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treat me no diff than the queen

Don’t get me wrong.  I am terrified by the thought of turning 50 this week.  I consider all the things that I am not and have not done. Looking back, I thought that I would be settled and know who I was, and what I would be doing, at this age.  Well, there is another twenty years to pay on the mortgage and I have no idea what I will eat for lunch.

I think that I am so noble by telling the truth about my age, but the responses are always full of surprise and wonder.  Usually, it is a “Gee;” translation: Wow, 50 ~ you are still alive!  The other reaction, once I mention that I have four children and have been married for almost 26 years is, “Wow! You look reeeeaaaaally good!” It is all relative to where you are standing.  If I am standing next to my relatives, the view is not quite so much in my favor anymore.

My sister is a year younger and has been married almost 28 years, has four grandchildren, and is half my size.  She got the “smart” and the “pretty” labels as we grew older in the sibling rivalry. She also got the incredible hair gene on the chromosome that I did not.  She works very hard and deserves to be smart, pretty and have great hair.  But, when she says that she has to cut it because it is too long, and too thick, and she does not know what to do with it? Well, then some of my gracious attitude wavers.

Nora Ephron felt bad about her neck; for me it is between my neck and my ankles.  But, as Grandma used to say, at least I am moving on my own steam.

When I see the magazine photos that detail what 30, 40, and 50 look like, I know that I will never be on those pages.  It would be wonderful to have the trainer, the dietician and live-in chef, the masseuse and the funds to pay for all of that. But again, gratitude will have to be my guide since it is free.

While I was purchasing a new lip gloss, I had to ask the young blue-haired punk what the name of the color was.  He turned it over and said “Yeah, they really ought to make the print bigger so women your age can read it.”  Yes, Your Honor, and that is when I shot him.  I am pretty sure that kind of homicide would stand up in court, especially in front of Judge Judy. Sisters have to do it for themselves.  

Here I am at 50, so it is time to fill up on the gratitude, instead of the Reese’s peanut butter cups.  I became a grandmother in the last year. Naturally, I am in love with my beautiful grandson and want to spoil him rotten.  As my boss said, the reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is because they have a common enemy. He could be right.

I am part of the illustrious sandwich generation.  My family is so big, and so complex, right now between parents and children. Frankly, we are one double stuff Oreo waiting to happen.

Again, I have to have gratitude.  I am alive. My college boyfriend is not, nor other dear friends and acquaintances along the way who have left this world far too soon.  I can walk and get out of bed on my own.  Of course, some days I don’t want to leave my bed or stop playing Angry Birds on my Kindle, but that is just a part of growing up.

I still have two parents and for that I have to have gratitude.  I am scared going forward, unsure of the length of time I have left with my mother, but so grateful to have both of my parents here to wish me Happy 50th Birthday!

My dearest friends number less than a handful. Working for so many years, and no longer involved in the play date scene, it is hard to make new friends.  Everyone is busy, but at least I know that they are there, out in the universe, and I am grateful to call them my friends.  Finding people who still love you after all these years can get challenging.  I also have a wonderful friend who is a therapist; this allows me to get a friendly and professional viewpoint when I need it. It is good to have someone looking over my shoulder just in case I cry too long, or, am sad too often.

It has not all been rosy these past fifty years. I have not had a good hair day since I was born. But I was born healthy, so I have to have gratitude.  It has been a challenge to raise four kids who, will either love me some day, or discuss me in therapy.  Either way, it is good to know that I am still on their minds.

A life is filled with depression, joy, sadness, happiness, anxiety, unemployment, loss of community and loss of self.  Sometimes, I feel most of those things all on the same day.

But, fifty is the age of accessories.  Watches, shoes, hats and jewelry are never a sizing issue.  While I have gotten heavier, and my fingers have swelled, there is still one part of my body that is a size 6.  For that, I have to be grateful.

Sometimes, I feel so alone and scared, but I can journal and post it to a blog. Some people may read, and even like, what I have to say. For that, and the myriad of things yet to come, I have gratitude.

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Thank you for stopping by! It means more than you know. Feel free to share this with a friend who needs a good laugh or a shoulder to cry on.
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Disclaimer: Not everything I write is about one person. I really do have a combination of experiences from life, adventures, and work history. Please don’t think it is all about you, good or bad.

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4 Comments

  1. Nice piece! I really enjoyed it. You’re a great writer.

    • Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to share your thoughts. I am very flattered by your compliment!

  2. This morning, after reading this essay, my father told me that it takes courage to speak the truth. I told him that I inherited it. Thank you Mom & Dad.

  3. Great writing! Just the right amount of humor and wit in a perfectly “gracious” essay!! Happy Birthday!!


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