It’s official! I’m old. Middle-aged. I’m freaking 50 people! Ahhhhhhh.
My feelings are mixed on the subject… I love my life and the person I’ve become, but I find myself thinking in a “glass half empty” way. Overwhelming feelings break through that I’m nearing death and don’t have much time left to accomplish all that I want to. (Yes – another bit of insight into a paranoid anxiety brain).
I’m a bit frumpy and miss my adolescent abs, as well as the ability to run up the stairs without my knees popping like Rice Krispies.
A current night of partying equals binge watching The Walking Dead while drinking a cold beer in my sweatpants. (I could actually include this in the GOOD list too)
I worry about my kids’ future, the state of the world, and hope I’ve raised them well enough to persevere and find success.
As I get older, so do my parents. I can’t fathom a world without them.
I’ve accomplished a few things to be proud of. Obtaining an MFA in writing after practicing medicine for 15 years was the best decision of my life.
I’ve grown…I don’t allow myself to complain if I’m not willing to use my voice to change it.
My family is beautiful. My daughters’ have big hearts and know right from wrong (most of the time) and my husband fills my heart as much as when we danced at One-Eyed Jakes years ago.
I don’t FEEL 50.
As I write this, I’m on an airplane to Cape Cod for a writing workshop. I have a computer full of novels and picture books and hope to spark an agent’s interest enough to read them. Not easy… but I won’t give up. Stay tuned – – it will happen.
One of my daughters is going to be an Iowa Hawkeye next year. (yippee! We always need more Hawkeye gear)
My younger daughter thrives in high school and seeks entertainment and adventure – constantly – and is fostering great debate skills as she maneuvers for more nights out and privileges.
Now that I’m a wise sage with half a century of life behind me, I thought I’d share what I’ve learned.
- Don’t settle. If that boy or girl doesn’t appreciate your brain as much as your pretty face – they’re not worth it. And honey – you are always worth it.
- Life’s too short. If you want to dip your toes in the ocean, explore the Grand Canyon, or hike the Appalachian Trail…do it. What are you waiting for?
- Family is everything. Tell your kids, your parents, your siblings that you love them, but also why. Maybe it’s their quick wit, their fascination with kittens, the look in his eyes when he belly-laughs, their continuous advice and encouragement, or the way they twirl their hair around their finger.
- Speak up. If you see something morally or ethically wrong – don’t sit back. Your voice could change the world. Don’t wait for someone else…stand for what you believe.
- Own your mistakes. Sometimes we’re wrong. Don’t dance around it, lie, or make excuses – face it. Say you’re sorry and admit your wrongdoing.
- Let them grow. (Whew – this one’s hard) It’s tough to allow my kids to make their own decisions – because it might be the wrong one. They may suffer a broken heart, have to mend their own friendships, and decide on their future while we guide them along the way. Keep them safe but give them room.
- Teach life skills. Make the kids order a pizza on the phone, schedule their own hair appointment, pump their own gas, or manage their own checking account. These skills will be valuable and give them confidence. (For some reason ordering a pizza is traumatic to a teenager.)
- Stop and listen. Listen to the early morning birds, the evening cicada songs, a toddler’s giggle, a thunderstorm, your husband’s snore, your daughter singing in the shower. Soak it all up.
I’m no expert at this…but maybe by the time I’m 80 I’ll have mastered all of these concepts. My goal is to live my life as if I’m crafting the most exciting obituary of my legacy. (morbid, but true)
I have regrets and I’ve made mistakes, but they form the foundation of a fantastic 50 years.
Yep – I’m 50, but I couldn’t be happier.
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Coming soon – – a review of great spooky novels in time for Halloween!