I'm turning 50 this year. So is the Space Needle, Bob Dylan's first album, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. When you turn 40, it's your first hard look at middle age. Fifty is more than that. It's a friggin' half-century. Things that are around for 50 years get noticed, honored, respected. Oh wait, unless you're a chick. Then you're just an example of everything that is uncool and dorky and contemptible in the world. You will be insulted for your driving, for your taste in music,* the fact that your kids play soccer and you accompany them, and pretty much everything else that you do or think. You are especially horrific if you happen to not be spending every waking hour trying to look a lot younger than you are.
There are a lot of great things about growing older. You do learn a few things along the way. But that doesn't change the fact that aging is a pain in the ass. Our culture doesn't honor its elders, and especially not its old women. I'm constantly confronted by the changing way that people interact with me as I get older simply because I'm older.
My son just turned 13, so we both have milestones this year. I'm in a new relationship after being single for seven years. My kid needs orthodontia and the only reason he's getting it is because my mom can afford it to pay for it. I am almost always overwhelmed. Writing about it all helps.
I first starting blogging when I turned 40, and surprised myself by keeping at it long enough that the moniker of nina turns 40 didn't fit anymore. You'd think I'd have learned from my mistakes, but apparently not.
*Saw a piece in the New Yorker recently that was belittling Adele because it's mostly middle-aged women who like her, which is, of course, not even true. Sasha Frere-Jones, the New Yorker pop critic is kind of an ass.