Almost a year ago I began work on compiling a list of reasons to be cheerful after turning 50 … I’m up to three.
To be fair, I haven’t exactly been toiling night and day on producing the definitive list of uplifting middle age happenings, but three is a pretty poor showing.
And even the three I scraped together are unlikely to have your average 50-year-old jumping for joy (not that 50-year-olds jump, of course. For greater accuracy, the phrase should perhaps be “gingerly easing yourself up from your armchair for joy”).
For the record, here’s the three reasons to be cheerful after turning 50.
1. At least you’re not 60.
2. 50 is the new 42 (as revealed by researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis).
3. You have the optimum number of friends and acquaintances.
Personally I blame you for the paucity of reasons. I asked you to send in your pearls of wisdom to add to the list and got nothing in return.
For this reason I’m renewing my appeal and looking forward to gingerly easing myself up from the armchair for joy at your suggestions.
On the flip side of cheer, there’s plenty of reasons to mope after turning 50.
I compiled a quick list off the top of my head and managed to get to 142 in under three minutes.
Here’s a selection:
12. Your knees buckle, but your belt won’t!
23. You have all the answers, but no-one asks you the questions.
56. Your ears are hairier than you head.
Number 97 was a particularly apt. Your back goes out more than you do.
I mention this only because, by a stroke of good fortune, I managed to get out on the town with my pals while my wife was away on a half-term break with our boys.
And, as we are all either fast approaching or have overtaken the 50 milestone, it was not what could be described as a night of debauchery.
That said, it didn’t stop my wife from texting me this sage advice at the end of the evening.
She wrote: “Now lock up, don’t switch anything on or open anything. Don’t go in the living room or put the TV on, go straight to bed and go to sleep. And don’t go walkabout during the night because I’m not there to save you. Text me when you’re in bed.”
If ever a message revealed just how poor a drinker I am, it was that one.
Needless to say, I ignored her advice and cooked myself bacon and eggs on my return ... it’s the nearest I get to living dangerously these days.
l If you can tear yourself away from shouting inanities at X Factor and The Great British Bake Off for a few moments, I’d like you to fire some of those inanities in my direction. Send your ‘reasons to be cheerful at 50’ suggestions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet them on Twitter @DickyO. The best ones will receive a prize.