In just a few days, so will I. Coincidentally, so is my dog. In dog years anyway. He doesn’t seem to mind as much as I do.
I’m not entirely sure why I mind turning 50. Maybe it’s not being considered young any more. It may be the gray hair. Maybe it’s because everything is definitely a little more south than it was ten years ago – like my face and, well, you know. Maybe I mind because I haven’t got as much time to do what I want to do anymore. Not that I even know what it is that I want to do – I just know that once I nail that down, I have less time to do it in. I never got to be a doctor, or a lawyer, or a rabbi. I did get a bachelor’s degree – but not in anything that I really wanted one in. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a bachelor’s degree in Ancient Mesopotamian Studies? I think it would. I could still become a librarian – there’s no age limit for librarians. I won’t ever be a rabbi – I haven’t got the patience for stupid people any more.
On the up side, my children are (mostly) grown, and I have two wonderful grandchildren. I have my own house, and a wonderful husband without whom I couldn’t possibly live. I am, for the most part, at peace with who I am and what I believe. I’ve made peace with my youth, and have buried most of the ghosts from said period of time. I’ve learned to never say never – there is almost always an exception to every rule. I know that watching Sponge Bob will not permanently damage my brain, and will definitely improve my relationship with a certain young man. I don’t need to be skinny – I just need to be healthy. Therefore, one piece of cheesecake isn’t going to ruin my (not so) girlish figure.
I’ve also learned that time is not our friend. Time whooshes by when we’re not paying attention. Enjoying the now is much more important that worrying about the future. If I spend all my time planning for the future, and none of my time enjoying the present, the future will never come. The future of yesterday is today, and today is almost gone.
I wish I could teach these things to my children and my friends – many of whom are significantly younger than me. What lives they could lead if they knew these things in their 20s, and didn’t have to spend thirty years learning them. Can you imagine what a world that would be?
So, on Wednesday I will be 50. I think I shall eat cake.