Writing stories to pass values from one generation to the next

From a Writer’s Perspective at Fifty

Perspective at Fifty

Perspective at Fifty

Thursday will be my fiftieth birthday. I don’t mind turning fifty. I’m not dreading it, feeling like my time is past. I had a surprise party this past weekend that I helped Mrs. Right plan. (She famously quips that surprises are highly overrated.) I was insistent that anyone who dressed in funeral attire would be dismissed. To revise a quote from Gary Bertier in Remember the Titans, “I’m fifty, Coach. I ain’t dead.” Heck, I’m not even finished with my first year back in the classroom yet (though I am counting the days…).

Perspective at FiftyI did get a couple of “old geezer” birthday cards, but I was able to laugh along with them. Especially the one that compared birthdays to the peaceful majesty of the Redwoods of the Pacific West Coast, standing tall year after year, century after century–and then thanked me for planting them. Well played, Jay and Michelle. Others encouraged me to look on the bright side by counting the fifty candles for this birthday as compared to the 1,275 cumulative candles. Cute, Mike and Heather.

I have also already heard the question that I have probably answered every birthday since about, oh, about my second: “So, do you feel any older?”

  • No, I have about as much discomfort in my neck as I have had the last few months.
  • No, my lower back is still a little tight.
  • No, when I neglect to take ibuprofen before working in the yard all day, I still pay for it for a few days afterward.
  • No, I am feeling the crunch of preparing final exams much the same as in December when I was the crisp young age of 49 1/2.
  • No, I’m still having just a little difficulty maintaining the relentless optimism from my younger years.
  • No, I still walk down to the printer at least once a week and return to my classroom without any paper in my hand. (Yet I know where my keys are…)

Pretty much like last week and last month and last year.

Writer’s Perspective at Fifty

I don’t mind the turning of the calendar to another birthday–even one with with a big fat zero at the end of it. I really don’t mind being a writer half a century old. My writer’s perspective at fifty is that I have one tremendous advantage over, say, my thirty-year-old self.


You see, I never struggle with writer’s block. Experience gives me a perspective of most situations that I wouldn’t have had when I was younger.

I have at least four more books that I have plans to write. I have ideas for more than that. At this point in my writing career, I feel much closer to not having enough time to write them all that I do suffering from writer’s block.

So bring it on, Fifty. Let’s see what we can get done before fifty-one comes a-callin’. That’s my perspective at fifty.


Al Ainsworth books

About Al Ainsworth

Al Ainsworth is a values storyteller. He works with individuals, businesses, churches, and other organizations to pass along their values through the stories they tell…and re-tell.

Al is the author of Lines in the Gravel, Stories from the Roller Coaster (of a Faith Life), and the Coach Dave series. Subscribe to his email list for more values storying.

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