F-f-f-fifty

Today – yes, today – is my fiftieth birthday.  15337669_1398571906842361_7722977196150417882_nI’ve been celebrating all weekend with my best friend, and there’s a party tonight.  But right now, I’m taking a bit of time alone, with cat, and being me, I’m reflecting.

I’ve been sharing some wonderful quotes on Facebook about aging, and I especially love this one from my favorite author, Madeleine L’Engle:

The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.

Many authors have written on that theme, and I can’t best them, so I’m not going to try.  My reflection today is about how different fifty seems now that I’ve reached it than when the women who shaped my life were reaching this age.

When my mother and my aunts turned fifty, it was unimaginably old.  They were quite definitely grown-ups – fun grown-ups, but grown-ups.  Now I wonder if they felt as I do – that the kid in me is still dominant.  And I don’t only mean in terms of playing, but in doubt, and fear, and especially, hope.  Did they doubt the choices they had made and were making?  Did they fear as I do that they have not achieved what they “should” (whatever the hell that means), or that they were not the woman they had wanted to be?  Did they still hope for more, more, more?  Did they still want to try new things with the abandon of a child, or did they hold back, because they were adults, and they weren’t “allowed”?

Well, now it’s my turn.  And for future reference,  I still doubt, and fear, and hope, and play.  There is fear, but also joy.  And damn, fifty is feeling good.

 

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