|Celebrating 50 with 20 high school friends in California|
Just for the record. I'm not 50. I'm 49. However, I've been joking around so much over the past year that I am 50, that I have come to believe I am 50 already. So turning 50 in six weeks really seems, let's just say, not irrelevant but, not ground shaking either. Still, more than any other age milestone so far --- 16, 18, 21, 30 or 40, this seems different.I have thought long and hard about what 50 means to me. Why is this? Am I having the cliche mid life crisis, am I afraid that I am now officially old? Is it because in my youth, I could never picture myself as 50?
I'm the kidder in the family, so my husband and kids are used to hearing me start my sentences this past year with, 'Well, I'm 50 or I'm turning 50 so I'm old' to which I get a chorus of 'Mom, you're not 50 yet!'. I know what I'm doing though, playing some kind of mental dance out in my head. Debunking it with my sarcasm, just in case I am suddenly 'old' in six weeks.
|22 years old goofing around in my New York City apartment with my roommate |
Kathy seems like yeterday and a lifetime ago at the same time.
anyone, and being the boss of myself. I devoted myself 100 percent to my children who needed me. I considered my options, I wrote articles, I volunteered, I traveled, I spent precious time with my mother before she forgot who I was.
I walked away gladly and yet, I still asked myself all the requisite questions one does when you walk away from a lifelong career. Did I play it out? Could I have accomplished more, was there anything left undone. And, there was. I handled this maturely, of course. I cried it out, many times. The compromises that were made, the sacrifices for my family while we grappled with our curve balls. Sacrifices, I'd gladly make again, but changed the course of my life all the same. I wrestled with my demons, and the sense that comes with age, that tells us we are not completely in control of our own destiny. This, I learned is part of getting older. Re-evaulating, re- examing, reconnecting and renewing.
The more time I spent getting to know myself, the more I wondered not about what might have been, and instead, what my future had left in store for me. The passing of my charismatic father two and half years ago, and my mother's increasing descent into dementia, which is it's own kind of death, made me question my personal footprint in a way I had never considered before. Instead of thinking we are old at 50, should I not be saying, 'Well, I'm 50, now what else is going on?'
|Everytime I look in the mirror and see my purple hair, I admit I smile to myself.|
When 50 comes, I'm ready. I've got a new business plan, book ideas, places to travel, people to see, laughs to be had. A few weeks ago, I highlighted some of my hair purple. Someone said to me, I never thought you would do something like that. To which I replied, 'This is who I have always been, I just have never felt like I could do it before.'
|Walking on the beach last week in Newport with my childhood girlfriends |
celebrating 50 fabulous years.
50 is fabulous, now let's go.