Monday, October 19, 2009

On Being Fifty

Yeah, I know.  I turned 50 quite awhile back--in July.  But sometimes, like today, it just comes smacking me in the face.

Took the kids to Ball State.  Fun, fun.  They're SO excited.  Can hardly wait to get there.  On the cusp of their lives--their REAL lives.  And the place hums, just hums with opportunities.  Opportunities to learn, to create, to build a life around.  Opportunities that I can easily get excited about at 50.  But...they're not for me.  No, not at all.  The world is not for 50.  The world is for 18, and 25...30 even.  Not 50.

I'm not old.  Not on the inside, but isn't that what we all say?  Oh, please, we're just humoring ourselves and the rest of the world is, too.  I look in the mirror.  I see my face.  My hair.  I feel the stiffness in my hips, my knees.  I, who like to run and climb up and jump down.  It's  nasty trick that time plays on us.  It's so not fair.  Not fair.  There's a LOT left in me.  A LOT.  I still have much to give, things to finish, projects to start, creations yet unthought of, even.  Music, laughter, the beauty of nature, the joy of loving and being loved--there's a lot of that left in me.  Still.  But I'm on the downside now...more of my life has passed than there is ahead.  How can that be?

I don't regret a single decision I've made in my life.  Well...surprisingly few.  I haven't left a long trail of woulda, shoulda, coulda.  Lots of people who pass through this world do.  Not me.  It's a short list--counted on one hand.  I've had a wonderful life, full of wonderful people and wonderful experiences.  I've known just about all the joys the world has to offer; I've had blessings beyond expectation.  How could I be so fortunate?

But the world is not for people my age.  If we're lucky, we're treated politely.  If we're not, we're ridiculed, brushed aside, humored, cajoled, appeased.  Here's a BINGO card, Grandma, we're gonna go ride roller coasters now and we'll catch you later.
I know I'm not really all that old.  50 isn't old.  But I can see 'old' from here.  It's just around that corner, over that hill (haha).  How much longer until I outlive my usefulness, my interesting-ness.  How much longer until I'm on the receiving end of time spent just out of obligation, until I'm a chore on someone's to-do list?  Ouch.  It's coming.  That day is coming.  It came for those before me, and it will come for me, too.

1 comment:

  1. Chris -

    You will be a joy to be around until you're 103. You are timeless. :-)