Hollywood star Brad Pitt was born on December 18, 1963. So was I.
It’s true. I’m turning the big 5-0, and you know what, I’m embracing it. Happy birthday to me! Crazy, huh?
Many people run and hide when their 50th birthday approaches, some even lie about it. I once knew a girl who threw her mother a surprise 50th, but the big surprise was on mom’s co-workers invited to a bash for a woman who had told them she was only 45. Oops.
No lying by anyone* in that mashup above. They’ve all either turned 50 this year or will in the coming weeks and months.
New parents Dennis and Marilyn House. I’m blessed to still have them.
50 is a big deal and I look at it as a gift. Life is precious and not everybody makes it this far. My grandfather didn’t get to celebrate his 50th. He was killed by a swarm of hornets at age 38. President John Kennedy didn’t make it to 50, and neither did his sons. I’ve read too many obituaries of people my age I grew up with, and the news I deliver is sadly filled with people who died well before their life was half over. I look at it this way: What’s there to complain about when you’ve made it to 50?
I plan on living to 100. That’s the agenda. I have several ancestors who’ve lived into their 90s, including this guy, my great-great grandfather Horatio House.
I still have plenty I want to accomplish in the second half of my life. I want to continue to meet new people and learn from them. I still want to break news and snag exclusive interviews. I want to see the world with my wife and kids because being a husband and a father simply rocks, and family vacations are the best thing on earth. I want to become a great surfer, learn another language (I know Spanish and also studied French and taught myself a little Italian, and I’m trying to master English) spend a summer in Italy, and some day, because life has been good to me, I want to give back and serve the people of my city as mayor of Hartford. Reaching 50 is a whole new beginning and I’m ready. Bring it on.
Being a December baby, I’m the last of my age group to reach this milestone, so over the past year I’ve had the opportunity to observe how others have accepted turning 50. Some of my friends and I still feel like we are in our 20s, others dread it and think of it as the beginning of the end, but I see it as the commencement of an exciting new chapter. Sure 50 is too old to be an NFL quarterback or join the military (something I wish I’d done in the first 50) but it’s still somewhat young to be a pope or a president. The latter two are not on my bucket list, by the way. My former co-anchor Gayle King was tapped by CBS News at 57, a 71 year old competed in the 2012 Olympics, and Democrats are likely to nominate a candidate for president in 2016 who will turn 70 a few months after being inauguration day. There are countless people who have achieved tremendous goals after they departed their 40s.
Truth be told, I feel the same as 40 or 30, only wiser. I never smoked cigarettes, drink in moderation, and work out fairly regularly. Fifty is nifty.
I’m celebrating quietly with the family this week, but I’m having a party for a good cause later in the winter, and you’re all invited. I also plan on doing a few stories on the big 5-0 in case you or a loved one is turning 50. Stay tuned for details.
Birthplace of Dennis House: Norwood Hospital Norwood, Massachusetts
* L-R top row Johnny Depp, Elisabeth Shue, John Stamos, Helen Hunt
2nd row Demi Moore, Kara Sundlun’s husband, Brad Pitt, Vanessa Williams
3rd row Michelle Obama, Rob Lowe, Lisa Kudrow, Seal
Bottom row: Conan O’Brien, Melissa Gilbert, Scot Haney, Nicholas Cage
Follow me on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/@dennishousewfsb