Friday, June 29, 2018

50

In one week I will be 50 years old.

Like, really? How does that happen?

Ok, technically, I know how it happens. But we get so caught up in day to day life that sometimes things like this creep up on you and, BAM! You're 50 years old. A half-century. Like when your children are all of a sudden moving out or getting married and you wonder where the years went in between sleepy infant-hood and responsible-bill-paying-adulting? Same phenomenon. Weird.

I'm not to concerned about 50, really. I don't mind the number, itself, but I have started to reflect. Notice changes. And not just the physical ones.

I'm old enough to speak with some authority on life issues, at least in the way that I've experienced them. But also old enough to realize that my experience does not make it law. Old enough and weary enough of life and cycles that I no longer put stock in "politics" or "issues", but in family, and love, and creating a safe place in my home and heart for those that are around me.

I've let go of caring if people know that I've unfollowed them on social media. I no longer have time in my life for people or things that don't respect me or my time or my energy. What does that mean? Return my phone calls, texts, or emails. Honor your commitments to me. Be honest when there needs to be a change in plans, or if I've done something that has hurt you. I'm a big girl. I can take it. I'm also learning how to be honest with the people in my life and have the tough conversations. Sure, it's still a work in progress, but I'm learning. I'm embracing the learning because I know that I (and you,) will be happier and healthier because of it. That is growth, y'all.

50 is an age for reflection like no other before it. I look back on my teens and 20's and am so thankful that we didn't have social media to record all of our mistakes and heartaches. Those years of growth and learning are much better remembered with the haze of time blurring the edges and softening the blow of harsh realities of uninformed opinions and lack of wisdom. Much less comparison of our older bodies and faces mapped with the lines of good living, to the not-even-airbrushed photos of our youth. Sometimes there are things better left unsaid or unviewed! My thirties were a blur of diapers and naps, and cheer competitions, trying to be the perfect wife and mom, and feeling like I was failing miserably. 40 brought perspective. Now 50.

So many things learned in a half-century of living and so many of them long forgotten. Like the name of that boy that I had a crush on, or the address of my first apartment; fleeting things that at the time seemed so important but fade. These things remain: faith, hope, and love. The memories of these things. They remain.

This is what going beyond 50 looks like: holding fast to the things that really matter.

3 comments:

kyooty said...

Happy Soon to be 50! :)

Ann Woodruff said...

Brilliant writing and reflection. Happy-week-until-50! It was a rough climb and can still be rocky, but mostly the view is pretty great up here in the 50's!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Great post Kendra! I remember reaching that point when I didn't care about what other's thought of me. The first and only time a birthday number bothered me was when I hit 60. That one surprised me. Enjoy your 50's and your head is definitely in the right place. Happy Birthday!