There are various points in life, typically associated with ages that are considered milestones. Rites of passage even. From birth, there are events that occur that mark the evolution and growth of each of us. Learning to walk, first day of school, first dates, jobs and careers, weddings, births of children and grandchildren. There are also physical and physiological changes that occur in every human that also mark age/growth/change. Birthdays that have attention placed on them include first, 16th, 21st, 30th and so on. It seems to me not much happens in the birthday game after 30 until the big 50 rolls around. Well here I am. In 5 weeks I will have my 50th birthday. Recently I have spent a bit of time reflecting on what exactly that means to me. How will it feel to be 50? Social media, television and a myriad of sources offer bits of propaganda associated with this. They spout statements like "50 is the new 30" or "50 is the new 25-twice." As a middle aged woman I find these silly at the least and marginally offensive at the worst. 50 the new 30? Sure I understand the thought behind it has to do with feeling younger. Enjoying being alive. I however have little interest in minimizing my 50ness. It has taken quite a long time to arrive here. Half a century to be exact. The journey has been full of fear, grace, love, joy, pain, laughter, tears, and every possible true emotion. So many experiences have brought me to this point. Why on earth would I lessen the significance of that? In my heart I am looking forward to this next chapter of life. The culmination of my experiences has given me wisdom, strength, appreciation for blessings, and a deep abiding respect for life. The wisdom and knowledge earned through the beauty of this rollercoaster now puts me in the position to be comfortable in my own skin. To share with family and friends bits of myself that have been hard earned.
The world we live in moves fast. Society seems to demand that we jump in to the hustle and bustle with both feet. When I was a younger woman I did this. Ran in the rat race of jobs, children, appointments, and commitments. I will not make less of those years. I enjoyed them at the time. Now however I have reached the place where slowing down is acceptable even inviting and I intend to do that. Don’t misunderstand me. Slowing down in no way means sitting in a rocking chair the remainder of my days. In means breathing. Appreciating and understanding that not every single thing requires my immediate and full attention. Slowing down means spending more time in that place where life blooms. Where grandchildren play in the yard. Where adult children come to visit because home is always home. Where walking a mountain, riding with my husband on the motorcycle and reading a book hold the same amount of importance. I intend to cultivate friendships that are meaningful to me. To get back in touch with those who are dear to me that have been neglected. I will burn the best candles, try the saved recipes, and wear purple more often. There is no longer a reason not to. The truth comes with 50. The realization that today is the day. Now is the time to enjoy every single little thing. Not because time is running out, but because time has in a way slowed down. The days hold the same number of hours yet they feel longer. This beautiful life is so very full of wonder and it is my mission to see, feel, and experience it all from this new perspective that has been gifted to me. Early mornings in the garden, work days that are full of interaction and accomplishment, evenings with family and friends sharing meals and conversation. Simple pleasures that are here to be appreciated, understood for the big moments they truly are and not missed in the running through the day. 50. What a wonderful place to have arrived to.