But fifty isn't old these days. It's scary to think when my mother was fifty, I was twenty-nine and married with a house and mortgage of my own. My own daughter is almost eighteen and I don't feel old at all. I have jeans. I wear leggings. OK, I've taken to dying my hair every few months now, but then early grey hair runs in the family and I was pulling rogue ones out in my mid-twenties. At least the Chinese genes mean that hopefully I won't go bald...
And I can still sing karaoke down the pub. Whether or not it's dangerous to the eardrums is a matter of opinion, but we had a good time!
Things that are bad about being fifty: insurance gets more expensive, I have to dye my hair more often than I used to, my near vision is on the edge (just about avoiding reading glasses so far), and sometimes I feel like life is speeding up so fast - that the years are blazing by - and now I'll never be an astronaut/dancer on Top of The Pops/whatever other dream I had as a child.
Things that are good about being fifty. None of the above matters as much as it did at forty. At fifty, I know where I've been and where I'm going. I'm comfortable with who I am - my weight (yes, we'd all like to lose a bit, but I don't obsess any more), my family, my life. I've stopped trying to please other people and I've stopped worrying about what they might think. I have a far better social life now than I did ten years ago and I'm finally achieving what I've wanted to my whole life and starting to gain recognition as a writer.
I got a red hat for my birthday (thanks, Jan x). Roll on the next ten years!