I celebrated my 50th birthday this past Saturday. Yup…FIFTY! Strangely enough, and I say this because I had a meltdown at 30, I’m so OK with it all…better than OK, really. During my dinner celebration, I asked my girlfriends (who are already in the F&F club) to describe their fifties. Busy…Truly knowing who I am and being OK with it…Happy…A sense of calm…Freedom…were some of their replies. Not bad, right? I mean, I would say all of those descriptions can easily fall under the “fabulous” category. The thoughts that kept coming to my mind on Saturday were Happy and Blessed. So how did I arrive at this place? Um, cause, trust me, I didn’t feel it at 30 or even 40.
I certainly looked happy in that photo, and I was…fleetingly. I could dig out many more photos to illuminate happy moments over the years. But the ability to look back over 50 years of life on this planet and not only acknowledge, but really OWN the good times, the bad times and, yes, the downright ugly times, and feel a sense of gratitude for it all…kind…of…amazes…me. I can see how it was all necessary to shape me into who I am today. ALL. OF. IT. This makes me incredibly happy and serene.
Maybe it makes me happy because it provides purpose for it all, I don’t know. I don’t really need to know the “why” (and, um, this is not how I operate). I like to understand things. Honestly, I can be a bit obsessive with needing to understand things, people, the universe et all.
Maybe it makes me happy because in retrospect, not only the good, but the bad and the downright ugly have earned their places at the table – by providing gifts in their wake.
It doesn’t matter why. It was all necessary to get me to the place where feeling happy is no longer fleeting but a way of life that is chosen regardless of present moment circumstances. But now that I know this, I’m not willing to give it up so easily.
I recognize the many blessings in my life. To name a few…I have a wonderful family, an awesome husband, a wonderful son and a group of girlfriends that have known me since I was a young, naive girl (and they like happen to also like Super Houls). We are all in good health. I strive to recognize these gifts during the times when they are not so apparent because present moment circumstances cloud them. But you don’t live on this planet for 50 years without an acquiring an arsenal of experience to call upon. This is so incredibly awesome it makes me giddy.
When I was younger I didn’t understand how all experiences leave gifts in their wake. Therefore, they were so much harder to bear if they weren’t the good ones. But at 50…I get it…CLEARLY. It’s like a light switch that gets turned on. And… I’m the one controlling the switch now because I have the experiences to draw upon. How awesome is that! And I know what is good for me and what is not good for me. And I know who is good for me and who is not good for me. And I know who I can trust and who I cannot trust. So much of the guess-work has faded away.
On Saturday morning I thought about how I felt about turning 50 and here’s what I posted on my FB page…
“Today I celebrate 50 years of life! A milestone birthday. With this comes the knowledge that I probably have more years behind me than before me. They say with age comes wisdom. Here’s what I know…the older I get the more I like myself and the less I care if others do. I choose who I spend time with much more carefully. I’m surrounded by family and friends who have shared this journey with me; seen me through the struggles and shared my joy. They matter most. I’m choosing to embrace this new decade with grace and I feel excited for the experiences that lie ahead. Fifty and Fabulous! Happy Birthday to me.”
As my mother-in-law would say, “That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!”
Here’s a few highlights of my special day…
I’ll be a bit busy next week enjoying my gift from Super Houls…with Super Houls!
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Here’s to a great day,