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Not to be a naysayer (or a total bitch...call it what you will) I am not sure that I believe that FIFTY could possibly be the perfect age. For that matter...could any age be considered perfect???
Thought Number One: Flawed Poll
First of all nothing about the numbers add up for me. According to the article younger people chose younger ages, while the older respondents chose ages somewhat younger than their current chronological age.
The Y Generation (Echo Boomers), ages 18 to 36, thought the perfect age was 38. Gen Xers, ages 37 to 48, wanted to stay put at 49. Baby boomers, ages 49 to 67, thought 55 was pretty awesome. While mature adults, ages 68 and older, were happy to hold steady at 67.
Additionally, on average men wanted to be younger than woman. Men chose the age 47 as their ideal over the 53 that females chose. People that had children at home seemed to think 45 was the magic number.
SO EXACTLY WHERE DOES THIS PERFECT AGE OF 50 COME INTO PLAY????
According to the article, Barbara Becker Holstein, a psychologist supported the research and concedes that age 50 is the "sweet spot" as far as aging goes. She is quoted as saying:
“You have almost every opportunity. You’re young enough to be famous or start an organic farm and still have the muscle tone to work eight hours a day. You’re old enough to have wisdom but young enough that your parents are still alive so you have a generational experience. If you’re tired, you can ask the young man on the bus to get out of his seat for you. Or you can date the young man. The more I think about it, the more appealing it is.”
“I really think 50 is the new 30 to 35,” she says. “For a woman, you can stay stylish and fit and maybe get your hair dyed or just do a little [cosmetic] tune-up and feel, ‘Wow, this is great.’ In terms of childbearing, you can basically say forget it or if you want a baby at 50 or 53, you can get your hormones juiced up and go for it.”
Does anyone out there, other than me think that Barbara must be younger than 50 and she is possibly crazy.
OK...maybe that was harsh on my part. While clearly, I have never, actually asked a younger person to vacate their seat on public transportation, I don't think the fact I am a Baby Boomer would save me from getting a really dirty look and some serious eye rolling. AND I don't think I am overstating it that MOST women don't feel that they "would go for it" in considering having a new baby in their 50's.
Let me, also state...There is NO WAY IN HELL that 50 is the new 30-35. I have been 50 and it was not all that long ago....yes, I remember it vividly. I might add that, I still have fairly accurate recall...and I am telling you that 50 isn't at ALL like 30 or 35.
Thought Number Two: Optimism versus Reality
Now that I have spewed all my negativity concerning how that study is flawed, I probably should clarify a few things. I don't think any age can be tied to good or bad. Perhaps a 100 year old in good health, living a nice life is happier than a 40 year old that is struggling with physical or mental issues.
I have had a real wake-up call this week.
Last Saturday, my friend, Christi, who has had some health issues needed to get out of the house. (This friend has been struggling with some health issues for the last year or so and a few months ago, was placed on the donor list as she need her lungs replaced) Anyway, Saturday, I went over and loaded her car with her oxygen tank as she can no longer step high enough to get into my SUV. We had a nice Saturday afternoon driving around town just doing nothing. Driving and talking. Talking about how nice it would be when she got the call that there were lungs for her. It really is just a matter of time we commiserated more than a few times...as we have been doing for the last 3 months.
At about 3:00 PM, I took her home, made her some iced tea and talked about getting together early next week.
Sunday morning, my phone rang. The caller ID tells me it's my friend calling. I immediately think, "Christi got her call that there are some donor lungs available." ...Yes, she is going to go get her lungs...I am sure of it.
But it isn't Christi's voice over the phone. It's her husband. Her husband tells me "She's gone".
I am confused. Why is my friend not telling me that she is on her way to the hospital?.... I question him. "You mean Christi is on her way to get her transplant. She's left for the hospital???? Why aren't you with her?"
"No, Cheryl...she's gone" I am numb It is a huge mistake. Clearly someone has made a mistake.
I know it should of occurred to me but it never did. Not once. Fifty-nine is too young and we had plans to meet early in the week.
SOOOO...Here is what I think the perfect age is....
It's when you still can spend quality time with your friends and family.
It's when you can make amends for the things that need to be amended.
It's when you still can feel gratitude for the life you've been given.
It's when you can still find joy in your life and the lives of those you care about.
It's when you can make plans to see your friends tomorrow and be around to make the date.
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