Musings on turning 50...
I'm not normally introspective, and I don't spend a lot of time looking back or forward. But I suppose when you turn 50, a little introspection is called for.
50... that sounds so... old. I remember when my dad turned 50, and I signed his card with "Now you're half-a-hundred." He reminded me of that card yesterday, so what goes around comes around. :) 50 sounded so adult back then, and it sounds so adult now. But surprise... sounding adult and feeling adult must be two different things. In fact, I'm starting to think that the whole "feeling like an adult" thing just doesn't exist. Everyone I talk to seems to feel like a kid playing make-believe in an aging body. I don't think we ever get to the point where we feel like we're competent to be a grown-up. It just happens, and we're along for the ride. All those others who look like they are grown-ups don't know any better, either. It's just a bunch of kids making up the rules as they go along.
Looking back, I've done some things I never thought possible. Writing a book, speaking to hundreds of people on stage, being successful in my career... I've always felt intimidated by a lot of those things, as I never had the proper "credentials" that said I was qualified to do what I'm doing. I just did it with the help of friends, and we figured it out as we went along. I've been a sounding board for friends going through hard times, and I've been the one doing the crying on occasion. You don't make it through 50 years of life without a number of dings, dents, and fender-benders. I've been fortunate to get to this point with things relatively intact, but I know it's not due to my extraordinary skill at navigating life's currents. I'm still the kid making this up as I go along...
So what happens in the second half of life? It's strange to think that the odds are that I've lived well over half my life. The number of days left is likely less than the number of days lived. And what story have I written with my life? Are there still things I want to do? Is that novel I've talked about writing actually getting written? Am I trying new things and learning new skills, or am I just repeating the same old things as the sand continues to flow through the hourglass? Is spending "a few spare moments" playing Solitaire on the computer really a good use of time and talent?
Going forward, I want to remember this phrase... Try It
It's time to try new things (like teaching an ewok to dance). It's time to step out of my safety zone and feel free to fail. It's time to try getting my body back in shape where I can actually enjoy what's left of life in good health. It's time to try new experiences and visit new places... being open to adventures that may be scary or uncomfortable. Some things will be fun and I'll do them again. I'll fail at others and laugh at the results. But I will try them.
It's been a good 50 years, but there's so much more I could do. I'm tired of limiting myself as to what I can accomplish and experience. Here's to life after 50, and all that I want it to be.