Brad Pitt, Listen Up: 50 Things to Love about Being 50. ~ Michelle Marchildon

Via Michelle Marchildon
on Oct 18, 2013
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While being 50 is not exactly the new 30, it isn’t all bad news.

In fact, I kind of like it.

Being 50 means I fail more, flail more and generally worry about the outcome less. I take more risks and handle change because I’ve had plenty of it. And although there are yoga poses I won’t do, and clothes I won’t wear and men I won’t sleep with, there’s a whole lot about being 50 that rocks.

For those who are reaching this milestone, including Brad Pitt, know this for sure: it gets better.

What I know now that I wish I knew then: Do not wait for an age to get this attitude.

In no particular order, here are 50 things I love about being 50:

  1. Knowing who I am, and everyone else can suck it. Transparency is liberating.
  2. Flirting. I’ve always been a flirt, but now, it’s ridiculous because who is going to take me seriously? I am flirting with everyone, from 20-somethings to octogenarians.
  3. I “buy” Thanksgiving. I used to think holidays weren’t complete until everyone else was as miserable as I was in the kitchen. Now I buy most of it, and guess what? The world did not end.
  4. The loss of the frontal lobe. Sayonara. As we age, this part of our brain deteriorates, so we say what we mean, and mean what we say.
  5. I no longer listen to musicI don’t like, including anything that sounds like a car accident.
  6. I no longer sleep with people I don’t like—except for my husband, who I love, but not necessarily after a weekend of football, beer, brats and chips.
  7. I am vocal and clear about what I want, which took me years of self-empowerment.
  8. I’m happy to have a few excellent friends. Furthermore, if I’m betrayed, I move on. There’s another wonderful person waiting in the future.
  9. I no longer bother with cleaning the house or buying food for company. I offer whatever I have on hand and it usually seems to be enough.
  10. I believe in God, and I’m clear on that. I don’t pray to trees, or wiccans or anything involving pubic hair in a jar. Not that there’s anything wrong with it…. But it’s not for me.
  11. I try not to cause harm. I take care of other beings. And I have learned to hold my tongue and most of my opinions.
  12. I live simple and mostly in the present. I don’t have energy or interest in the drama.
  13. I tidy my house, and take care of my body, and I realize that divinity has been inside all along (thank you B.K.S. Iyengar).
  14. I love my yoga practice, which is new for me. Twenty years ago I wanted to do every pose, perfectly. These days I am grateful to touch my toes.
  15. Yet there are some poses which I no longer practice, such as Tick-Tocks and the transition from Handstand to Chaturanga. We had a messy break-up (broken toes), but I’m over it now.
  16. Gratitude in general. Big love to gratitude. I am moved to tears by the little things.
  17. I’m still here. Every. Damn. Day. Fifty is old, but the alternative is worse.
  18. I live with minimal regrets, seeing the humanity of it all.
  19. I say I’m sorry. This was never hard for me, but now after 50, it is somehow even easier. Humans are clumsy and cause harm, so we need to fix it when we stumble.
  20. But I don’t apologize for being me.  I’m done with that. If others feel less than or insecure, that is their problem and they can own it.
  21. I do small kindnesses for complete strangers. It’s a total rush.
  22. And I do big kindnesses for my friends.
  23. I don’t take much seriously or personally. I have no idea why I didn’t understand this earlier.
  24. I laugh, especially at myself. When I die, I hope it’s from having a heart attack while laughing.
  25. I am much more generous. If you can’t take it with you, then give more of it away.
  26. I do not give a hoot how I look in jeans. Well, not really, but I care much less than I used to. And I wear a bikini. Nothing looks as good as confidence. Of course, my kids won’t be seen with me in public.
  27. I am less concerned with the scale. I have been a size 0, a size 12, and a size 42 in Paris. What matters is if you feel healthy.
  28. After 50 years of fighting it, I now love my belly. I have two wonderful children and I wouldn’t trade them for six-pack abs.
  29. However, I am fighting the good fight for my face. A little maintenance goes a long way.
  30. I’m not ashamed to admit that I love my car. I freaking love my car! If you think that’s materialistic, or spiritually bankrupt, then obviously you do not have the same car.
  31. My family matters. Evenings and weekends are the most productive times to teach yoga, but I won’t do it until my youngest goes to college.
  32. I waited a very long time to put myself first. Now it’s my turn to write, to travel, to do whatever.
  33. Realizing that nothing changes. We know more now. So when I find out about infidelity and other human flaws, I know it was a gift to have it revealed.
  34. I’m over the answers. I’m okay with “I don’t know.” And I’m excited to learn anew.
  35. I’m good with failure. I can fail all day long. I can fall out of handstand, I can flail in a yoga pose, and I can even write a sucky blog because I know there’s another chance to get it right.
  36. I no longer dress to look young. I’m happy with looking 50, whatever that means.
  37. I like my tribe. Finding like-minded people has been the best part of the journey.
  38. I’ve forgiven almost everyone who has done shit to me, and there were a lot. I am working on the others, but in truth, I feel there are some malicious acts that should not be forgiven.
  39. However, I never carry a grudge. Why bother? I’d rather carry a Louis Vuitton.
  40. I’m getting used to change. I’m not in control, and it’s a relief. The Universe is in control.
  41. Instead of worrying about destiny I clean my house. Clean what you can and the Universe will take care of the rest.
  42. I am a conscious eater. I am mostly a vegetarian who eats a little bit of free-range chicken, and occasionally humanely-raised bacon, and I don’t feel that makes me a bad person.
  43. I shop for karma. Diet is not the only way to change the world. A Louis Vuitton canvas bag is almost vegan, and almost is better than not at all.
  44. I am teaching slower yoga and a more refined movement, which seems to be limiting my appeal. I’m fine with working my way down the ladder because it feels right for me now.
  45. I’d rather be authentic than popular. I’ve been both, and I know which is better.
  46. I’ve learned a thing or two. I would never, ever, go back to my twenties.
  47. I’m a strong, capable, competent woman, and I’m okay if some people spell that B-I-T-C-H.
  48. I appreciate my weaknesses, because they are often my strengths.
  49. I say “Thank you,” instead of “[email protected]$k you.” It might be my greatest accomplishment.
  50. Lastly, I know my dharma. I am better, stronger and wiser. Decisions come easier. Life is lighter. I am happier. It’s taken me 50 years and all I can say is it is better late, than never.

Whoever you are, wherever you are, enjoy your later years. It is much better than the alternative.


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Ed: Sara Crolick




About Michelle Marchildon

Michelle Berman Marchildon is the Yogi Muse. She’s an award-winning journalist, and the author of Finding More on the Mat: How I Grew Better, Wiser and Stronger through Yoga. Her second book, Theme Weaver: Connect the Power of Inspiration to Teaching Yoga, is for yoga teachers who want to inspire their students. Michelle is a columnist for elephant journal and Origin Magazine and a contributor to Teachasana, My Yoga Online and Yoga Journal. She is an E-RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance and teaches in Denver, Co where she is busy raising two boys, two dogs and one husband. You can follow her on Facebook at Michelle Marchildon, The Yogi Muse. You can find her blog and website at And you can take her classes on


23 Responses to “Brad Pitt, Listen Up: 50 Things to Love about Being 50. ~ Michelle Marchildon”

  1. legalchic7 says:

    I'm 51. Loved this article, and can relate to almost all of it. I still look great (not my age, maintenance is good), feel better than I ever have (although still menstrual so ugh to that), and I would NOT go back to my 20s either (no effing way). I'm very grateful for where I am, what I have, and for all of life's gifts (and there are many in my life). The one I still struggle with is being vulnerable, but that will come with work. I think the best part of getting older is learning to be truly grateful and focusing on the good things, not what's lacking, and the liberation that comes with what we learn, and really understanding the differences between what's important and what really isn't (and why). Oh, and not giving a shit what others think (that's a biggie). But overall, 50 rocks. Thanks – I really enjoyed this.

  2. dalesdelectables says:

    Love it… and I've six more months to go before I hit the big FIVE-OH!

  3. genuine anonymous says:

    I'm 30. And I'm signing below all the 50 points. Peace & Love to All.

  4. Jenny says:

    I am 25 and loved this article!

  5. Jennifer says:

    It only gets better….at 67, I can tell you all 50 points steep and get stronger and stronger…enjoy the ride!

  6. KMB says:

    I'm 41 and love this! 39 has to be my favorite! I feel good to know I'm not the only one who feels the way you wrote about. I feel blessed I've had mini awakenings along my journey to be where I am today. I still have alot of work to do, but this was very inspirational. Thank you for writing. <3

  7. Sofia says:

    Im 40 and I looooved reading this! Feel better about my own age. And MUCH better about whats to come. Thank you!

  8. Bonny McIntosh says:

    I am 55 and loving life! It's true about taking more chances, I have and failed at some things but I know that the day I am sitting on the rocking chair, there won't be any regrets about not trying something. Well maybe the things I didn't have time for, but not lack of trying to fit it all in. I feel I take better care of myself and finally I am in the top 10 people that need my care! Yeah, finally understand how important that is…..
    Looking forward to my future with a huge smile and lots of love to give.

  9. I'll turn 51 in about 3 weeks and all of this is so true (although I don't have a love thing for my car–that's just me). One more truth I think can only become more and more true as I get older: I am still all the ages I ever was. I carry with me the 16-year-old me, the 24-year-old, the 35-year-old, the 42-year-old.

    I no longer have an active yoga practice–instead I ride my bike everywhere, which is its own form of moving meditation (and mindfulness is essential in traffic!).

    I'd have a bike corollary to #14 and #15 to the effect that I don't have to prove I can ride faster than anyone else–I know that it's enough to enjoy the ride for what it is. At the same time, I love the feeling of strength and speed I can have that comes completely from within myself and there's an extra zing to thinking that I may be 50 but I can still fly down the street like a kid.

    At 28 or 34 I wouldn't have guessed how strong I'd feel at 50. At this rate I expect 60 to rock.

  10. john says:

    Love what you wrote, ‘cept for the bit about ‘free range’ and ‘humanely’ raised meat. It’s just

    not true. Please, Please inform yourself, you’re being lied to in a big way:
    It’s truly easier to go all the way. and live free of the carnage.

    Thanks for a great read.


  11. Richard Jablinski says:

    53, and would gladly go back to 20–if I knew then what I know now!

  12. ValterV says:

    "1. Knowing who I am, and everyone else can suck it. Transparency is liberating."
    Amen, sister!

    Your list is one of the best I ever read. I'm 50 as well, and I agree with most you said.
    You rock! :-*

  13. Sharon Cormier says:

    By the way – fifty is not old! No way. It is the best time and it is just the beginning. From now on the wisdom sticks instead of being forgotten or ignored. Aging is great, it is liberating – although we do have to be kinder and gentler to the body. You are gonna love your sixties!

  14. Mary says:

    Great read – and I would REALLY love to know what kind of car you have and love!

  15. Michelle Marchildon says:

    Audi Q5. She's fast. Really fast. And she can hold kids, dogs, skis, books, yoga mats and a ton of soccer gear. She even gets pretty good mileage. I'm totally smitten.

  16. shellinaya says:

    You need to leave out #10 — that ruins this otherwise great list for me. Being 50 or 60 or any "older" age does not mean questioning the universe and who runs it — if anything — is over. Far from it!!

  17. shellinaya says:

    And I don't always say thank you either. !!

  18. Claire says:

    I thought the same thing when I read that. 50….Old? OK, you’re not a little kid anymore, but “old”?

  19. Robin says:

    I'm so with you on that shellinaya! Otherwise, great article.

  20. Hugh says:

    What car do you drive?

  21. Michelle Marchildon says:

    I believe in God. I'm not afraid to say it, even if it's politically incorrect.

  22. Rhonda Sayers says:

    I love this article…I am 53 now and only wish I had learned it earlier in life.

  23. Demetria says:

    #9 and #41 contradict each other… Enjoyed the article.