Whoa.....I'm 50 years old now. Fifty. 50. Half a century. XXXXX. L.
In 50 years I've been paid to do many jobs: painter for a glass blower, movie ticket seller, line cook in a health food restaurant, telegram taker, russian linguist, sergeant, secretary, realtor, blackjack dealer, poker dealer, executive director of a non-profit organization, owner of a hydroseeding company, teacher, permaculture designer, toy maker, gardener, manager of a landscaping company, corporate controller, artist. I've done my best in my roles as daughter, sister, friend, in-law, lover, employee, co-worker, boss, wife, cousin, aunt, niece and mother. I've acquired skills too numerous to list, from replacing garbage disposals to baking the ultimate strawberry-rhubarb pie to tailoring clothing, building a hugelkultur bed, and preparing quarterly tax reports. I've known great love and devotion and the painful sorrow of loneliness.
The saying that life isn't about how many breaths you take but about the moments that take your breath away are only partly true for me. I relish it all. In 50 years I've had tremendous successes and epic fails (to coin a phrase currently popular with my kids). But I've also had many many many days where there was neither a tremendous success nor an epic fail, just a regular day. I remember those days with a happy heart for they were spent just going about the business of living, filled with all the things that make up a life and shape us. In the living and the experiencing and the trying and the coping and the joy and the sorrow I've become fully myself and am at peace with that.
Julie Daley's article published in the Huffington Post entitled Old Woman, Wise Woman, Powerful Woman: The Beauty of Aging which you can read in its entirety here, speaks of the oppression of women in the patriarchal society and the untapped value that is lost as a result. I must admit I've never felt oppressed on the basis of sex in my 50 years even though I see evidence of it around me; I've been lucky. However, this part of the article hits home for me in a powerful way.