Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It's my birthday...

...and I've had a great day!

It actually started with dinner last night. The Farmer treated me and our kiddos to Anthony's. Marvelous!

Then today, I had carrot cake for breakfast.

I went for coffee at Woods with my ma, pa and sisters.

I found treasures at the thrift store and antique shop.

I ate potato chips for lunch, and a cookie.

Flowers were delivered!


I enjoyed all the lovely greetings on Facebook, and in the mailbox.

The lawn was mowed for me.

I sat and watched the dogs lay in the sunshine...


I put my new treasures in their places...and enjoyed looking at them.

I didn't cook dinner.

And, best of all, I never hurried once!

I repeat, it was a great day...

And I'm glad about that, because I was a little ambivalent about my birthday this year. I love my birthday usually, and make sure its full of stuff I enjoy...

But this year, I turned 50...
That's me, and my mom, fifty years ago...
(I was a red-head then...wasn't it cute?!)
(My mom was pretty cute too!)

I've always thought it silly when people had "trouble" with getting older. Getting older never changed my opinion of them in the least! Of course, things (meaning things about your body) change, but you're older! What do you expect? Why be upset about it? The main thing is that you are still a good person, no matter what happens to the outside of you!

That was my theory anyway -- and it was a good one, until it was MY body that changed...Until I looked in the mirror and thought, "What happened?" So much of my life, I've been waiting until conditions were just right for me to look my best...What was I thinking? That it was going to get better??? Ha! I wasted all my prime years thinking I looked bad...stupid girl!

But more than the wrinkles, rolls, age spots (I prefer to call them "freckles", large "freckles"), and diminished physical capabilities (I can be injured just bending over to pick up a sock these days) is the disturbing realization that I am now MY PARENTS' AGE...

In my mind, my parents have been 50 for, oh...about the last 20 years. I mean, every year I think of them as being 50ish --- and I think of me as being...um...thirtyorfortysomething.

But that's not true anymore...FIFTY! ME! And if that's not hard enough to accept, I have to acknowledge that my parents aren't in their 50's anymore either...What???

As The Farmer says, turning 50 is sobering. It brings up all kinds of contemplative questions about what you've done with your life. It brings you face-to-face with some hard truths...

Apparently, I will never be a singer like Evie Tornquist. It's not gonna happen. I don't think there's much chance I'll be famous. I'm too tired to buy an old house and restore it. I doubt that barrel-racing or even horseback riding will be in my future...I will not ever have that hobby dairy farm or puppy boarding facility... And I still don't have any ideas about that book I was going to write...I won't -- (because I CAN'T -- that's the painful realization) do everything I've always dreamed about...

It's hard, facing the facts.

But it's kind of freeing as well...It's a lot of things you can stop worrying about, or pushing for... It's the "IYAM WHAT IYAM" stage of my life... In the last year -- my 49th, and what I have called "The Year of Completeness" (seven sevens, you know) -- I have stopped striving after superfluous stuff (which of course meant that I had to recognize that which is superfluous -- more contemplation)... I am much more discriminating about the things in which I choose to put time and effort. I think I finally have reasonable expectations of myself -- and maybe even of others! I realized that I'm a lot less gracious, and a lot more picky about "The Rules of Life"(as arbitrarily determined by my own interpretation of right and wrong) than I need to be so I'm learning more acceptance and graciousness.  I don't worry like I used to...God takes care of stuff -- all stuff! Life's too short to be fussing about something all the time. I make an effort to enjoy what I am doing, seeing, feeling in the moment.

I guess these are the benefits that come with the costs of being 50...I just wish sometimes that these epiphanies had come sooner...Undeniably, 50 is the back side of the hill...

Here's hoping the hill is long enough to really enjoy the late acquisition of wisdom!

I am a little nervous about that...

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well. I liked that. I know I'm not old yet (even though I can't believe I'm going to be 20 in December, but I digress...) but I gotta say getting old doesn't seem so bad. You might have wrinkles and freckles but think of all the suns you've laid under and the people you've loved who have made you smile. You don't seem fifty. You're wise enough to be fifty but you're certainly not any less joyful than you ever were in the 19 years I've known you. I think "getting old" should be a celebration of the good life you've lived, and a contemplation of how to make the next X number of years worth their while :) Just thoughts from your not-50-year-old-niece. Love you Aunt Les!

2boys2girls2ofakind said...

I'm glad you had a great day! By the way 50 looks good on you! :)

Sole Obsession Footwear said...

Love you and your contempating, Miss Leslie. You are beautiful at 50 and will be even more beautiful at 51. Happy birthday!

Jerrie said...

Leslie, What a beautiful post. I love your wisdom and insights. May the next 50 years be your best! :)

Your day read like my dream day...cake for breakfast? chips for lunch? YES please - you know how to live!

Take care. So blessed to have met you and laugh with you often!

Tami said...

Yes, I too looked at my skin and realized that, today is the best it will ever be agin in my life. It's downhill from here on out...

That said, there are some great things about 50. Just because I can doesn't mean I need to or have to. And the big one... figuring out that worrying doesn't help, God takes care of me and He doesn't want me to worry. Yay!

Happy that you had such a nice day! Happy that you enjoy being at the museum cuz we do get more selective as we age.
Happy that you have the Whistler trip coming up. Enjoy! Best eddie bauer store there...

Sole Obsession Footwear said...

Leslie you are beautiful at 50 and will be even more so at 51. I love you and your contemplating. Cheers to a great year!

Janice said...

When I turned 40 I decided that this was the year I was going to become more self disciplined - but that year got away from me :) and so at 45 I decided to try again - but you know how this last year has been, SO I think I will HAVE to wait until 50! :) Great thoughts and lessons - thanks for sharing!!

About Me

Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life (leslieisverbose.blogspot.com) and one where I can vent. (leslievents.blogspot.com)