So it happened, I turned 50. There was fanfare and cake, with an abundance of love and lots of good spirits. I survived turning half a century feeling so much love from family and friends and counting every blessing as I turned the page. I am blessed in every way and I cannot think of a better way to bring in that momentous moment. I went to sleep a content and bemused fabulous fifty year old… And then the day after happened…
Mind blown…. Talk about crashing from the high of the week. FIFTY YEARS, FIFTY! With no chance for do-overs. This is it, every mistake, every wrong turn and every missed opportunity flashed before my eyes. I swear it was yesterday that I was losing my marbles about turning 35. Where did fifteen years go? Ten years even? Who sped up the clock while I was working, parenting and stressing over life’s little things?
The reality sunk in that from this day forward, when someone asks my age, I will have to push out a number well above middle age. Oh I know we like to say 50 is middle age, but how many of us do you really think are going to see the big 100? Frankly, how many want to see 100, that’s kind of a catch 22 isn’t it? In reality, I pray to eek out another 25 or, to be generous, 35. That brings me to the ripe old age of 85. Nice. That’s comforting…
No, no it’s not! My mind has gone into full panic mode with number 50’s arrival. How many years before I start seriously weighing this whole botox thing? I mean, is it really necessary to be able to show emotion in my face? Joan Rivers didn’t mind. Wouldn’t it actually behoove a RBF sufferer to get botox and finally put an end to that syndrome? Side-note: For those who are not familiar with “RBF” there is no need to concern yourself, you apparently are not afflicted.
Besides my face, which cannot be hidden behind a strategically slimming pair of jeans, the reality that I need to work a lot harder to maintain a decent figure has now crashed upon me as well. I’ve been ignoring the inevitable over the past year or so, as my taste buds awoke from a 20 year slumber. The harsh truth is I somehow need to fit more exercise into my life and less food into my mouth. I’m on it, every painful step of my insane dash around the neighborhood today was a quest to at least work off the twelve pieces of cake I’ve eaten to celebrate being FIFTY.
I know, I know. I’ve said it in my very own articles. I’m blessed to wake up every morning and I have a full and wonderful life. I know this and I believe it, but somehow that did not stop the tidal wave of emotion mixed with despair today. The thought that I am most likely in the last third of my life is staggering. Maybe because I want it to be perfect, I don’t want to waste a moment and I don’t want to regret a second. Maybe that’s why it hit me like a ton of bricks. The reality that I must set myself on a course, from now on, to enjoy every moment that I can. I must make choices that will bring me happiness and fulfillment while keeping me in good faith. I feel more pressure than I ever have to carefully weigh my decisions. They always counted, but suddenly I’m aware of how much every single move I make counts. I never in a million years expected to feel this pressure.
Maybe this is my epiphany? I don’t know, but I have to be honest, it’s a little scary. I’m assuming this ridiculous overwhelming reflective feeling shall pass, and I’m praying it passes quickly. And I do realize this is probably not a normal reaction, as many have pointed out to me over the years, I tend to over think this type of thing…. But for those of you reflective upon your own final third as well, I say let’s start living every day like it’s our last. Kinda an insurance policy that the final third will get the attention it truly deserves, because I’m sure if you’re like me, the first 50 may have been unintentionally wished away. A wish for the weekend, a vacation down the road, the change of season…. every wish for the future took me out of the present. Starting at age 50 and 1 day, I hope to remember to firmly live in the here and now.