I turned 50 today. It’s a milestone…half a century old, 25 years past my favorite age, 25. I loved being 25 as I was educated, had a good job, was independent and self-supporting, didn’t feel vulnerable, and still felt I had lots of time to change careers, dream new dreams, embark on new adventures, pursue new relationships. I knew who I was by then and had learned from my mistakes. I was physically healthy and felt there was nothing I couldn’t do.
Turning fifty feels like there is less time to dream dreams and embark on new adventures, I have to choose more wisely now. I take less for granted. I am more spiritual. I appreciate more. I choose goals and relationships more carefully. I no longer feel I can have everything, so I choose more carefully what I want. I am more careful as to how I spend my time and who I spend my time with.
I had a 30 crisis, but I don’t think I’ll have a 50 crisis. I am too grateful to have reached this milestone. In the cancer world I know many who dream of being able to reach the half century mark, who dream of being able to raise their kids to adulthood, to realize dreams. One 23 year old lost his battle with colon cancer recently…diagnosed at 21 he spent the last two years of his life ferociously battling the disease. He had so many dreams he will not realize. Another friend recently died of my same cancer…she was diagnosed when she was 36 and fought a very long and hard battle with signet ring appendiceal cancer for the last four years of her life. She didn’t live to see her children become adults, they are young teens. She didn’t get to be 50; she’d just turned 40 when she lost her battle. She would have loved to have celebrated the 50 year landmark.
So I feel only gratitude at turning 50. I’ve lived half a centuy; I have a good marriage of 22 years, I have been unconditionally loved and supported by my husband for over two decades. I was able to have children and to raise them to adulthood. I was able to have a best friend and confidant for 30 years. I was able to do meaningful things, I hope, with my life for 50 years.
I am blessed to be 50….no crisis for me. But I do feel a need to make my time here count. To be worthy of having lived for 50 years. I feel humble and grateful.