So it happened. I knew it was inevitable and yet, there was some part of me that was (and still is) in complete denial. I am a professional procrastinator by nature, I mean why do today what you can put off until tomorrow, unless it’s your hair appointment, then by all means do that today! Being fluent in all things procrastination, I figure that I could continue down this path of denial for quite some time, although it will not change the outcome.
The funny thing is that my brothers on either side of me in age, Randy 6 years my senior and Lon 2 years my junior BOTH remember this thing that I was in denial about and were the first to wish me a Happy 50th Birthday! Yes, 50. Old as the hills and even older than the dirt that resides upon them. 50.
Of course they each did it very differently, Randy was all about encouragement, having already been down this road and wished me a great day filled with love. He is just the sweetest, best big brother. Lon however, well, he keeps things real for me.
His text message: “Hey Happy Birthday OLD lady! You’re 50 today right (tehehe)?!”
“It is just a number” I tell myself, “it doesn’t mean anything” I tell myself further….
And yet, I am HALF a CENTURY (that’s HALF of 100 YEARS) old.
I remember when my mom was 50. I was like, poor woman, she barely has time to enjoy the rest of her life…she is so old! and now, here I am, 50.
I want my body to feel 30, but it doesn’t. There are a few more creaks and cracks on the stairs and everything is heading just a little more south these days.
My mind still does feel about 30, though I have learned some things and I do feel a bit wiser. Oh to go back and do some things over again…just a little… It’s so unfair that wisdom comes with age.
So I started to think, would I WANT to go back and start over? Thinking back, I believe that childhood is vastly overrated. Of course, circumstances are different for everyone but for me, my childhood was filled with obstacles and many hardships. Yes, there were the occasional good times and I definitely experienced love of family, but most of that was dysfunctional at best. So, no…. teleporting back to the grade school years is not for me.
High school? Nah, definitely not, I never have felt more awkward and out of place. Again, circumstances vary for every individual but my home life was such that my school life suffered. During this time my eldest brother Daren died in a car accident, and our family life and my life in general seemed anything like the happy and fun time high school was supposed to be. I had very few friends (my select group) and I preferred anonymity. Mostly, I just wanted to fly under the radar.
How about the 20-30’s? So much happened during this time, having my boys and starting my family but for Bruce and I much of this time went to growing up alongside our boys, as we were barely more than kids ourselves (when we had them). Making ends meet became a priority and somewhere in there we lost our own way as a couple. Additionally, I lost my parents and we lost Archie, Bruce’s father during these years. so, 20-30’s, they are out!
40’s? Well, I started them out in full mid-life crisis mode and the early part of this decade literally brought one dramatic event after another. It wasn’t until my mid-to-late 40’s that I started to fall into a groove. Finally, years of uncertainty and insecurity started to melt away and I found myself much more self-assured, saggy skin and all.
Looking back, everyone will have a different view and looking forward, everyone will have a different expectation.
So, I’ve done much soul searching in the 2 days since I have reached this dreaded, anticipated milestone birthday that now reflects of HALF a CENTURY of living and I’ve decided that…… I am going to continue to procrastinate. Not in so much the acceptance of the number but more so in the acceptance of the time that has gone by. To agree that those years have blown by, leaving me to absorb this new me, well actually an old me but a newly old me, and what this means for my body, mind and spirit as a “mature” woman…… as evidenced by this picture of my sisters and I below…
Mature doesn’t have to mean BORING…..
That sounds sorta nice, “mature woman”.
I also get what it means now. Yes, it describes the years on my body but it also reflects the years that I have lived, loved and experienced 50 years, HALF a CENTURY of this crazy thing we call life.
I’ve done a lot with this body, and it has a few more creaks to prove it. But when I get to the end, whatever end that may be, I definitely do not want to be laid to rest pristine and preserved, instead I want to slide in my casket sideways, a few bumps, a lot of wrinkles, a few broken hearts, some emboldened ideas (that probably got me in trouble) YET, a heart that lived a full life surrounded by those that mean and meant the most to me.
And my mind.
IF I could teleport back and know then what I know now…maybe, just maybe I would…..of course, it would be cheating and second, it would undoubtedly change the trajectory of my life….
You know, I think I will get to that tomorrow….