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!