I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to think, feel, or say about hitting this landmark, but today is the day. Today I turn 50 years old.
Behind me lay all the years I’ve been through and they sure added up faster than expected. When I think in terms of time, 50 years seems like a long stretch, but having arrived here, I realize what the phrase, “in the blink of an eye,” really means. Just the other day I was meeting my friend Tim, who by the way I met in my 8th grade French class. Then I was tumbling after school in the gymnastics gym, but that was in high school. Next I was sitting at a desk all day answering phones — but that was after graduating high school and before my short stint in college. Before I knew it I was walking down the isle, becoming a new mom, watching my kids graduate high school, and here I sit wondering how it all went so fast.
If birthday wishes were actually granted, I would ask for only one, to sit beside my mom for a moment again and share all the moments that I’ve experienced and ask for her insight on what’s next. Today I find myself longing for my mom.
Maybe it’s because I talked about her in my growth group last night? Maybe it’s because I feel particularly sentimental this morning reflecting back over my life. Maybe it’s just that I feel her absense keenly today because when you view 50 as sometime down the road, you also think when you arrive you will have some answers. And well, I’m really no different than I was yesterday at 49. I have no new answers magically appearing this morning. I still don’t know where all my passions lie. I still am unsure of what I want to be when I grow up. I still don’t know how to make all my dreams come true and some days I still fear dreaming at all. Mostly because life is busy, and work is busy and dreaming just makes me realize how little time I have for everything I want to do.
Mom always had a way of calming me down, making me pause, asking the right questions without spoon feeding me any answers. She helped me learn to seek things out for myself. She wouldn’t necessarily agree that this is the role she played in my life, but she did. I would ask her a questions and she’d ask me right back what I thought about the subject. She wouldn’t offer up her own conclusions until I’d offered mine. So I guess today I need to play both parts — me and my mom. What should the next – however many years I have left – look like? I guess the question back from mom would be, “what do you want the next – however many years you have left – to look like?” And to that I think I might reply, “I’m not entirely sure, let me rest on that and get back to you in a bit…” and I think that’s what I’ll do. Take some time, explore my options, feel out my dreams. Maybe even write them down so I have a framework from which to build.
One thing I have come to know for sure; the clock is going to continue ticking regardless of my choices so I might as well enjoy the ride.