It really wasn't that big a deal after all. My life is no worse, and it certainly isn't any better.
The self imposed dread and hype were all for nothing.
I turned 50 sitting a Russian vodka bar with Paul. I can't think of anyone more appropriate with whom to mark the milestone than someone who has known me since grade three. We've had our ups and downs, jointly and separately, but there we were, sitting at the bar wondering how we arrived here so quickly.
When I woke up the next morning, there were no marching bands, nobody treated me any differently, and I just got on with my day. I didn't feel any different, physically. I'm not sure why the big 5-0 is made out to be such a big deal when in reality, the "second half of our lives" begins, for most of us, after 40.
But 50 is such a freaking big number! Seniors discounts are just around the corner, and I'm not even sure what I want to be when I grow up yet!
Of course, I wouldn't be writing this if there wasn't an "A-Ha" moment attached to it. I realized that I have no clue why I needed a milestone to decide who and what I want to be and take control of my life. There have been disappointments, and I have failed, in so many ways, myself and the people closest to me. I realize, after spending a lot of time pondering, a few truths which will, if I am smart enough not to let this moment pass, help me take control of and shape my own destiny and the legacy I leave to my children:
1. I cannot count on any other person for my happiness. I will find that within myself, and all the people in my life who bring me love, comfort and happiness are a big bonus.
2. I can no longer make excuses for today's failures by blaming them on the circumstances of the past. I can't move forward while obsessing over everything is see in the rear view mirror. The past needs to stay where it is. I can learn from it, but I need to leave it there because those are some pretty heavy bags to carry.
3. What other people think of me is none of my business. I read that one somewhere so I cannot take credit for it. But, oh, what truth! As long as I am being the best person I can be, I need to not care what anyone else thinks. This is my journey.
4. I will no longer emulate the Greek god Tantalus. There is absolutely nothing stopping me from achieving that which I long for, except myself. It is time to grow up and realize that no one gets ahead riding the "poor me" train.
I'll finish with a quote from my favourite book of all time, "Oh the Places You'll Go" by Dr. Seuss:
"...you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So..get on your way!"
I'm fastening my seat belt.....