In three weeks plus change, I will be 50. There I said it, out loud, well kind of. As I finish up on the treadmill, I mull (over a Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris duet), how I can still be whiney about this birthday?
Two dear friends never saw their 40th or 50th ones respectively. I so need to embrace the next decade, not continue to gripe about it. Nevertheless, why does fifty feel like a popcorn kernel that gets lodged between a tooth and the gum, causing the tongue to worry it out after days of flossing and brushing fail to?
I can clearly remember details about each birthday that ended in zero, going all the way back to the first one, including how I wore my hair and what I weighed. But you knew that was coming.
Ten ushered in the 1970s and the death of my beloved grandfather, 20 was all about hope and optimism and a very small jeans size, 30 brought the birth of my first son (by just a few days), and 40, well, started rocky but heralded an amazing decade filled with highs and lows.
Fifty feels like being perched on the edge of a precipice, knowing full well you’re not going to fall but wondering if it’s time to take a leap of faith anyway.
My sons are turning into the men they’re destined to be. Time for their mother to quit complaining and take joy in a new decade.
If you’re traveling along I80 in the middle of the country on the day after Christmas, stop in and have some pasta. Don’t worry, I’m not cooking. There will be cake and no whining.