Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
I still feel 25 just with bad knees. How fast a half a century has gone by. The first 18 years felt slow as molasses for me but I know in retrospect, as a mom myself now, that only the first twelve months move in slow motion, sometimes even feeling like it’s moving in reverse. But every year after that goes at lightning speed. Too fast for me to notice in the thick of it but it was the burden of my parents to feel every bit of it. I had no idea. I do now on day 1 of year 50.
For the first 25 years, I lived recklessly because the burden to worry was my parents. I was afforded the luxury of living in a gilded cage that my young, inexperienced mind thought was an electrified prison. But in reality, I lived so selfishly that even those I thought were important to me were treated callously. Unintentionally, I was not malicious but I couldn’t see past myself.
The last 25 we’re about building a life outside of my birth family. It was the time when love found me, took hold of me and changed me for the better. That love opened my eyes and my heart. Soon, the pendulum swung too far in the opposite direction and the selfish, self absorbed girl I once was quietly and I in noticeably evolved into a selfless martyr who sacrificed everything for everyone. My body, my career, my wants and needs, the life I’d so meticulously planned and longed for.
But don’t feel sorry for me. In exchange I got so much more than I could have imagined. Not things but something I never had …. Stability which sounds mundane but not to someone whose entire life has been completely nuanced in tumultuous chaos. It hard for a bird to take flight with a chain and cinder lock around its neck. I got unconditional healthy love with no restrictions and ever replenishing. I got loved for who I was not in spite of it.I felt seen and heard so much so that I didn’t have to tirelessly fight to be understood. I felt peace and safe. Safe to be my most vulnerable self and still love remained. In return, I happily dedicated my life to nurturing those relationships. I built a life with my best friend whom I wholly adore as he does me. I raised amazing human beings who I’m
Proud to know and privileged to love. But pretty soon, they’ll be starting the next 25 years of life and I refuse to put the chain of guilt around their necks. Instead I will raise them up towards the heavens and encourage them to take flight.
My last 25 years have been about putting out fires. The next 25 years I will live my life with intention. It’s time for me to set life on fire. I am no longer going to white knuckle through life wishing and hoping things turn out alright. I’m letting go of things, people and other peoples expectations that no longer serve me. The time of mediocrity and sacrifice has passed.
I’ve loved the last 50 years. Honestly, I’ve got a lot of great memories and stories. I’ve gained invaluable memories and experience. I’ve gained something that you can only earn with age…wisdom. I’ve lived 10 lifetimes in the past 50 years..but this next part is going to be about me and reclaiming my relationship with the Big Guy.
No more getting by or doing what I’m supposed to do. If it’s not a hell yeah, it’s a hell no for me. Today’s the day, the first day of forever this is not a crisis it’s just the beginning. This is day 1 of year 50 and this is my midlife awakening. What would you do if you could do anything?