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15 Reasons Why 50 Is Definitely Not The New 30

And why it's actually so much better.

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Delphine Lee
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The irony is not lost on me that as I embark on turning 50 — that magical decade that is supposed to bring with it a whole new level of liberating freedom and sense of purpose — magazine articles aimed at me now are all about making references and comparing being in your 50s nowadays to being in your 30s.

Guess what my 30s weren’t? They weren’t liberating at all. They were suffocating, to say the least, as I was not only drowning in diapers, but also gasping for any slice of air that would help define who I was and what I was doing as meaningful and purposeful. As I speed toward 50, I can tell you with complete certainty that my days now are a great deal more fulfilling than many in my 30s, and quite honestly, I have no desire to have this new decade be anything like the new 30. None. Zero.

Well, maybe I want my back to feel like it’s 30 years old, but that’s about it. The rest of that 30s angst? It can stay long gone, and here’s why.

  • We’re done raising kids! (Sort of.) By your 50s it’s likely your kids have flown the coup and are beginning to manage life without your safety net and constant interventions. Exhale BIG, girlfriends, you’ve earned it.
  • You understand and practice gratitude daily now. The only thing I was thankful for in my 30s was a toddler that slept all night, but now? Pretty much everything feels like a blessing.
  • Guilt? Not anymore, and not about anything! That word has finally left my self-talk vocabulary, and I was happy to see that “Negative Nelly” go. Only thing I wanna be guilty of now is eating the last piece of cake.
  • Confidence is now measured by ME, not society or a magazine ad. I don’t need that slim-fitting bathing suit to feel my best; I just need me!
  • Think of the stuff we’ve survived! Remember days in your 30s where you cried out, “I’ll never survive this!” Pfffff. You did, and look at you now. I guarantee you are better for it. The more we live, the more we LIVE.
  • Sex is way better now. No more scheduling sex at nap times, no more pregnancy scares, and if you’re lucky, no more periods! That alone makes it better. Like, WAAAAAAY BETTER.
  • I only invest in people who invest in me. Playgroup-mom friends in my 30s were great because of convenience, but now? My friends are here for the whole ME, not just for supporting my motherhood journey.
  • Speaking of friends, get and keep yourself only a few. I have no desire anymore to be friends with every woman/mom I interact with. That was exhausting, and I’m glad it’s over.
  • Financial security. Among other things, let’s just say the days of buying only used furniture are over. Also, no more braces payments.
  • Hobbies? Yes, you can have them now. Hobbies I pursued when I was in my 30s included things that revolved around child-rearing — think making baby food and collecting cloth-diaper covers. Now? I make and do things for ME. Just ME. Only ME.
  • Self-care isn’t a pedicure anymore. Sneaking out for an hour every two weeks to have someone paint your toenails is no longer considered self-care. Your 50s mean freedom and the ability to fly to a destination with your BFFs for self-care. Now that’s what I’m talking about!
  • What not to wear is not my problem anymore. Remember having people tell you what was appropriate to wear? I don’t give a damn about that nonsense now. I will wear whatever the heck I want. Looking good is a standard set by me, thank you very much.
  • I just don’t care like I did in my 30s, and it’s wonderful. I cared — boy, did I care about everyone and everything for years and years. But that ship has sailed, and my cares are more focused and very much closer to home.
  • Career no longer defines me, and being the boss is pretty sweet. Working, pleasing people at work, trying to get ahead and all those other gal goals during my 30s are no longer important to me (what a relief).
  • Take it or leave it, this is ME; and if you leave, take care now! Remember the liberation of expectations we’ve been promised to gain in our 50s? It’s not a myth. It’s the real deal, and it includes a new level of self-assuredness and contentment that at no point in my 30s was I even close to reaching. So no thanks, folks, 50 is NOT the new 30. It’s better.