I've thought about this day all year.
It's felt kinda "big".
I guess it IS kinda big.
I know there are many of you who scoff at the number and say that life begins at 50 and yadda yadda, blah blah, etc., etc.
Please allow me to own my feelings on turning 50. I'm okay with it. I'm not okay with it. Regardless of whether I am or not, I'm still 50!
A few very quick things that I need to say about turning 50.
1. We didn't have the opportunity to get away this summer and the chance to travel presented itself when we discovered the boys' week off of school in November so we chose a location and called it our family trip of (a lifetime) the year and co-labelled it the trip to celebrate my 50th birthday. And we went to New York City and fulfilled many many dreams in one week.
I specifically wanted to do 2 things - I wanted to see The Lion King, which we did and it was magical. And I wanted to stand on top of the Empire State Building and declare myself 50 - to myself, to my world.
I wanted to do that from the Empire State Building partly because I'm afraid of heights (that's an understatement) and I think turning 50 is partly about conquering fears and facing frights. I think I'm starting to learn that some fears and anxieties can be managed by choices. Choose to face them head on or choose to walk away. Both options acceptable. Valuable lessons.
And I wanted to celebrate in New York because New York is one of the greatest cities in the world. THE WORLD!! And I wanted to see it. I wanted to be there. I wanted to see one of the world's greatest places and see all of the things that books and history and movies have told me about. And I DID! I saw them for myself. I needed to do that. I needed to face something large and bigger than myself and discover this world that "I heard about" and see with my own eyes something magical.
And so we did. And it was worth all the effort and planning and thinking and wishing. I will never forget. For a simple country girl like me, Manhattan loved me and I loved Manhattan.
2. On being 50 - I've looked around my world, specifically my work place lately, and realize that yeah, I'm one of the senior nurses and with that comes a delightful knowledge of the history of our facility and comes the warmth of long term relationships - and also the burden of responsibility. You know that saying "I don't want to adult"? Like it or not, being among the senior nurses, ya just gotta "adult" sometimes.
The other day I had a situation that I needed to assist with that involved another department and one of our residents. I felt that the other department had neglected to provide something essential for us to adequately care for our resident so I went to have a discussion with them to try to resolve it. The department was mostly cooperative and worked to resolve my concern. Except for one staff member who questioned me in a fairly sarcastic manner as I left. I decided at that moment that I was going to draw up every inch of my 49 years plus 363 day old self and stand up for what was right. And so I did. I drew up my shoulders, squared my back, held my head high and levelled a look at her and asked "what's the concern?"
I won the fight for my resident.
And I think I won a fight for me.
I CAN face hard things. I CAN face personal challenges. I CAN surmount things that make me anxious.
So, I guess I CAN turn 50 with some grace. And courage.
And I think I'll need them both.
So look out world! Here I come!