It’s here. The month I have been anticipating, dreading, fearing, and in some ways, longing for. I will be 50 this month.
I don’t feel 50. Just like the memes that say, “When I hear 30 years ago, I think of 1970.” Maybe it’s because my parents are young (68 and 69). Perhaps it’s because I still feel ready to take on the world! Maybe because I have so much living left to do.
So age is just a number, but that number still is scary. According to the University of Berkley, the average life expectancy of a woman in 1901 was 50.6; in the year 2021, women in the country of Chad have a life expectancy of 54.3.
Fortunately, it won’t be like turning on a switch when the day arrives, at least in some ways. Although there will be some restaurants I will go to where I can get the “senior discount” – UGH! But I think mentally, it is. It’s almost like I’m 50 – now I have to do all these things (colonoscopy, up the vitamin D, be on the lookout for menopause and heart disease). And then answer all the questions “Have I done everything I have wanted to with my life? What’s on my bucket list? When can I retire? Can I afford to retire? Am I leaving a legacy behind for my children?”
But before all of that, let’s party!
How will I celebrate this milestone? I WILL celebrate. Initially, I wanted to bring all my friends together to indulge and imbibe, but I realized that I had a bigger responsibility. I recently joined the Board of Directors of the Attachment and Trauma Network, and I wanted to celebrate my birthday while raising money for this amazing organization. I do not need a trip; I do not need things. I need to use my platform and the connections I have made to bring awareness to an organization that is doing HARD WORK.
At the end of the month (because I want to make the birthday last as long as possible), I am bringing together family, friends, colleagues, and potential donors to help me celebrate. If my 50 years on this planet have taught me anything, it is that I have the privilege and I need to use that to shine a light on an organization that is promoting the healing of children that have been impacted by trauma through supporting their families, schools, and communities.
We all celebrate milestones in different ways, which is amazing. But be sure to check in with me in June when my 18-year-old daughter graduates from high school! I might have a harder time with that one than with turning 50!