Life has thrown me some challenges- some curveballs very early on- maybe earlier than most. This year was another one- maybe not a curveball because it was expected yet still something to reflect on and deal with. Turning 50. I wanted to embrace it. It was a time to celebrate, after all, and I had two other milestones to celebrate! Our 25th wedding anniversary and also 25 years since my first cancer diagnosis. Big Year.
But lets get back to that turning 50 thing. I kept telling myself I should be so thrilled to have made it to 50. Not sure I could see this day 25 years ago when I was sitting in the doctor’s office as a young woman, just married and facing a life-threatening illness. Honestly, I knew I was blessed to have made it to 50. I did. But that damn number! I was having an internal battle of sides with myself. Struggling with the number. It was really getting in my head. Yikes, 50. The more I thought about it the more I couldn’t comprehend. Ok, everyone is saying “50 is the new 40”. Well, if that makes people feel better that’s great but denial has never been my thing. 50 is 50. Our attitudes have shifted for sure but these catch phrases don’t do it for me.
“Do I look 50?”
“Do I feel 50?”
“How many more days do I have when I can tell people I am in my 40’s. That’s young. Soon I will be old.”
Boy, was I tormenting myself. My husband says I am the only person he knows who can actually have an argument with herself. And then I received the best piece of news from a good friend. She said the hardest part is the time leading up to 50. Once that day comes you celebrate and the next day you move on. That was so powerful for me. Maybe I didn’t understand it at the time but truth be told the day after the big day I moved on and realized it is just a number. I felt the same as I did the day before when I was “in my 40’s”.
Most importantly, I finally embraced 50. I haven’t looked back. This is my year of re-invention as I move into a new chapter. And it has been truly liberating. I cannot even believe I find myself telling people how old I am all the time. I feel more energized and more willing to take risks than ever before. I know who I am and what I have been through and what other people think really doesn’t matter anymore. So, maybe all that nonsense leading up to the big day was a waste of energy. I just think of it as the exercise I needed to go through to make my new chapter in life that much sweeter. What are your thoughts about turning 50? What will your new chapter be?