Today marks the cultural page turn – from 48 to 49… meaning that I’ll begin telling myself that I’m 50 now.
It’s a bittersweet change, a journey-marking and emotion-stirring sort of transition.
I love who I’ve become. It’s been a long hard journey, but I feel it’s come full circle now – I found the girl I lost a long, long time ago.
A woman now, but with a girlish joy, a girlish energy, a girlish view of life – with a firm foundation of reality and knowledge.
Oh, I don’t know it all – hell no I don’t!
But what I do know gives me courage.
It gives me strength and fortitude.
And I can now look in the mirror and say “I love you, you beautiful bad-ass you!”
That took a long time, and I just realized today that it’s real.
Sadly, I’m now the number my grandmother reached, never to count another.
Did she ever reach a satisfaction point?
Was she ever able to look at the mirror and love those eyes looking back?
I’m only two years from the number my mother last counted.
I don’t know that she had the satisfaction of self-acceptance either.
This anchors me, holds me firmly on my feet.
I think of their end – to feel as young as I feel, yet to have lived as much as I have lived now. To realize how precious life is – I mean, we finally really get that at this age! Then to be done?
No knowledge, no history to follow.
Missed opportunities, missed grand-kids, missed great grand-kids…
That rocks my world a bit. It makes their absence seem off-balance, skewed and unreal.
I know that I’m 90% likely to exceed this year by 20 or 40 (yes, I’ll take the positive view) years. I’m thankful for what I have and what possibilities exist…
And I’m so happy with where I am, where we are, my spouse and I – where our kids are, and what our lives are about.
More importantly, I’m so thankful to Almighty that I’ve been allowed the opportunity to see today. We really never truly know if we’ll see tomorrow…
There you have it – it’s bittersweet…
But there’s more — I’ll share the “cherry on top” moment for the day:
Moving slowly this morning, just a little worn from four hours of road time yesterday, topped by a 5K mud dash for a fundraiser, I was feeling pretty good about myself. I’d accomplished a physical feat that I had been unsure of, and I had met new people and enjoyed myself thoroughly.
I took my sweet time, finally taking time to run through the edits and uploads for my niece’s bridal shower pictures. Much later than my usual time, I was ready to eat breakfast and get outside to monitor the poor, neglected garden.
I was in such a hurry to get outside, I decided to take my yogurt/granola out with me and eat it as I walked through the garden.
There I was, granola bowl in hand, rounding the corner of the garage, noticing that there was a strange chair peeking out from behind the camper.
As I continued my approach, the accompanying bistro style table with colorful flower mosaic tile and second chair came into view!
I have to admit, the smile on my face was the biggest I’ve had, and the tears that streamed down my face were pure joy.
I slowly set my bowl down and admired his choice, feeling the sudden rush of contentment that comes from someone just knowing me so well.
Yes, I feel pretty good, pretty grounded about the number fifty.
“A power of Butterfly must be –
The Aptitude to fly
Meadows of Majesty concedes
And easy Sweeps of Sky -”
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”
“And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our own feet, and learn to be at home.”
“The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.”