Don't stall. Don't commiserate. Pray boldly. The battle is still in front of you.

Looking Back at Fifty — Everyone’s a Head Case

By Piper Bayard

I turned fifty in 2013, and in my life, I’ve learned that growing old sucks. Small strains take months to heal, old wounds are new aches and pains, and where the young woman I was had the world for a smile, the woman I am now knows the treasures only won with my labor. But as far as I can tell, growing old still beats the alternative, so I’m still doing it. At least for today.

While turning fifty is a traumatic event for so many people, I find it a release and a relief—an opportunity to embrace my inner curmudgeon. I’ve now earned the right to regale young people with my cautions and advice. If I had to narrow it down to ten gems, here’s what they are . . .

Canstock Treasure

  1. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’re going to keep getting what you’re getting.
  2. If you change yourself, you will change your world.
  3. Embrace your deepest fears, and they will guide you to fulfillment and purpose—unless it’s a fear of bungee jumping. It’s probably okay to pass on that one.
  4. The best exercise is the one you will do.
  5. Be the person you want to meet, and you will meet the person you want.
  6. If your head is full of what you think you know, you have no room left to learn anything.
  7. It’s no skin off your butt to be kind.
  8. Everyone’s a head case. The only real question is if they are a head case you can live with.
  9. You can’t fix stupid.
  10. Intelligence is the ability to learn from your mistakes, and it has nothing to do with IQ.
  11. If you didn’t give birth to them or marry them, you’ve got no business criticizing them.
  12. Donuts are the world’s most powerful social grease, particularly at your kids’ school office.
  13. Never sweat the count.

What are the gems you’re willing to share from your experience?

Wishing you all a 2014 full of wonder, grace, and helpful life lessons.

Happy New Year!

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16 thoughts on “ Looking Back at Fifty — Everyone’s a Head Case

  1. not just for the young … these are good reminders for old-timers like myself, too! The ones that ring out loudest to me are numbers 7 – 11, especially #9. That will be my 2014 mantra, whenever I’m tempted to “help” someone who asks for help, but I know is just too damn #10 to bother with. In that case, I will ATTEMPT to go to #7 and STFU!

  2. My favorite on age? How old would you be if you didn’t know your age?

    You’ve met me, Piper. Sometimes the answer to that question is two.

    Live life with a “what’s next” versus “what’s left” mindset, and you’ll never run out of mischief adventures.

    LOVE your list. My fave? Number 7. Please toss the Miss Congeniality vote my way.

    Happy, happy new year.

    • Those are some wonderful additions, Gloria, and you definitely deserve a Miss Congeniality prize. A very Happy New Year to you, too! 🙂

  3. I think you look fabulous, I don’t think you look like you’re in your 50s. 🙂 I’m in my 50s also and other than having silver hair and moving a little more slowly than I did 20 years or so ago, I don’t really feel that different. Unless I could somehow know then what I know now, I wouldn’t want to go back to where I was 20 years ago. Love your list.

  4. Great list – especially No. 4. I don’t think I have any worth adding. Except perhaps “Good performances are planned that way.” That was one of Fred Fennell’s Points for Performance that were printed on the inside of our music folders at school. I’m not sure how it applies here but I always liked it. Happy New Year, Piper.

    • I like that, and as a life-long dancer, I think it absolutely applies. Preparation is always key to success. Happy New Year, Mark. 🙂

  5. Fifty is the new thirty. I turned “the new thirty” in 2012. I don’t feel any different. I just wish I’d known, when I was thirty, what I know now aged “the new thirty”… 🙂

    Apropos your advice – absolutely! Especially the kindness – it’s not hard, it counts for so much, and it gets too easily forgotten in this helter-skelter age of the “me generation”.

    Curious factoid; bungee jumping was invented, here in NZ, but I wouldn’t have bungee jumped when I was 30. I wouldn’t do it now. However, we also invented beer flavoured ice-cream, which is a much safer bet.

    All the very best for 2014!

    • LOL. I had no idea that bungee jumping was a Kiwi innovation. So how far do you have to jump for it to count as bungee jumping? Because it still sounds better than beer flavored ice-cream. 🙂

  6. Pingback: Looking Back at Fifty — You Can’t Fix Stupid « Bayard & Holmes

  7. Pingback: You Can’t Fix Stupid and Other Life Lessons | socialinelpaso

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