Today's the day I turn fifty. For months I've been worrying about this day...would I feel any different? Would this make me officially "OLD"? Would the world miraculously make sense, or would I find myself with even more questions? Like most anticipated events that make us a little (a lot) nervous, it turned out to be uneventful. I don't feel any older, wiser, or different. Why is that?
When I was in my twenties, I couldn't wait to be thirty. Thirty would mean that I would finally be taken seriously in the world of business. I would begin to think about starting a family. I would finally be a woman...no longer a "girl". A lot did change when I hit my thirties. I became more confident in my role as both wife and editor. I became a mother, and I no longer looked at the world through my own eyes but through the eyes of my husband and son. "I" became "we".
I entered my forties with eyes wide open. Hand-in-hand with my husband and son, we'd face the world as one. We'd learn together, laugh together, and even cry together. We'd move cross country (twice!) and discover who we are and where we want to be. We'd lose parents and grandparents, and gain an understanding that life is precious and not to be taken for granted. We'd discover new sports, new interests, new places...and we'd do it together.
I spent some time today thinking back over the last fifty years, and I've come to a realization. We don't really change from decade to decade. We're the same person, inside where it counts, but we do evolve...gaining greater understanding of ourselves and our world, acknowledging the wealth of possibilities that awaits us each day, and seeking the life that suits us best.
It turns out that fifty is not any different than forty-nine, except for the experiences and wisdom that comes with each passing day. I look back at what has come before, and I step forward knowing that life is extraordinary. The journey is sometimes smooth, sometimes bumpy, sometimes downright wild. It's a journey filled with awe and possibility...and one worth embracing.