To Fifty and Beyond!

We’re almost there.

Fifty.

Why does everyone complain about 50?

The way I see it, if the second 50 are even remotely close to the first 50, well, then, I have it made.

I mean, is 50 really that bad?

For me, it will come without fanfare. I don’t expect a party.  I don’t expect a home cooked meal from my kids. I don’t even expect a BBQ dinner from my husband…well…because he doesn’t BBQ…or cook, for that matter.

I don’t expect my girlfriends in my neighborhood to rent a limo and take me to all the fun places in the city. Mainly because I don’t live in a neighborhood, or have any girlfriends. Well, maybe one or two. But it would be a pretty wimpy gathering, and we’d have to shell out a lot for that limo. I don’t expect any relatives to come over and help me celebrate. The closest ones I have (by blood) are in New York. And my closest in-laws are in Kansas. And I although I have many virtual friends, and a handful of dear friends from my past on Facebook, I don’t expect them all to fly in to Minneapolis toting black “over the hill” balloons, and a bottle of Jack Daniels.

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For me, turning 50 is a rite of passage. It is the halfway point of a life filled with numerous ups and downs. It marks the spot where I am more conscious of the choices I make and where I can defend those choices. Because being 50 means that I know better. I’ve learned through past mistakes. And I keep learning because modern technology allows me to better myself everyday. Want to learn how to do almost anything? Check the internet. Want to run faster and more efficiently? Turn on a podcast. Want to calm your thoughts and heal your mind? Go to a yoga class. Want to be heard? Speak, dammit, speak.

It has taken me 50 years to get right here. Here is where I am. Here could be much better. Right now, it is complicated by life’s battles. But I’d much rather be fighting them now at 50 than then at 30. I’d rather have all this knowledge that I’ve accumulated over 50 years serve a wall to press my back against and hold me upright when the pressure gets intense. I’d rather be here than there.

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As a runner, 50 has an entirely different meaning. It’s the leap into a new age group. One where the women of my age stand where I stand, and run for the same reasons I run. It signifies the end of the search for the confident, solid, and intense woman we all worked so hard to find in the first 50 years.

Now, here we are. Here we stand. Here we run.

We run with passion. We run with grace. We run to escape. We run to breathe. We run to challenge ourselves. We run to recollect. We run to dream.

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I know my next 50 years I’ll be running more than my first 50 years. And I know that I’ll become a better runner for it. I know that I’ll be able to put that same passion into any situation I face because I’ve learned how during the first 50 years.

I’ll embrace 50. I’ll wrap my arms so tightly around it, that they’ll get tingly. I’ll wear it proudly, like I’d wear my Boston Marathon medal. After all, I survived the first 50 years with flying colors. And I’ve come out as a much better version of myself.

To fifty and beyond!

Let’s get this party started.

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One Response to To Fifty and Beyond!

  1. I had a really fun party at 50. There were about 75 folks from church and life. We had a music jam. At 53 I was in the ICU. There weren’t 50 years left it seemed. The best guess was I would manage 5 on the outside. I took my retirement and spent it on vacations with my family. I started running – well walking. It took so damn much time to do a mile, I started running. I am looking for my next age group, too. And yes, another marathon and another ultra. Running is good!

    There are some things i will never be; a confident woman is one of them. 😉

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