I am discovering a lot of "new" things in this, the "middle" of life. First thing that pops into mind is that I hope to heaven that this is the middle, because that would mean that I have approximately another 5 decades around here. Originally I was thinking that I had passed the middle 10 or maybe 15 years ago.
Another thing that is new to me now is my perspective. Like now I don't think 50 is old. I don't even think 60 is old. I really think people that have lived this long, and have a nice, fair amount of happiness and joy in their lives should be exempt from feeling old. And we have something to offer the world-ourselves!
To get to this stage usually entails a lot of bumps and bruises, and with them a lot of lessons learned. I once read something about smart people learning from their own mistakes, but wise people learning from others' mistakes. As a parent I tried to get my children to learn from my mistakes, but alas, it didn't seem to work that way. It never worked for me either, but that never kept my mom from trying. I guess that's why wisdom is so precious. It's rare, and what's rare is precious.
So as I get older, and as the "hard way" would have it, wiser, I try not to use that wisdom like a club. And I'll admit sometimes I really, really want to. Usually it's better to use it like a feather, or a tissue pressed against a tear, or an extended hand of friendship. Wisdom doesn't need to be flouted to exist or to thrive. It just has to be nourished to flourish.