We are now the same age that our parents were when we attended college. What? It’s true. How did that happen?
Time passed rapidly, my friends, like a bat out of hell.
When I relocated a couple of years ago, I didn’t share my age with the younger people I knew. Why not? Was I afraid they would see me differently? Was I embarrassed? Would they not want to hang out with me and my oldness? Maybe all of these.
But, as I contemplated my inner-idiocy, I decided that I should be proud of my five decades. After all, this lady has done a lot of stuff—good stuff, challenging stuff—and, well, maybe I should pat myself on the back. Ups, downs, work, achievements, struggles, growth, relationships, marriage, friendships, children, hormones, and lots of other things are all packed into that half of a century.
So, I decided to let the old cat out of the bag and this is what I got:
“It’s just a number.”
“I would never have thought that.”
“I’d keep a lid on it because you’d never know.”
These responses entertained my brain a bit because although they were meant to be nice and make me feel better, they also made me feel like turning fifty is a bad thing. I mean, it’s not like anyone said, “Wow, that’s awesome.”
But it should be awesome. Look at how far we’ve come, look at what we’ve learned, look at what we’ve achieved, look at what we’ve created, what we’ve nurtured. Do we really want to do any of it again, or are we proud of that fifty-year-old human we see in the proverbial mirror (or selfie) today?
As far as age just being a number, I would usually agree, but fifty is a little more significant than that. This milestone challenges you to take a hard look forward at the time you have left on this planet and what you want to do with it. It may be a wakeup call for some, or possibly a crisis, but, hopefully, it’s more like a turning-point; a new way of thinking and being.
Keep a lid on it. Well, I think most of us do, but why? We should stop and celebrate because, quite honestly, I look at my peers and think, I am really glad to know exactly you, and you amaze me. I see variations of resilience, adventure, wisdom, dedication, caring, respect, and love.
But for many, this birthday can conjure up negative emotions, self-doubt, and feelings of inadequacy. I say, work through it. I needed to. It took a while, and I am now embracing it (with some effort). I’m trying to balance my family’s wants and needs while doing the things I’ve always wanted to do, not what other people think I should do. I do my best to be genuine and kind, but without being so much of a people-pleaser. I think about optimal ways to keep myself healthy and fit, but not because it’s trendy. And I do haul some serious ass when I detect drama or a sales pitch coming, there just isn’t enough time.
Most of us have some hefty obligations—bills to pay, mouths to feed—but now is also the time to be true to ourselves, more than ever. Some of us may have a long time left, maybe we’re only halfway there? Most of us have somewhat less than that, so time is of the essence, and what you do with it is your business. Hopefully, you’ll be kind to yourself; surround yourself with those who matter to you most; follow your heart and your gut; say goodbye to judgy folks, naysayers, and poo-pooers; and do your best to enjoy the years to come to their absolute fullest extent.
Maybe plan the Alaskan cruise, learn to play the violin, take the acting class, write the great American novel, go zip-lining, sail in the Caribbean, or simply laugh and love as much as you can. Whatever brings you joy and lifts you up, it’s time to celebrate. Let’s do it!
“Here’s to fifty years of awesomeness!” they said.
– Becky XOXO