Today I Turned 50
Today I turned 50. All month I have had a creeping sense of anticipation as this milestone birthday approached. My half-century celebration and reflection on all I have accomplished and all I have left un-done and the mistakes that I have made and what I have yet to be and do and create. So no pressure.
It’s no wonder that rather than excitement, the feeling I had was closer to anxiety. I always have a small dose of surrealitosis (or should that be surrealitis?) as birthdays and eves of New Years approach. Like staring at an imaginary line in the sand thinking that if you just focus hard enough and long enough the line will appear in reality.
Dates are ephemeral markers. Sand castles constructed out of dreams and a hope for order and meaning and washed away with the tide as if they never existed. One day passing into the next. Unnoticed and undifferentiated. Unless something is created to brace them, to hold them in place and give them grounding. A foundation of integrity upon which to stand.
How many times have I stood at the edge of that imaginary date line called my birthday and thought, this year will be different? But thinking or wishing or hoping does not make it so. Declaring, out loud, preferably in public but definitely to another person, is a start.
Today I turned 50. And I say to you, brothers and sisters, the time is now! Time to say something. Declare something. To make a plan and follow through. To make meaning by choice, rather than to wait for it. To make my life mean something. By choice. Because meaning is not inherent, but is created. And of all the things I have un-learned over the past few decades, here is my biggest takeaway. I am responsible for my life. Not the government, not my parents, not the economy, not my industry. No one and no thing is responsible for my life. I am.
Today I turned 50. And I do declare, I am just getting started.