This upcoming month (June 6 to be exact), I turn 56 years old. 56 YEARS OLD! Like most other 50-something-year-old individual, I’m not sure how this happened – it feels like a blink of an eye. One day I’m a college girl, the next a young mother, and now more than one half a century old. How can I be over 50? Most days I feel, think and act like a 24-year-old, so I know it’s only a number, but when that AARP membership card arrives …

When I was growing up, I thought 50-plus women were old; they were on the downside of life. Or were they??? I know I’m not the first half centurion to say age is only a number. We have to say that, right? Growing older can be a challenge. We must work hard at looking good, keeping our mind sharp, and maintaining our weight and health. Nothing comes naturally anymore.

But, to be honest, I truly feel the best I have felt in many years. I am stronger, more confident, much wiser, and doing work that I never dreamt possible. And, this transformation began at age 46, an age that most feel the best is behind them.

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I think the reason I feel so great is because I never bought into ageism. Sure, I joke about getting older, but I don’t really buy it! People always say 50 is the new 30, but if you look around it’s true. Middle age people are accomplishing more than ever before and doing it at later ages. Growing older does not mean it’s time to retire … it’s time to refire! Have you seen Roger Daltry, Cher, Mick Jagger, or Paul McCartney lately? At their age, they aren’t the grandparents I knew when growing up!

My advice to you: don’t let age be a factor in your life. Don’t buy into ageism. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re too old to embark on a new journey.

  • Julia Child was 50 when she published her first cookbook, launching her career as a celebrity chef.
  • Ray Kroc spent his career as a milkshake device salesman before buying McDonald's at age 52.
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder published the first of her Little House books at age 65.
  • Colonel Sanders was 62 when he franchised Kentucky Fried Chicken.
  • Henry Ford was 45 when he created the revolutionary Model T car.

 So … happy birthday to me (and to you)! I say, “Bring it on baby!”