On becoming a woman of a certain age…

When that age is somewhere between 50 and death it’s not as easy as you think.

And yes, despite my immature youthful demeanor and lifestyle, apparently I am exactly that.  Or nearly.  Too close to it now for my comfort anyway.  And I’m not handling it very well… not at all in fact.  Because I am getting old.

Old.

Such a final and sad word.  With so much baggage.  None of which matches or speaks of a trip to somewhere fun and exotic.  Instead speaking of a one way trip to the end, a trip that gets shorter every day, and the resultant feeling that my time here is running out.

Old.

And I’m laughing about it, I’m trying to embrace it, but I’m secretly scared.  Okay, terrified.  Yeah… terrified… that’s it.  So I’m laughing on the outside but I’m crying inside and I’m not sure how to make this better for me.  How to get past all my preconceived notions about being this age, about being old, about reconciling my ever-growing list of things that I still want to do in this life with the reality that my time alive is getting shorter every day.  Because next week I will be 50.

Old.

One of the biggest struggles I guess is that I’m not sure how to act this new age.  How does one be 50?  What does 50 act like or look like?  Because I’ve seen others in my life do it but I don’t want to do it that way.  I want to own this age.  Change it so people see it as not so frightening.  Not so old.  Just a number.  But I’m not sure how.  I’ve got so much more I want to do… get my Masters, buy a home, travel, become a grandparent… there, that’s not too much to ask for, right?  But next week I am 50, and the feeling that my time is running out is overwhelming me today, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.  And today I’m feeling like that number defines me as only one thing.

Old.

Fifty… half a century… the diamond anniversary of life… and instead of diamonds all I want is more time.  And that gift is the one nobody can give me.   More time.  Something so precious, so finite, and yet indefinable.  Something that is flying by.  Time.  More time.  So much more… please.  Because I want to live long enough to be older… to redefine another decade of life like I figure I’ll redefine this one… and just like I redefined 40.

Older.

My 40s were magical.  They started in tragedy and ended by being my most productive decade of life yet.  Becoming a parent, finishing college, changing careers, running two half marathons… how does one top all that?  But instead of asking that, perhaps I should be asking why my 50s can’t be more of the same?  Why can’t I grow into this new age and make it fit me and how I live, rather than fitting into the outdated perceptions that being 50 comes loaded with and allowing those preconceived notions to change me.  Make me different.  Make me older.

Older.

So with all this, what you need to know is that I’m fighting a battle right now.  A battle against growing old.  I’m giving no quarter.  I’m not quitting.  I may be inappropriate.  I may be ridiculous.  I may be childish.  But I’m always me.  And I’m not growing old… just older… and I’ll never grow up because if you get to 50 and you haven’t done it yet I hear you don’t have to.  All you need to do for me is say thank you.  Because you’re growing older too and you need to thank me in advance for paving a new way to do so.  A way that isn’t so old.  You’re welcome.

So on June 11 it’s happy birthday to me… fifty is here… this should be very interesting… very interesting indeed.  I’ve got no App, no Map, no guidebook, and no instructions… it’s all new and different from this point on.

Growing older.

Let’s have some fun!

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