On turning 50
And so it happened. The calendar turned the page. The days turned to months and years. 50. 5. 0. Five 10's. Fifty 1's. No matter how you add the numbers it always comes out the same. I have officially arrived at the halfway point of life. It seems like yesterday I was sitting on a swing in my backyard wondering what it would be like when I "grew up". Would I get to be an artist? Or a teacher? Or maybe a veterinarian? Would I play sports and win medals? Would I learn to sing and be in musicals on Broadway? Would someone love me and want to marry me? Would I have children of my own?
I was a dreamer. I AM a dreamer. But life can be cruel to the dreamers. Put that square peg back in the round hole before you get hurt. Don't push the boundaries. Conform. Follow the rules. Be like everyone else. And I tried. Oh, how I have tried. And where has all of that gotten me?
It's not that I'm scared of aging, maybe not terribly excited, but not scared. And I don't fear the number. What does cause me to sit back and reflect is the question in my head, what have I done in 50 years? Have I used my time wisely? Have I made an impact? Did I spend too much time dreaming or not enough? Did I love well? Did I miss things? Then I reflect on the many many blunders I have made. So I guess this day is causing me to think. To look back. To dream ahead.
In the 50 years of walking this earth, I have made mistakes. I have said stupid things. Done stupid things. Hurt people. Failed and failed.
I have made brilliant decisions and loved fiercely. I "made" people. I gained a daughter. I have found friendships I could never dream existed. I have mourned lost friendships but celebrated the season those amazing humans were in my life. I have cried myself to sleep and laughed so hard I cried. I have learned skills. I have traveled. I have watched the grey hair appear and found ways to celebrate many colors.
I have carried babies inside of me for three of those years. I have kissed tiny fingers, wiped away tears, read a million books, taught tiny humans to read, to see, to love. I did the best I could with that job...the very best job of my life. I see now the many mistakes I made with them, I hope they always know how hard I tired. How much I love them. How watching them grow, find their wings and soar is one of the best accomplishments of my life so far. But then they are gone. Then you find yourself missing piles of laundry, dirty dishes, nail polish on benches and holes in walls. You find yourself lighting up the minute they text...or even call. Seasons. Life. It goes by so quickly.
What if we could go back and make changes. Selective do-over? Would I? No. I would change nothing. Except. Love more. Give more grace to myself and those around me.
I have lived. I am human. And in every step I see a Savior that not only walked with me, He often carried me. Through the highs and the lows, my faith never wavered. I became less about religion and more about Jesus. I fell more deeply in love with him and more desperately wanting people to see Him in me. I know I fail here too...but it's a work in progress.
Aging is inevitable. Do I wish I had my 20-year-old body that I loathed then? Damn straight. Do I want to be 20 again? No way. I don't know how long I have to walk this planet. But what I do know is that I am going to try and live every day as if it is my last. If I have learned anything I have learned to treasure...people...moments...opportunities. If you are reading this...thank you. That means that somehow someway our paths have crossed and for that, I am eternally grateful. I hope to tell you that face to face someday, but if not...thank you. For being a part of my story.
Here's to whatever else comes next. Cheers.