Milestone of Reaching the Age of 50
Today, I have reached the age of 50. I am still awaiting the trumpet blast to herald this major life milestone. Well, not really. But, nonetheless, it is not a milestone in my life that has escaped reflection.
I found myself, really in the last few months, but even more so in the last couple of weeks, really thinking a lot about what it means to be 50. I couldn’t help but think about my life up until now. I then thought about how my life is now. The journey that has gotten me to where I am at the age of 50. I also gave a lot of reflective contemplation to what my future goals are and to what I’d still like to do, achieve, and accomplish.
Wow. It wasn’t just a cake and ice cream kind of birthday, that’s for sure. Though I must say I don’t feel 50 but then no one has really ever described to me what 50 is supposed to feel like. I guess 50 is what we make it right? 50 feels whatever 50 is to each person as they celebrate that milestone birthday.
Sometimes I think I will always be a teenager at heart.
It was a birthday rich with paradox. Some sadness about past failures and the realization that I didn’t have the kind of life in the first 30 or so years that even lent itself to having goals or dreams. There is sadness at the failures of all kinds of things in my life in my first 30 or so years.
There is joy and peace with the reality that the glass is indeed half-full in my life now. There is satisfaction with the things I’ve done, accomplished, achieved, and had a lot of success with in the last 10 years.
I was also very relieved to find out that I am not alone with all my reflections around this milestone. I know a few friends who have either just turned 50 or who will be in a matter of weeks. They too all report major reflecting. One friend actually said he couldn’t believe that his life was really as it is. He said he has wonderful kids and a great wife but he never imagined he’d be doing the job he does or that at 50 as he put it, "this is all there is?"
I think that we have to assess our lives from time to time. We have to be mindful about how we are fulfilling our purpose and living our passion or how we aren’t. We need to address these concerns. I am a strong believer in the benefits of reflection as long as it doesn’t end up being rumination. Awareness is increased by reasonable reflection. Our personal growth and evolutionary-enlightentment are nurtured by such reflection.
They say that life begins at 50. Well, here I am a babe in the woods of this new beginning.
After it was all said, thought about and done, this evening I realized that while the number packs a punch and everything it is, after all, just one more year after 49 and before 51.
I am grateful for so much. I feel blessed. I am aware of some sadness. I have hopes for more in some areas. All in all though isn’t that what the journey of life is all about? The paradox of what is versus what was wrapped around the paradox of what is versus what will be.
Now realize that math was never my strong suit. But, well if 60 is the new 40 as they say then I am really only 30 right?
© A.J. Mahari
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