Hey there! I'm Vivian. Sometimes I write about life and sometimes I write about teaching.

Unlike most of my friends near my age, I looked forward to turning 50. I couldn’t wait to proclaim, like Salley O’Malley: I’m 50! (You might have to be close to 50 to recognize this character.) I wasn’t quite 30 years old when Salley made her first appearance on SNL. I couldn’t imagine then what I would be like or what I would be doing when I turned 50, but I loved Salley’s ridiculous energy and confidence and the wild things she tried (and succeeded at) doing.

Being a January baby, I was the first of my circle to reach this milestone. A few days before, a friend texted, “Let us know what it’s like!” Geez, what is going to happen?! I wondered.

Now that I am 50, I don’t think I can really describe what I’m like, but I can tell you some things I am doing that I didn’t expect:
-making TikToks/Reels
-taking hip hop dance classes
-wearing skinny jeans
-being stepmom to two boys
-being married for a second time
-being a teacher of teachers
-riding my bike at night every week
-getting a brand new vaccine
-living in a global pandemic
-writing a blog

Maybe I actually turned out more like Salley O’Malley than I imagined, because I am kicking and stretching and KICKING…just without the handbag.

  1. karpenglish says:

    I like this! I am 52, and am definitely doing a lot of things that thirty years ago, I would not have expected I’d be doing now.

  2. lvahey says:

    What a great list – hurray for 50, and hurray for the inspiration, too.
    Keeping KICKING IT!!!
    (I actually went to grade school with Molly Shannon, and I love so many of her characters!)

    • ms. chen says:

      That is amazing. I can’t tell you, maybe I shouldn’t, how many times I’ve walked into a room and proclaimed, “Superstar!” a la Mary Katherine Gallagher.

  3. WOWilkinson says:

    Thanks for sharing. Weren’t 40 and 50 and 60 a lot older when we were young? It doesn’t seem old to me anymore.

  4. I love the energy and variety of your list. I’m a bit farther along but yeah, I didn’t see myself becoming an author or publisher. Didn’t expect to be a Twitter devotee or consumer of social media. I am enjoying this decade A LOT! Cheers to you and welcome to the party!

  5. Morgan says:

    The image of Sally is so perfectly captured in your list and I love the way you bookend your post with a gif of her and a quick comparison at the end. It keeps the momentum of your post and matches the level of life you are writing about. What struck me most in your list is the human “being” of it all, not just the “doing.” Well done!

  6. arjeha says:

    As they say, “Age is only a number.” I will be hitting the bit 70 in August. My mind tells me I am one age; my body tells me differently. The nice thing for me when I reached 50 was that I no longer cared what others thought of me. I did whatever I felt like doing. Enjoy this decade.

  7. Yeah, 50! I’m in that decade and it’s definitely way better than expected. Keep kicking it!

  8. amyilene says:

    Welcome to the other side! I love the list and the energy in this….I am definitely going to write my own list of things I didn’t expect!

  9. Lisa Corbett says:

    This is year 50 for me. I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. It seems so impossible! Maybe I’ll get a Sally O’Malley outfit to wear on my birthday. 🙂

  10. Lainie Levin says:

    What a wonderful post here! I’m 48, so I guess I’m still a spring chicken. But yes, I’m doing a LOT of things that surprise me. Then again, the older I get, the older “old” is. And…maybe you don’t have the handbag, but good money’s on you having alllll the swagger ; )

  11. britt says:

    I love this!!! I’m about twenty years away from 50, and I look forward to the fun and wisdom I’ll have then 😉 hooray for you!!!

  12. I love your tie in with Sally of SNL. Congrats on reaching 50 and all your accomplishments. I’d like to know more about that night time bike riding.

  13. 50 will come for me in another month. While I’m not 50 in my own head, I feel it. However, there are things I’m doing, just like you, that I didn’t expect to be doing either.

    Here’s to a number, not a mindset! 🙂



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