I’ve been told by a whole bunch of people that I am turning 50 in 6 weeks. 50 years old to clarify. I think I am supposed to feel different than I do, maybe less healthy,not that I am, maybe more reflective or maybe starting my countdown to an inevitable death somewhere down the road, hopefully sooner rather than later. But I really don’t feel anything. I feel older, like any of us, my knee creaks a little more than it used to, my kids are horrifically older, including one in college and one counting the days until she leaves the state for college. But I don’t feel older, I do not feel like my life in on a last few turns, even though statistically it is, I mean middle age if I am lucky was 40, and well, clearly I am older than that, But I don’t feel the passage of time.
One friend of mine, younger, questions how I can not look back and see that life is ending, even if not for awhile. How can I not be depressed that time is passing by, that I will never again look back at my kids walking into elementary school, or walking to get a snack in the summer holding their hands. I’m somewhat conflicted by this, as I can see her point that these things will never happen again, and that it is true you cannot go back. But really, who wants to? Except to feel young and to try and forstall the passing of time, and let’s admit it, death, I would not want to change my memories or replace them with new. Plus we forget the bad stuff about those years. The worry about whether they are happy, the worry about whether they are healthy, the anger that your son’s favorite school told him in no uncertain terms he was not good enough. Going through that once was bad, going through it again will be hard, a third time: no.
I’m good with where I am. Yes, I’d like more money, security reality, not to worry about college or retirement, maybe to enjoy what I am doing workwise more, something more fun, lucrative, exciting. I’m sort of healthy, save for having to watch my sugar, but even that is ok. My kids are again, happy. Kalamazoo has been a perfect fit for my son, and even he seems to admit that. My daughter is, even if not everyone sees it, great, and fun and smarter than most people can see. I’ve found someone who I love, love to spend time with and want every day to spend more time with her. My parents are alive and while still lacking in trust and faith in their kids, are healthy, financially secure and in their own ways, enjoying we hope their lives.
So you have to ask, that while yes maybe things are not perfect, how bad are they? I always think that looking at the bright side is so trite, and that stupid Tomorrow song from Annie is in fact stupid, but it is also ok to realize that things are ok, and that 50 is really no bigger deal than 39, 49 or 30. It is as they say all just a number, so why make it more than it is. Maybe I will look back at 60, hopefully and think that I missed out on ten years or I should have been more reflective on aging, but than again maybe not, and I would prefer just to forge ahead and figure it