Fifty-seven. How in the world can I be turning fifty-seven? I can remember so clearly standing in front of the bathroom mirror in the house I grew up in on the morning of my sixteenth birthday, scrutinizing my as yet unlined face, feeling ancient and wondering what I would look like when I reached the ripe old age of thirty. Hell, I don’t even remember being thirty now. A lifetime ago.
I’m not quite old yet (whatever old really means), but I’ve definitely tilted over the proverbial hill and am beginning the electric slide down…or onward…or whatever you call it. But, I have to be honest; I like the age I am. Do I miss the unlined face? Okay, yes. Do I miss the young body? Well, yes. Do I miss the insecurities and constant second guessing myself at every turn? Not one bit. I’ll keep my wrinkles, gray hair, and aches and pains for the self-acceptance that the passage of years has given me.
I am not professing to have acquired any great wisdom in my fifty-seven years, but I have learned some things, often through trial and painful error, namely that we can make our lives beautiful and meaningful no matter what challenges we face. I’ve learned that there are truly good people in the world who act as angels to help us when we need them most. I’ve learned that love and friendship are priceless and never to be taken for granted. All lessons that I will cling to for as long as I’m blessed to keep riding this spinning orb.
I plan to enjoy my special day by heading out early to take Marley for a good walk/run before I head to the salon for a much-needed trim and color (not quite ready to go silver yet…but soon). I’ll do a bit of work and finish packing for my trip tomorrow to Tampa for a conference and Board meeting (I’m driving and taking Marley with me for company). Later, Dan is taking me to a special restaurant that we’ve been wanting to try. One of the best presents of my life has been loving and being loved by Dan. How lucky can a girl get?
I am grateful to still be here, to have learned what is important to me in life, what is worth fighting for. I’m also grateful to be surrounded by a tribe of dear friends, family, and an adoring husband as I stumble my way through. Not a bad way to age, to live…not bad at all.