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Welcome to your 50s -- at last you've 'arrived'

I am one of the luckiest women on this earth; I live in a dream home, have good health and am gainfully employed in the medical field that I love. It has taken me 50-plus years to realize that I have "arrived."

No longer do I exhaust my efforts to return to the body I once had in my 20s; I have realized the many ways that I am lucky to be just who I am. In my earlier years, I would have disputed that fact; now I accept it.

I have taken on the attitude of "let the cards fall where they may." I spend my days giving thanks for being able to still participate in the work force, which was not the case a few years ago. With the economy as it is, I give thanks every day that we are still able to provide for ourselves.

I have found that "the 50s" are a comfortable place to be. I have the wisdom I have gained from raising a family in my 30s and 40s and can sympathize with those older than I am, since I spend most of my day working with senior citizens in their 80s and 90s.

I have the luxury of feeling like a youngster when I am around them. I truly can say that I haven't missed a thing; I have been afforded a wonderful family for many years and have experienced many joys with them. Because I have been blessed with good health, I have enjoyed some traveling and the simple pleasures in life that some of my friends have not been fortunate enough to have.

Some people I know are still trying to tap the fountain of youth and don't take time to enjoy the present day.

There is a peacefulness that overcomes a woman in her 50s. Although I still have dreams and things I hope to accomplish, I can feel at peace with myself reflecting on what I have achieved thus far. I earned a degree in my 40s that I neglected to finish in my earlier years. Becoming certified in my field has brought me a great deal of satisfaction; even more comes from being able to continue to use those skills in my career.

Yes, being in my 50s has shown me that my body cannot keep up as well as when I was in my 30s and 40s. I do start to fall asleep on the couch when I sit down to relax -- something I said I would never do after watching my parents "saw wood" at that age.

I guess it's not such a crime to relax, as I am in good company; my husband is in his 50s as well and usually beats me to the punch when it comes to snoozing in the chair.

The most important attribute of being in my 50s is wisdom. I have gained wisdom from what has been and the foresight to accept what may happen in the future. I take each day as it comes and only fight those battles that I think I can win.

I am not so much like the salmon swimming upstream any longer, but the goldfish accepting his fate, being content in a small or large pond, realizing that life is very short and should be enjoyed to the utmost every day.

I have realized that this life is a gift and I intend to enjoy every moment.

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