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07 June 2017

Thoughts on a big day...

So, today I am 50-years-old. 50. It’s one of those weird things that you think will never happen to you. Even though it happens to other people, even your friends, even the people you went to school with. It’s so bizarre. I thought I was going to bring it in with a party - a big bang-up WAHOOO! But no, life and my mood weren’t up for that. Instead, it was a quiet day, a quiet week, really, of being around good friends, enjoying the heck out of this circumstance of life that I find myself in. I did something new - a workshop to learn a new skill. No one there knew it was my birthday. I walked to the other side of town. No one there knew it was my birthday. It was my secret, and a biggie. But back at the studio, they knew it was my birthday. They sang for me! All these 20/30-somethings. They even signed a group card for me! I was so flattered, humbled, and mildly embarrassed. Such a silly thing, really. Stan is cooking for me tonight. There are not enormous gifts or balloons. Just lovely flowers, music, and home-made paella. Lovely. Exactly what I’m in the mood for.

So where do I find myself at this milestone? Life isn’t perfect - I don’t share the imperfect stuff but trust me, there’s plenty of it. But, life is also pretty amazing. I have achieved my MFA before turning 50-just under the wire! I published my first novel before turning 50. I finally managed to live in Europe before turning 50. I'm even under contract with a writer I am so honored to be working with. Truly, I’ve reached all the goals I set for myself, by the time I wanted to achieve them. So... what about tomorrow?

I always knew that one of my greatest gifts was knowing what I want in life. So many people go through life never figuring that out. But truly, it changes everything, because when you know what you want, you make tiny little direction shifts and decisions every day, every minute, that may not seem obvious, but put you on that path to where you want to be. So what about when you just want more of the same? Is that okay? Is it okay to not exactly know the shape of that 'more of the same'? I hope so, I think so. And isn’t it lovely to have enough good to simply want more of that? Yes, this I know.

At 50, I am thankful for what I have, for the dear friends I've made, my wonderful husband, and for what I’ve accomplished. I’m mildly scared of the future in this older skin. But I’m also proud of my drive and ability to still chase things with vivacity. With any luck, I can still begin things now and be good at them in twenty or thirty years. I find myself slightly melancholy and excited at the same time. I am reaching a point in life where people will remember me for my actions rather than my looks, for what I produce, and for what I give back. And I plan to do a lot more of all of that. I miss my youth, how can one not? But I’m also excited about a future of being truly me, with my feet firmly planted under this person that I’ve become. Today is the first day of the next half of something exciting. I’ll make sure of it!

10 comments :

Kitty Klein said...

Happy, happy, happiest of days, e! Of all those I know, you may be one of the most centered and courageous people o know. I am honored to know you and see how you have constantly strived for more of what you love.
I am so anxious to see what the next half brings - or should I say, what you bring to the next half?
I hope you had a wonderful day.

Borqna said...

Happy Birthday, dear friend!
Good luck!
Blessings,
Borqna

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

Thank you, Kitty! I'll admit, I haven't chosen an easy path, but it's certainly been an interesting one!

Thank you Borqna! :) e

Tina Hanlon said...

Happy Birthday! Before you know it, 50 will sound ridiculously young, as it does to me. Thanks for sharing your many gifts with your friends and readers--I feel lucky to be both.

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

I'm sure it will, Tina. But it's still a shock to the system now! Thank you so much for your lovely comment. See you soon! Fuzzy hugs, e

Shanda McCloskey said...

Happy birthday, E!!! I want to be as cool as you at 50! Honestly!

Peggy Shaw said...

When I reached a certain milestone age, a well-known author I admire (who is older than me) said: "Oh, you're just a baby!" I pass that along to you, Elizabeth. Happy Special Birthday!

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

Shanda - I would hope you have as many good friends surrounding you as I do now. That would be my best wish for you! :) e

Peggy! It seems I will always be the baby - HA! Hugs, :) e

Daffodil Cards said...

HAPPY Belated 50th Birthday, the 50th was my worst, but now I'm 70, it sounds so silly to say a particular age is good or bad. I hope your future years will be WONDERFUL, you have so much more to achieve and to give, as you have in previous years. Go for it and enjoy it ALL.
Faith
x

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

Thank you, Daffodil! :) e

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