This is a milestone, folks. Yup – as of midnight tonight, Yours Truly will crest the half-century mark.
Thanks to my beloved husband Alex and our family and friends, the week leading up to this big moment has been memorable. There have been gifts, cards, parties, lunches, dinners – I couldn’t ask for more!
Aside from the celebrations, though, there have been moments of reflection. Those of you who have already sailed past this marker will likely know what I’m talking about. There are times when one’s age really is more than “just a number”.
Achieving the age of 50 is one of those times.
I’ve found myself plunging into a near-fugue state while sitting at my computer or standing in the kitchen, walking, driving or lying in bed. One question keeps running through my mind
Am I where I should be at this point in my life?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to assess my status in material terms. I have a good day job that pays the bills, as does my husband. We have a home, car, education for our children…
In terms of material considerations, I’m more than content – I am downright grateful.
No, my ponderings have nothing to do with money or clothes, jewels or homes. Instead they are focused on the less tangible assets – the lessons of life. I review the years that led to this moment, all 50 of them, and what they should have taught me.
I’ve certainly tried to take those lessons to heart. I suppose I must hope that effort counts in the grand design. I’ve tried to be generous and loving, tolerant and truthful. I’ve bent in the storm and stood my ground in the hurricane. I’ve been sometimes stubborn, and at other times compliant, as the situation warranted. I have loved my family truly, even in my childhood, when doing so often seemed impossible.
But there is so much more I want to learn – so many pearls that still scatter past my feet, out of my reach. And now, on the eve of my half-century, it seems appropriate to chase down some of the most valuable pearls, before this moment passes and I forget what it was that seemed so pressing.
So here, for all to witness, is my “To-Do” list for the next 50 years:
1- Always appreciate the love of family and friends. Let no kindness pass unnoticed. Try to see myself as my loved ones see me. Forgive my own short-comings. They never arise out of malice.
2- When in doubt, proceed with kindness. Let gentleness be my ‘default’ position.
3- Stand tall. Make no apologies for who I am. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the facing of it. Brave is the person who rises each day without knowing what challenges lay in wait.
4- Treasure my physical health. My aging body is less than perfect, but it serves me well. Take care of it to the best of my ability.
5- Follow my passion for written words with conviction and energy. Make no excuses – place no blame.
Just keep on riding the tiger until the end of days.