I watched the moon landing, the Watergate hearings and the first episode of Saturday Night Live—from a faux-leather beanbag chair in our wood-paneled family room. I owned hot pants, I ate Pop Rocks, I read Go Ask Alice. I had a major crush on Cat Stevens, a God-awful perm and a deep desire to leave the suburbs. I mention these things to prove that I've got a few miles on me. But—and I'm going to have to quote "My Back Pages" here, because on top of everything else, I worshiped Bob Dylan—"I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now." You see, the good thing about being 52 is that you learn a few things about what you can do to turn back time, or at least slow it down a bit.
1. Two words: age appropriate. The only fashion statement a fiftysomething wearing Hello Kitty makes is, "I am desperate to relive the glorious triumph that was Mindy Eisenbach's 7th grade pizza party."
2. Repeat after me. Fish oil and flax seeds, good. Bacon and Red Bull, bad.
3. Find a dog who desperately needs a good home, and give it to him. Pets lower blood pressure, force you to take long walks 37,000 times a day, and pull you out of the narcissism of your me-monkey little life. Bonus: You'll be too busy checking your new roommate for heartworm to check your old thighs for spider veins.
4. Woe to the woman who does not take each and every vacation day she is entitled to. There is no excuse for sitting at your desk when there are a hammock and an umbrella drink out there with your name on them.
5. A vampire facelift does not make you look younger, it makes you look weirder. You're far better off saying, "I feel bad about my neck" and turning that feeling into a brilliant best-seller than having yourself injected with platelet-enriched blood from some other part of your body that has yet to sag. Unable to embrace your inner Ephron? Here's a thought: Buy a scarf.
Next: Two things you should do more of—starting now