I have some thoughts on turning 50-years-old…
Hey there, 50!
It’s nice to meet you.
Today’s quite a big day. I’ve anticipated this for a while now… and I’m filled with awe and emotion as I stay up to greet you.
I look at you and I’m still not sure you’re real…
You seem old to me, somewhat distant and a bit off-putting to be honest. I don’t mean to offend, but man… you are a half a century, and that’s a bit much.
But I celebrate you. I applaud your appearance and your welcoming arms. I’d hug you and jump up and down and squeal with delight, but I’m too tired and I think I pulled something in my hip while walking yesterday. So please forgive the loathsome reception. I have 364 more days to enjoy you, so there’s that.
It’s been a long road to get to you. I’m a little bit awkward in reaching you, wrapping my head around the thought of you, feeling comfortable in your company just yet.
I need a bit more of it to get used to you.
I know you have been waiting so patiently for me as the years passed by. Some seemed to take forever, didn’t they? Others simply flew.
You probably watched and winced at my younger years, full of relentless recklessness, as I made awful decisions and careless mistakes. I lived those years in innocent ignorance and compiled quite a list of things to be ashamed of. I still hold that list in my pocket, just to pull out and let it taunt me and haunt me when I’m feeling low…
Maybe you will grab that list and tear it up? I sure hope so. I’ve tried a million times.
I hear you are good at peace and acceptance, so I look forward to you teaching me some more about that. I keep thinking I’ve got it down, but then… Something swoops in and claims that list and I am forced to reckon with it.
I hate when that happens. Could you possibly make that stop?
I hear you are strong. I like the sound of that.
I’d like to think I’m pretty strong myself, but I have a good feeling you will show me up.
I do have quite a good list of extravagant feats from the years it took me to get to you. And I’ve become quite wise, despite my immaturity.
The last decade especially grew me…
I learned so much in the throes of parenting and marriage while discovering strength I never knew I had. I stretched beyond who I was and defined my worth in new ways, through a journey of self-realization and new affirmation. I’ve learned the greatest truth of all: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
There is nothing more extraordinary than doing hard things. Taking those deep breaths and praying you’re way through each step.
I’ve gotten pretty good at doing hard things. This I am proud of. I think God is too.
The 40’s brought me 8 surgeries for different reasons and a ridiculously annoying chronic illness that continues to tackle me down when I have much better things to do.
I learned so much about physical pain and healing. Both are grounds for heroism.
I also found the greatest gifts in endurance and perseverance. I’ve become a pro at patience and acceptance– because when forced, you learn to surrender those expectations. I’ve gotten really good at that! But I will never like it.
Most of all, 40’s has shown me the most amazing thing: The impeccable goodness of love- and the way it shines from those who love you when you are at your ugliest, when you are most in need, and when you least expect it. I’ve been surprised with the graciousness that abounds and encouragement that seems to bind up wounds and broken places when hopelessness draws in.
On my path to you, I gathered more souls to appreciate, adore, hold, carry, comfort, and serve. This is the most astounding pleasure in my life. I hope you show me more of this, more of them, more to flood this people passion that fills my heart.
Thanks for introducing yourself to me.
Half a hundred. Whoa.
I’m sure I’ll learn more about you along the way, but I have to ask on this day that marks your entrance…
What purpose do you have for me?
What unexpected joys will you bring?
What hard things will you have me do?
What stories will you write in my book of life?
Oh, I know you know me well and you surely have a plan.
So yeah. Hey there, 50…
It’s nice to meet you.
I keep saying in my head over and over again-
50 and I will be just fine.
50 and I will be just fine.
50 and I will be just fine.
It’s a weird kinda mantra, but I believe it might be you whispering it to me, yes?
So I’ll believe it.
I’ll believe you.
You and I will be just fine.
Julie J Severson says
Is it today? Is today your birthday? Well, whenever it specifically is, happiest of day and years to you, my sweet friend. Your perspective takes my breath away. I’ve learned so, so much from you since we’ve connected. You are that bright, twinkling star with the kind of radiance within that is infinite. Thank you for being here! Now go eat cake.
Oh Julie, you KNOW I feel the exact same way about you. I’m SO incredibly grateful to have you in my life. (I ate a lot of cake. 🙂 )
Janine Huldie says
Aw, Happy 50th Birthday. I just turned 40 and can’t believe that in all honesty. But love how you are embracing it here. Hugs and wishing you only the best to come yet, my friend!! 🙂
Oh I get it Janine! Growing older is crazy and hard to grasp! We’ll do it together, my friend. XO
Happy birthday! I know 50 will look great on you.
Well, I’m wearing it no matter how it looks apparently. LOL Thanks so much, my friend!! 🙂
Stacy Voss says
Here it is your birthday and yet you’re giving us a present–a beautiful gift of your words. Love, love, love it.
Happiest birthday, my sweet friend. I hope today is amazing.
That 50 will be a surgery-free year.
That 50 will continue to shape and refine.
That you’ll have too many days filled with laughter and joy to count.
And that your cup will continually run over as you shine a light for others.
h Stacy, your words are so beautiful, encouraging, and truly inspiring! You are such a blessing to me, dear friend. I am so grateful we connected. <3
Jennifer Newton says
Happy birthday friend! Thank you for sharing your gift of writing with us once again. You are an incredibly strong woman that inspires many of us! Hugs and love!!!
AW!! Thank you SO MUCH honey!! I love you, and MISS you so… XOXO
My Inner Chick says
So much wisdom for your 5 decades, dear!
God has SO MUCH more for you…
and I look forward to following your journey.
xxx Kiss oooo Hugs
You have been a huge source of love and light in my recent path. For that, I am so utterly thankful. XOXO
Well, Happy Birthday!!! I’m still struggling with 40, so I cannot wrap my head around 50 year, but I know you will make it fabulous and amazing!!!! 🙂
Yeah, I get that Lisa. LOL But here I am… And someday we both will be able to embrace this crazy age thing together. 🙂 Thanks so much for the birthday wishes, my friend!
Susan Theimer says
My first thought…is it really 50 years since I pushed you out???? Yes, I pushed you away, just to hold you close to nurse and love! And you grew strong and independent, while I struggled through my forties, fifties…just to hold you close again! Our love is strong and everlasting…Just as God planned it to be! What a beautiful thing that is!!!!
Aw mama, it is a beautiful and MIRACULOUS thing indeed. I love you, and I am SO grateful to come full circle back into each other’s arms. XOXO
Christy Williamson says
Happy 50th Birthday!!!! You are such an amazing woman and friend. You are like a bottle of fine wine and cheese…..you get better with age. I’ve seen you grow in so many areas of your life. You have touched so many lives with your love and it’s been a privilege to call you my best friend!!!! XOXOXO
Oh Christy, I am SO grateful for you, for us, for this gift we get to cherish together through all our valleys and our mountain tops. It is one of the greatest and most profound blessings of my life. I love you so freaking much. 🙂
Yes you will be just fine! At 50, I bought myself a little plaque that says “I’m going to make the rest of my life the best of my life.” I think, like you share here, the wisdom we have from all those years already past, makes for this half a century turning moment a place of even more hope, grace, and love through all the learning, especially of surrendering. Happy birthday!!
Ah yes, that is so wise Lynn. I *think* I’m seeing all of that truth more clearly now. I am sure God will continue to bring me closer to those valuable blessings in my life as I go forward in my next decade! It’s a beautiful evolution, really. Thanks so much for all your support and love, my friend!
Holy Vacation Queen/Kathy says
Oh what a tribute to the most wonderful you that God created in your mother’s womb to bring you into this world 50 years ago to bless so many with your shining light beaming the fruits of the spirit all over the place! I cannot tell you what a blessing you are to me, your heart is gold! I will delight in our journey together in the valleys and mountains of wise womanhood as you join me over the hill (I’ll try to keep up with you!).. But today, its celebration time, a time to thank God for you, for your life, for the 50 years of His grace, for your most wonderful self offered to the world! May this new time in your life bring you deeper wisdom, love, and tremendous blessings, Christine! May you discover a treasure of joy and peace in these years ahead, and always, always celebrate the wonderful you! Happiest Birthday to a most beautiful 50 year old woman!
I love you. You are SUCH a gift, SUCH a blessing. Thank you, my beloved friend. XOXO
Happy, happy birthday, my sweet friend! I feel like this number just got so much cooler now that you’re here!
It’s a big one to wrap your head around, isn’t it? I was reading something on Facebook yesterday about 50+ RV parks, and someone commented they didn’t like that idea, because she liked hanging out with older people. I thought, “Me too.” Then it hit me. *I* was the older person in her scenario. ????????????
I think that is the cool thing about aging. We tend to always think of ourselves as young. Except when our bodies remind us otherwise. lol
This was so beautifully written. Each new decade brings with it certain gifts. I love how you see that. I don’t necessarily like the “big” number, but then I remind myself that to an 80 year old that is a small number. Even now, after being in this club for almost 4 years, I find myself still thinking of this number as “older”. I just tend to forget that I’m that age. So some days, when I’m reminded of my number, it’s like turning 50 all over again, only with the peace and acceptance that you mentioned that seems to come with this decade.
I like that in general we don’t tend to think of ourselves in terms of numbers. We just are. There is a certain something inside of us that is ageless, timeless. Only wiser. More together. Happier. More peaceful. And even more playful.
Oh friend, do I agree! When I think of my age, I am in shock at times- but I honestly rarely do. 🙂
I’m so glad I joined the club with you- one of my FAVORITE people on this earth. You are light and love and wisdom all wrapped in one gorgeous soul.
(Praying for you and for your husband, my friend. Your strength and endurance in this fight is inspiring. I wish I was closer, so I could be near you literally to hold you tight and walk your road alongside you- but I will hold you tight and walk alongside you in my heart.)
Alison Hector says
Happy 50th birthday, my dear Chris! My brother, also named Chris, also turns 50 next month, so I’m happy to celebrate with you as you enter the “half-century plus” club. I love your take on your evolution as a woman, wife, mother, and friend. You’ve weathered many a storm but you’re still standing, my dear. I have found that this decade has brought me to a more accepting, less harried frame of mind and an eternal gratitude to God for spared life, experiences good and bad, and the ability to keep putting one foot in front the other. Still, we rise! Tight hugs, Alison
Oh Alison, you are so dear and SO wise. I’d like to follow in your footsteps, okay? I love what you have found in this decade! I’d like to search for and truly feel the same. I’m working on it! God bless you, my friend. SO grateful to have you in my life to lead the way… XOXO
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I’m a decade behind you and I’m still not sure how to feel about it.
Ha! Yeah, well I don’t think we ever really know how this is gonna go… 🙂 Thanks SO MUCH for coming by to wish me a happy birthday Scott!! You’re such a dear. XO
Elaine A. says
Your knowledge and grace will carry you amazing places in this new decade!! Happy Birthday, my friend!!
P.S. My SIL’s 50th was yesterday and she posted this on her FB wall. 😉
Aw I LOVE THAT, Elaine! Give her a big hug from this 50-year-old gal! 🙂 And thanks so much for your beautiful support, my friend.
Happy 50th birthday, Chris! What an amazing milestone. Here’s to wishing to a decade full of life, love, happiness, family, faith, and health!
Aw thank you SO MUCH, my friend!! Gosh, it just feels so- old. LOL 🙂
Keep saying that mantra! God put it on your heart for you to believe it and live it.
Loved seeing your surprise on FB and how much love radiated from family and friends. 🙂
I think I’ll be using that mantra for every year going forward. 🙂 And yeah- that party was crazy amazing. I felt SO loved. I am SO blessed.
Kenya G. Johnson says
Based on the last few years that I’ve known you, you brought in 50 like a boss! Happy belated birthday, I loved the surprise video!
You are WAY too kind, Kenya! I’m doing the best I can, with what I got- LOL. Some days I feel OLD, and others? I feel like a baby bird, still preparing to take flight. 🙂
Marie Kléber says
A late Happy Birthday to you Chris! I am sure you will have a fabulous 50th year and many more to come. I wish you the best, joy, love, peace, faith and many happy moments with your loved ones and all the beautiful souls around.
You’ll be fine.
We’ll be fine together.
Love from sunny Paris.
Yes, my beautiful friend. We will BOTH be just fine. Growth does that… Keep shining, okay? Your light is radiant.
Ifeoma Samuel says
Happy birthday Chris
Hugs and kisses to you
Aw thank you so much Ifeoma! Hugs and kisses right BACK. XOXO
Yes, you will!
My aunt is now 60, but I remember her telling me that 50 was so easy and it was 60 that she feared. Now she says it’s 70! Since my grandparents lived to 100, this was only half their life. And oh what a half to fill with love.
Happy birthday, beautiful person!
Ha! I love that- and I believe it to be true. I wonder sometimes if I am only half way there, or if my time will be cut way too short. Only God knows… I’m praying I have another half a century to go! 🙂
Lovely. Happy fifty sweetie!
Aw thanks so much, love. 🙂