It's the morning of my husband's 50th birthday. He and I see birthdays much differently -- he's not excited to be here, while when I hit my 50th I was actually glad. It's not a popular viewpoint, but long ago while searching for a birthday card for my mom I ran across a saying that has stuck with me, and it definitely changed my outlook on birthdays. The card went something like: "You're having another birthday? Guess that's better than the alternative."
Seriously, what's the big deal? When asked, I always tell people how old I am. I am fifty. I want to be able to say I have lived fifty years and I am proud of it. I have done a lot in my life, things just get added to the list without me really paying attention, but at the end of the day when I look back, I really am grateful to have had the opportunity for each and every piece. There are many who have gone on before us who maybe didn't make it to fifty. Perhaps thirty was their last year. Can I imagine not having had the last twenty years? What a sad thought.
I am looking forward to the next ten years, I believe I've come to a point where I will now make the things happen I've always wanted to do. Up until now I really have focused on making my children's lives better -- that is, after all, my responsibility as their parent. But as each one of them has left the house and moved on to become responsible adults, I have been given a little more freedom. I will always be a part of their lives -- maybe more than they'd like. :-) But there are days that go by when I don't hear from them and, though I find it hard to not always call, I realize that they have lives, too, and that it's good to let go a little bit.
Don't get me wrong, I have five kids to pick from and so I can let up to five days go by without talking to each, but still have talked to one of them. I believe I've stacked the deck. I've made the best of this life. I have wonderful kids who are all very giving, responsible, loving adults, and they always make time to talk to me when I call, and I just need to give them the space to have their lives.
Happy birthday to everyone having a birthday today -- it's a great thing!