Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Almost 50

May 30, 2006

In two days I’ll be 48 years old. Almost 50. How do I feel about that? Truth is, it varies from day to day.

Some days I feel puzzled, as if I’m in a foreign country listening to a language I don’t understand. Fifty can’t be right. It’s not possible that I’ve lived that many years. I don’t feel 50! What is 50? Last I noticed, I was thirty-something! Anybody around here speak English?

Some days I feel depressed. I’m OLD! That means I’m unattractive! I haven’t DONE enough with my life! I’m stiff and weak, and getting more so! Wait, slow down! I’m not ready for this. Give me time to catch up! Can I get a body lift, please?

Some days I feel calm. Accepting. It is what it is. I am who I am. The number isn’t important. More important is how aware I am, how much I’ve grown. Personal and spiritual growth doesn’t happen in a linear fashion, can’t be measured in candles and calendars. I’m still me, at the core, have been since birth. Ommmmmmmm.

Some days – well, okay, some times, some hours- I feel open and glad. Fifty means maturity. Maturity means wisdom. Fifty means I don’t ever have to be twenty again. It means I’ll be hanging out with more people who have The Answers than I did ten or twenty years ago. People over 50 tend to have a pretty solid sense of themselves, and often have trimmed their lives down to the meaningful essentials. I’d like hanging out with people like that. Maybe it’ll rub off on me.

Most days I do the old one-two on my own mind. I’m not fifty! I’m “forty-something”. Way different from 50. Fifty is YEARS away! Besides, 50 is the new 40, right?

Well, I’ve got two whole years to get used to the idea of fifty, and figure out how to arrive there in style. Meanwhile, I’m healthy and whole, and a birthday, whatever its number, sounds like a good excuse for a party. So pop the cork and crank the tunes! It’s my birthday!


Web Teacher said...

Happy 48! May you have many more happy birthdays.

I didn't even get started on my current life until I was 47 and here I am at the ripe old age of retirement and just got asked to write another book, which makes me the Grandma Moses of web design, for sure. As long as you're getting out of bed in the morning, it's a good day!


Bardiac said...

Happy 48th!

I loved the way you talked about the years sneaking up. I remember them all and such, but wow, where did the last 5 years go when they squirted by?

TheTundraPA said...

Happy Birthday, Peg! Remember the day and forget the year, it's how you feel that matters. You said it all very well. The feeling of astonishment and disbelief on approaching the 50 mile marker is profound: how could I POSSIBLY be this old??? I don't feel this old! When I turned 50, my dad said, "Well, Kiddo, 40 is the old age of youth, and 50 is the youth of old age. If you're lucky, you'll enjoy this youth more than you did your first one." He was right. I had to wait until my fifties for the best part of my life and my greatest gift.

dribear said...

In 2 weeks I'll be 38. June babies obviously rock! So I am pushing 40. I wonder the same thing as you. Makes me nervous. I think things like, ok assuming a life expectancy of around 76 for men, I've lived half my life. Where did the time go? Hope the second half doesn't go as quickly as the first half. Egads! I'm middle aged.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to YOU!

and nyah nyah nyah nyah... I won't be 48 until October. I'm younger than you are....

Yikes! Are we getting old???

No way!


Charity Doc said...

May 30th is my birthday. But as the saying goes, "It's not the age, it's the mileage!"

Happy Birthday! I highly recommend taking a vacation to celebrate your birthday. I'm on one right now.

wolfbaby said...

Happy birthday!!!
As my poppy always says your only as old as you feel.
Sounds like you don't feel very old so you must not be right!!!
Make it count.

connery the ageless wonder said...


Age is just a number. I believe we're all just the same kids we always were on the inside, just maybe a little more experienced.

I'm reminded as I read your article, and some people's other comments, of George Carlin's famous routine on aging, which you should try to find, especially if you're writing a book on the topic. Something about how, for milestone birthdays, the phraseology we use changes as we get older. We'll "be" 10. And a half. We "celebrate" 20. We "turn" 30, but we're "pushing" 40. Later, we "hit" 50. BAM!!! Like hitting a wall. Then, we "make" 60. We "reach" 70. Like barely reaching the end of a race. I forget what funny verbs he uses for 80 and 90. His wry delivery is fantastic, when he does this routine.

Congratulations and much best wishes for health, happiness, love, and success, upon "pushing" or "hitting" 48.

(I'll be pushing a "zero" number this summer, myself. Ughh. I take back what silly pablum I typed up there, when it applies to ME!)


anafaran said...

Happy Birthday Dr. Pegger, from Athens, Greece!

Fat Doctor said...

Thanks, I needed to read this. I struggle with turning 38 in a couple of months. "Almost forty! Oh my GAWD!" Nice to know that I'll still feel 25 even when I'm approaching 50...60...70.

anafaran said...

Accept that you're this age. It's quite nice getting to the "O's" actually. You get a bunch of attention that you don't get at the other birthdays. It can be as much fun as you make it.

dr peg said...

Wow, thanks everybody! I had a lovely birthday weekend. I did take a vacation, thank you very much. And I don't feel one whit older than before I left! Must be that Texas humidity. NOt quite as exotic as Athens but hey, it was a change.

Charity doc - happy Bday back to you, belated but heartfelt! And happy upcoming to connery and fat doctor. Party hearty!

The Authors of "50 Ways" Interview on KCHF TV

50 Ways to Leave Your 40s TV interview with Phoenix' Pat McMahon