Posts Tagged ‘Birthdays’

Watercolor painting - Life in the 50s

“Life in the 50s” – Watercolor, ink, and press-on letters (by Barbie Dallmann)

Yesterday I turned 59. The “nine” birthdays are always a big deal for me. I experience a strong need to finish the decade on a high note. There’s also a touch of anxiety about how I will process the “new numbers” a year from now. It seems I’m one to watch out for my future self, thinking she may somehow become weaker or more vulnerable than I am today.

When I was 9, I wondered what it would be like to have two numbers in my age and thought ahead to 11 when I would no longer be able to hold up my age in fingers.

At 19 I grieved the loss of my teen years as 20 was the threshold to Adulthood. So, to prepare myself, I quit school, got a full-time job, moved out of my parents’ house, and got married—all between 19 and 20!

At 29 I remembered my promise to myself to “have my ducks in a row by the time I turned 30.” AARGH! I wasn’t even close! No goals; only wishes and someday fantasies. So, that was the year I got serious about my career, obtained a loan from the SBA and opened the doors of Happy Fingers for business just 10 weeks before my 30th birthday. Ducks lined up and marching by 30!

At 39 I was restless again, and so before I turned 40, we had packed up and moved to a much bigger house in a much nicer neighborhood. Another step up the ladder of success.

At 49 I watched Oprah turn 50 a full seven months before me. I heard her talk about the 50’s being the decade when you become who you were meant to be. I wanted that, but I didn’t know how to get it. And it seemed the harder I tried, the worse things became. Little did I know that as bad as 49 was, 50 would be even worse, and by 51, I had hit bottom. In a state of complete resignation, I signed up for the scariest thing I’d ever heard of: “The Shadow Process Workshop” with Debbie Ford.

Yesterday, I opened my birthday journal and began to write, fully expecting some fearful tirade about turning 60. I was fully prepared to devote a good part of the day to creating an action plan of things I needed to do that would make turning 60 bearable. Instead, I found myself overwhelmed with peace and contentment. What’s this? I wondered. Serenity on my 59th birthday? Really? How did that happen?

But, of course, I know how it happened. During my 50’s I’ve been doing a lot of deep work. I’ve learned about purposeful living. I’ve taken 100% responsibility (no excuses!) for creating more of what I want and releasing the things that no longer serve me. So, this is the reward, huh? A HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

I’ve always wondered what that would be like.

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