Today’s a big day for me—I’m turning 50.
While that age may bother others when they hit that milestone, turning 50 doesn’t bother me at all.
I’m one of those people who believes that age is just a number.
That is, of course, until I try to sleep at night but can’t because of insomnia. Or when I do finally fall to sleep and then I wake up with an aching back because I’ve been sleeping in the same position for far too long.
Or when my knees click every time I walk, or when I get winded just walking up the stairs.
Come to think of it, those probably aren’t a turning 50 thing, that’s just me being out of shape.
Age really is just a number.
When I turned 40, my friends didn’t just celebrate it for a day, they celebrated it for years after. Every time it was someone else’s birthday, they would have a second cake on the table that said, “Happy 40th Simone!”
When I was 43 years old, I went to a baseball game. There on the Jumbotron for everyone to see was a message that said, “Happy 40th Birthday, Simone!” I just rolled my eyes.
I even had friends calling me from the stadium saying they had no idea it was my birthday.
My response is always the same, “It’s not my birthday, it’s just an inside joke.”
Maybe they were trying to embarrass me over and over again by reminding me (and everyone else) of my age.
But turning 50 is never something I’ve dreaded. I just feel like it’s part of my journey.
Looking back on the past 50 years, I’ve done some pretty amazing things.
And I wouldn’t go back and change any of it. I am who I am today because of the choices I’ve made and the adventures I’ve taken.
Turning 50 is a milestone.
Now I know that my family and friends aren’t going to buy a cake big enough to fit all 50 candles on it. But I’m certain they’ll keep reminding me that I’m no longer 40.
They won’t let me forget that I’m 50 now. And turning 50 brings with it great responsibilities.
I’ve got to start thinking about my retirement home. Plus I’ve got to decide which one of my six children will be the one taking care of me as I get older.
I’ve also got to start thinking of a one-level house instead of a two-story home, so I don’t have so many steps to walk up and down.
Actually, I’m kidding. Those aren’t the things I’m thinking about at all.
I’m celebrating the things that matter.
I’m thinking about how thankful I am that I get to enjoy every moment of my life.
I’m appreciating all the things I have and all the memories that have made up this 50-year journey.
I’m loving the amazing family I’ve been given and spending time with the ones who matter most to me.
That’s the most important thing. After all, my oldest son is 25. He’s half my age! He is getting older too.
All my kids are getting older and the time we have now we will never get back again.
I’m making the most of the time I’ve been given.
I’m trying to consider myself as a fine wine—I just get better with age.
Except for the achy joints, the fading eyesight, and constant insomnia.
Actually, I don’t know if insomnia is an age thing. But it has definitely been an issue for me for the past three years.
And then there are the tangents I go on like the last two sentences… that’s definitely an age thing.
That’s what happens when you get older. You start talking about things that you weren’t even thinking about two seconds ago. I’m sure it’s dizzying for some.
I still enjoy conversations.
Speaking about conversations, when I was younger, the conversations with my friends were about our children.
I still have three kids at home who are in middle school and high school, but most of my friends are empty nesters. Now that our kids are older our conversations lean more towards our aches and pains.
It’s actually pretty funny to think about how your conversations follow a pattern depending on your age.
I’m curious to see what the conversation will be like when I’m 60. Maybe it will be even more detailed about the aches and pains. Maybe we’ll talk about all the medications we have to take.
Whatever the conversation, I’m sure I’ll still enjoy it.
Because it’s not about the conversation.
It’s about the people you are with and the memories that you’re making.
When I look at myself in the mirror, I appreciate the wrinkles. I blame them on my children, but they are the result of a life well-lived and evidence of a happy life.
They outline the countless smiles I’ve given to my loved ones and the joyful tears I’ve cried.
Of course, there may have been some tears of frustration in there as well and certainly some stress lines because raising six kids is going to cause you stress.
But even with the stressful moments, my children and husband have been the highlight of the past 50 years.
Because of my family, it has been a meaningful and happy life.
I’m looking forward to all the years in my 50’s.
I don’t have the same stressors I had when I was younger. And looking back, I’m able to appreciate all the moments that have led me to this momentous occasion.
I’m not worried about what’s going to come next. I’m content to be exactly where I am.
I’m turning 50 today and birthdays are meant to be celebrated.
That’s exactly what I’m going to do.