On Turning 50

On turning 50One month from today I will be 50 years old.

It feels different from 30 or 40 ~ I didn’t mind turning either one of those ages, embracing each one, feeling more grown up and confident. I’m not quite sure about 50 yet, I keep looking towards it, making efforts to befriend it, but I admit I am a little unsettled about this particular milestone.

To be clear – I’m grateful to be turning 50, the breath in my lungs is a gift to be sure. And, really it’s quite possible that this feeling that I can’t quite get a handle on has more to do with the many changes happening in my life this year and less with turning 50…time will tell.

Each “big birthday’ I’ve asked myself this question. “Is there anything else you really could have wanted at this point in your life?” As I’ve taken inventory of many incredible blessings, even when resources were rather scarce, the answer has always been a resounding “No.” I’ve done and have experienced more than I really could have hoped for. Even when I list what I would consider the basics, I know I am blessed beyond measure…

A wonderful husband who loves me
Four healthy children
Income that more than supports us
A home
Good friends
Sisters who are like friends

…the list goes go on and on. (This year  ~ inspired by One Thousand Gifts, I am naming my blessings in a journal; an effort to seek to see and value the many gifts that are mine.) So what is it about 50?

There are things that matter to me that I haven’t yet tackled so that contributes to that unsettled feeling, these include more consistent writing, doing more with this blog (like getting a logo and publishing more places), a small business I’m conflicted about. Many moons ago I declared I would lose 50 pounds by 50 ~ I’ve lost 15. But as I re-read “I will be 50 in two years and six weeks and I want to be strong, I want to be flexible, I want to have energy, I want my skin to glow, I want my pants to fit, I want to be healthy. I want to feel good every day when I go to my closet to get dressed.” I realize it’s OK that I haven’t lost all the pounds ~ I’m strong enough, I’m getting more flexible due to the yoga I’m doing in my basement, I sometimes struggle with energy in the winter months so I won’t worry so much about that right now. My skin – well Coco Chanel said, Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty, therefore I’m making peace with the changes that have, are, and will take place with this face! And lastly because of the recent downward trend on the scale, getting dressed is not the problem it was. Maybe 50 will be about moving forward and continuing to make peace.

I have many fabulous, incredible, beautiful friends who have gone to 50 ahead of me ~ Barb, Cathy, Cindy, Alex, Dawn & Elise come to mind immediately. I’ve always said if that’s 50, then I’m on my way! 50 is Fabulous, 50 is the new 30 (in many ways, I can promise you it is not, but I’m grateful for that attitude!) These ladies have led so well, I’m grateful for them blazing the trail in front of me, they are nothing short of inspiring in each of their own ways. Because of them I should be confident. Maybe part of the uneasiness is that I know what I’ve done to this point in my life has mattered, and I’m so incredibly uncertain what this next stage looks like and I want it to matter.

A few years ago inspired by The Birthday Project, a friend and her sisters did 38 random acts of kindness for her 38 birthday, she and her sisters made a video of the day, you can see it here!  I shared this with my friend Cathy, and when she turned 50 she did 50 Random Acts of Kindness with the help of her family and me. It was so fun receiving text message all day as everyone enjoyed spreading kindness all day in various locations.

Now it’s getting close to my turn, I’ve been blessed with much so I’m going to share some of that on my 50th. I’m hopeful that the JOY that will come from blessing others will be the gift I really need. I want to walk into this next decade with confidence, intention and JOY…50 Acts of Kindness will be a heck of a start! I’m working out the details for that day, but I’m certain it’s going to be a great day!

I have a feeling I’ll have more thoughts on turning 50 and because sometimes I write to sort out my thoughts and feelings, this subject might just show up here again before the big day. If you’ve turned 50 please feel especially invited to share your own thoughts on this landmark birthday!

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