Yes, this is THE BIG ONE. Time to celebrate half a century. I've determined that my attitude toward turning 50 is going to be one of optimism: Think of all the power that is mine at last! No one can make me play softball. No one can make me wear fashionable shoes that give me a backache. No one can make me go to school. No one (much) can tell me I'm too young to understand. People in their 50's rule the world and I intend to do my share of that, even if my power stops at the property line and my subjects can’t speak human.
True, there will have to be a little more fiber in the diet, harder exercise to get the same results, lists to help me remember things that used to embed themselves quite easily into the gray matter, and speaking of gray, a little more hard-earned income making my hair look younger--but only because I want to!
Would I go back in time and actually BE younger? Re-live the adolescent angst, the college uncertainties or the dreary dues-paying years following the degree? Go back to all those embarrassing moments throwing myself at relationships that weren’t meant to be, all those ridiculous social situations requiring me to pretend to be someone else? There was an awfully lot of youth that I didn't enjoy the first time around. Why would I go back?
It’s really nice to know that most of the “big” decisions are behind me. The husband of 21 years, the half-grown kids, career and lifestyle--it is as though we are on cruise control. Although it is a curvy and bumpy road sometimes, the map is marked out. There was a time when dreaming of the destination was fun, but now I’m just glad to be making the trip.
The truth is, I would love to look and feel younger without going backwards. I don’t like the lines and wrinkles so pronounced in the mirror, the fatigue, the fuzzy thinking. But if these are the price for living now, then what am I going to do? Even if there were a time machine, can you imagine the cost of time travel? I couldn’t afford a trip to this morning, much less to my 20’s. If I borrowed the money for a ticket, would I have to pay it back then or now? Could I get back to the future if I made some really different choices way back there? My life is pretty good now and another chance to do it all better could ruin everything!
Fifty is coming, unless it doesn’t, so I’ll celebrate! Maybe I’ll have a fancy cup of coffee, a lunch out with friends, dinner at a restaurant. Chocolate is definitely on the menu. A gag gift or a card telling me I’m old is okay if it comes. Bring on the black flamingos and balloons, the cane, the medical supplies if you must--I am not afraid! One way or another, barring unforeseen negative events, I will make an effort to enjoy the day and the decade. I will laugh, love, and make plans for a facelift down the road in case a windfall of expendable cash comes my way. It could happen! You never know what lies just around the next birthday.