On Turning 50

Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking into the future…

Here I am about to plunge into a new decade and this one is causing me some angst. No problems with hitting the previous milestones of 20, 30, 40. But this 50 thing, I’m not embracing. And believe me I know 50 isn’t what it used to be in my mother’s day. Most of my friends and both of my sisters-in-law are 50+ and look really amazing and make it look just fine but somehow if I’m honest it’s hitting me that I’m turning FIFTY and it just feels OLD. The second half of life is beginning. Even if I live to 100 (and I’m not saying I’d want to) 50 is the summit that I’ve climbed to and now I’m heading down the other side of the slope. Ugh, I still feel like a little girl sometimes and yet the grays are needing regular attention, the signs of arthritis are visible, the mental focus varies from day to day and I won’t even mention the physical energy level.

I could blame some, most or maybe all of these things on the thyroid condition I’ve had since my 20s, on the drain that marriage and motherhood take, on naturally diminishing hormones and just life in general. But the reasons don’t change the fact that 50 is not appealing to me. My 20s were happily entered into, as it was the end of the teens and beginning of adulthood. I married and had my babies. My 30s were the stage of the still young mom raising two cute little boys. I did the stay at home mom routine and volunteered at school as well as at a pro-life crisis pregnancy center and my local church. My 40s saw me as the now bona fide and more mature mom of teens, but still not old. I transitioned into helping out at a community outreach center in addition to continuing the social ministry and other activities at my church. I also began to have more flexibility to travel alone with my hubby or with women friends as my boys grew older and more self-sufficient.

Theoretically, life should continue to open up and offer more possibilities now that my boys are young men taking care of themselves. I’m enjoying the recently discovered craft of crochet that I picked up in the past year. It gives me great satisfaction to be creative and it’s fun to share my creations on Instagram and Etsy. I’m relatively healthy and in good shape. I’ve managed so far to avoid Covid-19 and hopefully, the pandemic will soon be behind us. Fifty should be fun. Fifty will be fun. I’m going to reflect on that and then I’m going to make it so.

UPDATE: I wrote the post above and scheduled it to publish a few days later. In the meantime (and possibly due to the mental processing that was taking place after writing it) I’ve been feeling a change of attitude. An acceptance of sorts. And an awareness that I was lacking in gratitude for the many blessings in my life. Many would have liked to reach their 50th birthday and didn’t get the chance. Here I am whining about it. Ugh, I’m feeling guilty. It’s Holy Week to boot, and I am reminded of the ultimate suffering and sacrifice our Lord accepted humbly and willingly in his life. I’m feeling differently today than I did just a few short days ago and for that I am very grateful. Work in progress. Grateful for the grace.

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