50 is sitting on the horizon and it gives me pause for reflection. I failed and I have succeeded. Sadly, I disappointed and I have been disappointed. I am loved and I am hated. It is true, I am far from perfect, quite squishy in places, droopy in other areas, loud and often considered crazy, but I do try my best with what I have going for me each day.
I wake up next to a man who loves me and my nearly 50 years, even when I am unlikeable. He tells me I am beautiful even when I am not full of beauty. He has walked beside me for 35 years – through thin and thick and thicker and everything life has thrown at us in between. We decided long ago that we were in this together and make a conscientious decision to “choose us” every day even during those times when it would be easier to just walk away. We are a team. He has never tried to change me and for that, I am most thankful. We have created a life that is ours and more than I ever imagined it to be so many years ago.
My heart is outside me beating in two children who are my life. They save me from myself and give my days purpose, happiness, and pride. It is a privilege to call them mine and they inspire me to be better, to do better. The road is paved with “greys” sitting in a world of black and whites. Yet, they are adults establishing their own roots with what we have given to them as wings. They are my biggest blessing and greatest joy. They are my everything. If nothing else, I hope they know each day how much I love them … forever and always.
I have friends and family who have stood beside me during every phase of my life and although distance and time have separated us, we pick up where we left off each time we meet. There are others who were passing through but left their footprints in my life and some who taught me lessons that I needed to learn but didn’t want to experience. I learned long ago that I no longer want to be around those who do not want to be around me. My tolerance has decreased as my grey hair has increased.
I make a deliberate effort daily to laugh even if it is just at myself. Finally, I accept I do not like everyone nor does everyone like me. I walk away from unnecessary drama. I do not have the patience for it any longer. This was a slow lesson to learn.
I had a mother who was my hero and I carry her spirit always. She shaped who I am from what she gave me – unconditional love. I have a father who has loved and encouraged me and even though he is forgetting what was and perhaps who I am, my heart will always know him – I will remember for the both of us. I love my brothers and all they have brought to my life.
My sister is my lifeline. She weaves a thread that holds our extended family together in the times that it would be easy to fray apart. Always she bears the burden of being the oldest daughter while I have enjoyed the benefit of being her little sister. She is like no other – she is the best and has carried me at my worst. Our family has grown to include many others. They have become one of us and make life that much more special.
So yup, I see 50 on the near horizon that once seemed so far away. I consider it a blessing. I have made it through another year with very little heartache, some new friends, much happiness, a few more pounds, a couple of tears, a gathering of wrinkles and a growing collection of elastic waistbands.