The following text was originally written for women (author unknown), which I found profoundly unfair to the other genders, as it applies to everyone. So I have tweaked it here and there… and if you are 60 and over, this is a definitive checklist!
1. An old lover who makes you smile with melancholy when you remember him / her and an old lover who makes you proud of how far you’ve come.
2. A piece of furniture that has never been previously owned by anyone in your family that you bought with your own money and makes you happy.
3. An outfit that makes you feel invincible if your future employer or partner of your dreams calls to meet you in an hour.
4. A set of underwear that you would not be ashamed to be seen wearing.
5. At least one scar on your heart where S/HE hurt you.
6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.
7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age — and some money set aside to help fund it.
8. An email address, a voice mailbox, and a bank account — all of which nobody has access to but you.
9. A dream so big it scares you.
10. At least One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.
11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a pair of totally unpractical shoes.
12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.
13. The belief that you are worthy of treating yourself with respect.
14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine, a push-up bra (sorry guys) and a great pair of spankx
15. At least one recipe you cook well to impress the fussiest of guests
16. A place to go just to think… where you can be completely alone with your thoughts.
17. At least one child who looks to you for guidance and advice…even if he or she isn’t your own.
18. The knowledge on how to break-up with a partner or confront a friend without losing your temper or your self respect.
19. At least one lover who knew exactly how to touch you to make your toes curl.
20. The memory of a kiss so powerful…just the thought of it could sustain you into old age.
21. The medical history that runs in your family so you can take care of YOU!
22. The ability to live on your own and not be dependent on anyone.
23. An outfit that feels like you are in a cocoon and safe from the world… its usually fleece or flannel, a tattered tee or sagging shorts
24. The ability to let go of the hurts from your childhood and embrace the fact that your parents did the best they could with the skills they had
25. One secret that makes you smile.
26. A memory that makes you cringe… because those memories were lessons that brought you to here
27. A journal full of your deepest thoughts
28. A person you can call at 4:00 AM because you’re in a bind
29. The knowledge of what you are willing to accept and what you are not in a relationship
30. Something you do that’s just for you and no one else.
31. A piece of jewelry that has sentimental meaning
32. An older man/woman in your life who embodies the traits you want to develop in your old age.
33. A spirituality that feeds your spirit and nourishes your soul.
34. A soundtrack to your life that when you hear it on the radio you sing at the top of you lungs
35. Someone or something you LOVE with your whole heart
36. A To Do list that never gets completely checked off
37. Enough money to run away in case you have to
38. A purpose to rise out of bed every morning
39. The ability to look in a mirror and love the ripples and bumps and wrinkles that stare back at you… because you earned them all over time.
40. The ability to say NO without having to add anything further.
41. A hobby that you can get lost in for hours.
42. A hole in your heart from losing someone you have loved deeply…
43. Done at least one thing kind for someone that has no way to ever repay your kindness…
44. A “Been there – Done that” T-shirt to starting over from scratch… whether it be from a divorce, a career change, a massive loss or surviving life’s curve ball.
45. A photo album full of memories… even if it’s on a flash drive or saved to the cloud.
46. A passport… current and ready to be stamped for the next adventure. 47. At least one grey hair, wrinkle and saggy body part…. If you don’t, something’s wrong.
48. An accomplishment that’s all yours… aside from your children, not tied to your spouse; something you have done or created all on your own.
49. The knowledge of who you are as a man / woman / LGBT. What makes you happy and what is no longer tolerated.
50. The understanding that 50 is not over the hill…its not even close to the hill…. There is no hill even on the horizon….cuz you still have shit to do….
To those of you reading this in your 20s and 30s, make these your life goals.
If you are in your 40s, it is definitely time to re-valuate some paths and choices.
For all of us in our 50s and beyond, I hope you read through this list and smiled / cringed / laughed / cried at the memories. And if you are like me, missing a few, then there is plenty of time to still add them to the list.