“I must learn therefore to let go of the familiar and the usual and consent to what is new and unknown to me. I must learn to ‘leave myself’ in order to find myself by yielding to the love of God.” -Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation
I am standing at the door of 50 years old. While I have yet to knock on said door, I know that it will indeed open and the moving sidewalk upon which I stand will usher me inside.
With that said, I have a mixed bag of feelings about turning 50. Most of it is good, but some is a little off-putting. Let’s start with the off-putting:
1. Upon reaching 50, one realizes that for most life is more than half over. It brings about reflections: a) At what point do I know what I want to do when I grow up? b) With half a lifetime gone what things do I still want to accomplish? c) What is my true calling in life?
2. Slowly aging brings about lots of physical and mental changes. Weight loss does not occur as easily as it once did. The body does not readily accept the foods it once easily did. Dang it, why do I work twice as hard and eat half as much?! That’s a huge mental adjustment to make. Also, why is it that I don’t seem to have the elephant like memory that I’ve always bragged about having? What is father time doing to me? My left ring finger experiences some swelling at the knuckle. What the what?! That’s my wedding ring finger! I can’t have it looking fat and swollen. Argh!!!
Now for the good stuff:
1. I have a ton of friends joining the 50 club with me. It is exciting to see everyone blooming into their true selves.
2. The older you get the less you care about other people’s opinions. This is quite a freeing space to be in. While some people’s opinions matter I no longer let them dictate my actions.
3. 50 is the new 30…well ok 35. I know a lot of 50 year olds who look not only good but great. You can tell that they take care of themselves body, mind, and spirit.
4. I still have half a lifetime to get “it” right. Now that I’ve learned some valuable lessons I can apply them in my mature mind to reaching my dreams.
5. Life is not that serious. Relax, have fun, and laugh… often. (sometimes I have to stop and remind myself of this, but I know that it’s true.)
6. You are only as old as you feel! So for me, this means I’m pretty young. I’m silly sometimes even beyond my own belief. My 15-year-old and I watch a number of shows together. Yup, I’m a youngun!
The bottom line is I have a hair more than three months until my big day. I’m more excited than you can imagine. While I understand that nothing magical happens on that day to make me a new and improved person, I just can’t wait to embrace 50. It’s funny because at one time I thought of 50 like the bogeyman- something to hide from and be afraid of. Now, I’m like the dance team in a stand battle and I’m shouting “Bring It!”