As I sit here writing this, I am dangling on the precipice of 50, and as I stare down that half-century milestone, I’ve noticed a few things:
- Fifty is not old. If anything, I’m in better shape mentally and physically at 49.953 than I ever was at thirty. Granted, this was due to a concerted effort on my part over the past two years. I hired a trainer, I (re)started eating clean and I took on more mental challenges. Whenever someone asked what I was training for, I told them – old age. Only to realize fifty wasn’t old at all. In fact, given how long the women in my family tend to live, fifty was nothing more than halfway to the end. Which meant I was just beginning the second half of my life.
- The older I get, the less of a shit I give. There you have it. The little things, the insignificant fall away. Now, I will admit, I was pretty good at not giving a flying kick at a lot of things to start with. I was never the type of woman who felt the need to please other people or quietly hold my tongue if I was slighted or disagreed on an important point. Thanks to my upbringing, confidence was never in short supply (thanks family!). But now, especially in the past six months, I’ve let more and more things fall by the wayside if they weren’t working for me, if they didn’t bring value to my life. Little things and big things. Things that once held value but became broken and ill-fitted.
- I have way too much stuff. We’re not talking hoarder territory by any means, but with each passing year I’ve noticed how clutter of any kind agitates the bejesus out of me. It makes me feel boxed in, like I can’t breathe. There have been times where I’ve looked at the kitchen counter and wondered what would happen if I took a flame thrower to it. Last year I purged a bunch of stuff. Bags and bags dropped off at the local donation centre, things given away to friends and family, books dropped off at the secondhand bookstores. But somehow, it wasn’t enough. I need to own less. Buy less. Pare down. Steam line everything in my life and rid myself of what no longer works.
And so here I am. Given I’m a writer by trade, it seemed the natural thing to write about my experiences as I go. An on-line journal to track life in the second half. Because somehow turning 50 feels less like getting old and more like embarking on a great adventure. And who couldn’t use a little adventure in their lives?