August 8, 2008

Notes on Turning 50

That's what happened to me last weekend. Turned 50. A number of other things happened to me, too. Some resulting in large bruises and further hearing loss. But turning 50 was the main thing.

A couple of things I noted about the experience:
  • The passage is eased by kind-hearted people telling you you don't look a day over 30. Even though you know they're clinically deluded and wearing expired prescription lenses.
  • With enough Banana Boat Sport SPF 50 Ultra Sweatproof Non-Greasy sunblock and Blackstone pinot grigio, you can navigate through three days of Lollapalooza at any age.
  • Dwelling on the material is typically derided as not cool, but you've got to admit, the stuff you've chosen to surround yourself with does represent what you've accomplished with your natural gifts. My 50th birthday party took place on a little sailboat I've come to think of as a member of the family. I'm proud of that.
  • At 20, your party guests all look the same. At 50, your party guests look like a crazyquilt of diversity, and you realize that the real gift of getting older is all the people you've collected over the years who have defined and enriched your life. Really makes you look forward to seeing who shows up for your 100th.
So now the brouhaha is over and we enter the final stretch of lush, golden summer. As an early August baby, my birthday has always served as a reminder that summer doesn't last forever. The date nudges me to try to find a little way to enjoy every remaining day. For me, that means spending as many of them as I can on that little boat.

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