a “birthday year” instead of a day. I will take it as it comes, as there is no guarantee beyond this one moment in time.


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