Tuesday, November 12, 2013

On turning 50 - A guest blog from Char Yarger

     Author's note:  The following words are my wife's, alone and unedited.  She uses exclamation points like I use commas, but be kind, she has a lot to be excited about.  I did choose each of the pictures that go with this blog and there are even bonus ones at the end.  She does not consider herself to be a talented writer, but I invite you to let her know if you disagree. 

"No, I'm not a half-century old, I'm only 50 son!!!"

Let me begin by stating that I am well aware that 50 years IS a half-century. If you have not yet had
The author
the pleasure of turning 50, when you do then you can tell me which sounds better!

Yes, it's true - I just celebrated my 50th birthday. Since it is such a milestone and the normal author of this blog is looking for guest authors, I thought it would be an excellent topic to blog on. After all, I have 50 years of wisdom and knowledge to impart, right?

To me, 50 is just another number. I truly believe the old adage, "you're as young as you feel". I will credit part of feeling good about myself to my friend (you know her as Stretch). She walks by my elliptical machine whenever I am exercising and cranks up the resistance! She has me at 10-12 now! At first, I was annoyed and thought, what is this crazy woman doing? Now I understand! She and my husband were very
Char and Stretch at a concert
instrumental in getting me to participate in an exercise regimen a few days a week. I am definitely in better shape now than I was 10 years ago! Thanks guys!

Another thing I think I am better at now is making friends. As a teenager, I was very shy and not good at making or keeping friends. I can honestly say that I have more friends now than I did in my teens, 20s, or 30s. And these are GOOD friends! I know these people love me for who I am and I feel the same about them.

I am blessed to be part of two large families, mine and my husbands. If you are not married yet, you may not understand this, but once you are, you will see. Your spouse's family will be just as beloved to you as your own. There are people in my husband's family that I would be lost without. They have become as important to me as my own biological family. Speaking of biological family, mine
Char in the center of some of my family
 is special! Oh, yes they are special!! You would just have to know them to see what I mean! I do love them dearly and we are all fairly close. We all support each other in times of need. That's the wonderful thing about family. My husband kids that he would never have moved to this small hamlet we live in if he had known so many of my family would follow us. I think he's kidding? I love having them here!

I am also blessed to have three very smart, happy, wonderful children. As a teenager and again in my early 20s, I always knew I wanted to be a mom. I can't imagine my life without them. They make me proud, angry, happy and even discouraged at different times! I am grateful again to my husband; he had to be the bad cop most of the time. I got to be the loving mommy, and got the hugs and the thanks. I hope they realize the sacrifices he has made for them. I consider my daughter one of my closest friends at this point, but I am not afraid to "scold" her, even now, if I feel it's necessary. She knows she will always be my baby girl! You were the first; not an easy thing,
Char in the center of her family
as we were growing up with you! You have made me very proud! And to my number 1 son, you are a gift! We have leaned on you more often than the others. I was a middle child too, so I know the territory! I hope you know how much I love and appreciate you! To my baby boy, you have given us so much! It's easier to raise you. I would love to say it's because we've done it twice already, but I think much of the credit goes to you. You have made it easy for us! I am so excited to see what you will become! I already feel a great sense of pride when I identify you as my son!

I can say that at 50, I am very happy in my job. I have really enjoyed most jobs I have had, but at this time in my life, working two part time jobs,
Char and Molly in Spain
one at home and one outside the home just seems to fit! I get the social aspect I need from the outside job and the flexibility I need from the home-based job. I like the flexibility as it allows me time for my family, both immediate and extended. I have to thank my hubby for this. He has allowed me the freedom to do this and supported me always, both emotionally and financially.

So, I guess I will close with a bit of advice for you "youngsters" out there who have not yet joined the "club" (my friends tell me it's a club).

First, don't wait until you're my age to make and keep good friends. In order to have a friend, you
Char and Danny at dinner
have to BE a friend. It took me a long time to realize this. Sometimes you have to initiate the call, go to the event you don't want to, or just listen to a long story. Good friends are not hard to find, but like every relationship, you must work to maintain it.

Second, if you are not married yet, when you do find that special someone, talk about everything. Talk about your hopes, your dreams, how many kids you want, what kind of a job you want, where you want to live, and where your parents will live when they are too old to be on their own. Always communicate. It's more important than ANYTHING in a marriage. If you talk about everything, you are more likely to stay together. If you are having trouble
Char and Nolan
 in your marriage, DON'T just quit!!! Don't be afraid to go to counseling. When you got married, you said for life, so stay in it!

Talk to your kids, at every age. Don't be afraid to discipline them when they need it. Remember that they are your children! As much as you want to be their friend, it's most important that you be their parent. They will have other friends, and they may get mad at you from time to time, but they will grow up having learned respect, discipline and love if you guide them as a parent, not as a friend. If you follow this, the friend part will come later, I promise you!

Exercise!! If you get used to doing it now, it will be easier when you get "old". It is true that it's harder to lose weight as you get older. Sigh, that one is a fact!

Char and I at a wedding
Find a job you love! Or learn to love the job you have! It's not important what your job is, but it important to be the best at what you do. Think positively at work and you will enjoy your job much more!

Like I said at the beginning, 50 is just another number. For me, 50 is fabulous!!!

The fabulous 50 year old author
Char and Wilson
Hiking the red rocks in Sedona
Swimming with the dolphins
With Meter Maid and Wilson karaoking
Char with our Scout Troop
With the volunteers at the golf tournament
Book-ended by Ace and me
The family

Cheers !


Darolyn said...

What a beautiful piece Char! As a fellow exclamation point enthusiast I particularly appreciate that quality in you. I love the way you shared your reflections and wisdom from experience. I will take Bill up on his invitation and tell you that I believe there is a writer within you!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful sentiments and may I say you don't nearly look that old. Here's to another 50.

Bill said...

I'll add my comment now. The first time that I saw that smile, I made it my mission to see it more often and for almost 30 years now, I've got to see it every morning (that I've been home). No regrets, I've got the better part of this deal.

Judy Johnson said...

I'm a bit behind on the blog here, but very nice work, Char. Your love of your family and life in general really shows through! (And don't worry about the exclamation points....only very special people overuse them!!!!!!!!!!!!!)