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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Reflections on Turning Fifty.....

Old Age, I decided, is a gift.

I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Except my body! I sometime despair over my body....the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging "parts". And often I take a second glance at that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mom!), but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends or my wonderful life for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I have become my own friend.

I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so fabulous out on my deck. I am entitled to treats, to make a mess, to be extravagant!!

I have seen too many friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon?

I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 & 70's!! Maybe even some of the 80's!

I will walk the beach and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will someday get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And eventually I remember the important things. Most of the time.

Over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I do not question myself anymore. I have even earned the right to be wrong.

I actually like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time thinking about what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I do believe that I will eat dessert every single day!! I have earned it.


Anonymous said...

I love this post...and it came just as I was really feeling and seeing my 43 years, even dispairing over it. How silly I feel now.. I have alot to be grateful for and I want to have the outlook you have...will try, starting this morning with my toasted coconut coffee and a cinnamon bun...or two! - Karen M.

Kellan said...

Is it your birthday? If so - Happy Birthday. This was a wonderful post and so many great points and I just loved it. I couldn't agree more with so much of what you said - are are not only beautiful, but wise and kind and sensational!

Have a good day - see you soon - Kellan

Brenda said...

Once a lady reaches 50 she's earned every one of those rights. Turning 50 didn't bother me nearly as much as turning 40 did. Congrats on reaching a wonderful milestone!

Joy T. said...

Happy Birthday if it's your birthday!!! I couldn't wait to turn 40 and even though I'm only 44, I can't wait to turn 50! Have a super day.

Jen said...

Amen, sister!

aims said...

Getting older use to look like a death sentence. Now I am very content with who I am and what I do.

Everything you said here is right on the mark for those of us who have hit 50 and recognized that age is a blessing.

I have recommended this post to David McMahon over at authorblog who lists a post of the day. Just because...

dawn said...

This is absolutely wonderful. What a great tribute to turning older. Our sermon today was on this exact thing. It was called "Finishing Well" I would say you are well on your way to finishing well and the thing that makes a person live the longest is a positive attitude (or being a dictator--by capita anyway). With your attitude you have another 50 years ahead of you which is great with all that freedom and living and finishing well.