Half a hundred. That is how old I am as of 9:04 a.m. today.
Some would call 50 ‘middle-aged’. I suppose that is true, but I choose to think of 50 as a re-birth. A time of reflection – a time to look back on the past and recognize the growth that has occurred. As I do so today, I am reminded of moments of pain, happiness, fear, joy, and uncertainty. I am encouraged to worry less about things I cannot change, and to say no to things that do not matter.
I won’t lie; it is difficult for me to fathom that I have reached this age. My body reminds me often that we are no longer 20, my mind still remembers my youth as if it were yesterday. I vividly recall memories from my childhood, high school, and my twenties. Oh how I would love to go back and mentor my younger self.
The first thing I would tell her would be to stop striving for perfection; that only stresses you out and makes you miserable. Nobody is perfect. Next, I would tell her to wait for the man God has for her instead of rushing to get married right out of high school – marriage is such a gift when you marry your best friend. I would encourage her to not climb the ladder of success so quickly; there is something beautiful in pacing. I would remind her to call her parents more and not wait until she wasn’t so busy with her career – family is more important than your livelihood. I would steer her away from bathing in the sun and visiting tanning beds in an effort to keep the cancer away. And I would tell her every day she was beautiful, especially on those days that others told her she wasn’t. I would be her cheerleader; her biggest fan, and best friend.
I cannot go back in time. And to be honest, I wouldn’t even if I could. The experiences I have had over the past 50 years are testimonies. We all have them and I believe we have a duty to share them in order to help others.
Age is just a number and today, dear friends, my number is 50!