I have been 50 for a week now. Fifty. 5-0. I never really thought about being 50, until I turned 49. Then I thought about it a lot.
My kids say I don't look 50. But really, what does 50 look like? Or, what's it supposed to look like? I'm okay with how I look but I think I'd be okay if I didn't dye my hair, wear make-up or do whatever else I do. Really, I've been thinking about what I've done with my life so far. I told my partner that I felt like my life was passing me by and this was the year to stop allowing that to happen. But then I thought about what I've done so far. It's not a bad list.
Ages 1-10: I was a pain in the ass kid. I was difficult. I felt different, which I didn't like. I had a not-normal family which made me feel like I was different. I was also clumsy, which didn't help.
Things that stand out in my memory:
1. I learned to love the beach (or, more accurately, the shore).
2. I learned that I didn't love school.
3. I learned girls are mean, except the ones who aren't. I'm still friends with the nice ones.
Ages 10-20: I was still a pain in the ass kid, but I also learned how to change things I didn't like about myself.
1. I realized that I really was different from a lot of people.
2. I behaved badly.
3. I moved out on my own - and that was great.
Ages 20-30: I finally got a life.
1. I moved to an entirely other state (that wasn't NJ). I never thought I'd do that. But I did and I never looked back.
2. I fell in love. Several times.
3. I found a profession.
Ages 30-40: I became a grown up.
1. I got married.
2. I had kids - and have become a good mother, much to everyone's surprise (that will be a different blog post).
3. I learned that no matter what, I end up on my feet. I can take care of my family and myself.
4. Oh, probably most important, I didn't die even though I was told I very well might. Fuck that.
Ages 40-50: I handle responsibility.
1. Well, that whole marriage thing didn't really work out so well but I lived through it.
2. I surrounded myself with people who love me. I hope they know I love them, too.
3. I have two teenagers and haven't run away from home yet - major accomplishment.
4. I learned the role of "daughter" changes. My girls fill it one way; my role is different with my mom. It's all okay but they are drastically different.
So, what do the next few decades hold for me? Obviously, I can't predict anything but there are a few things I can assume with some certainty will happen. I will have two kids in college. That will be a shock. I will get married again. That will be less of a shock but still a change. I will hopefully end up somewhere where I can see the ocean on a regular basis. And hopefully, I will end up happy. Though, I have to say when I look at my life and all that has happened, I'm surprisingly happy. I bitch a lot but that's just me. More happiness is good.