For the first time in almost a decade, I have taken time off from work. I don’t really like to travel so I have never taken advantage of the vacation time I have at work, but this year is different.
This week is the week of my fiftieth birthday and I decided it was a significant enough occasion to release myself from the constraints of my job and take some much-needed time for myself. Although Sunday was spent as it always is, making crockpot meals for our local Food Bank, yesterday was spent lounging around the house in the morning and taking myself shopping in the afternoon in search of an outfit to wear for my birthday dinner on Thursday. I immediately remembered how much I disliked malls and shopping for clothes!
Today, although not yet my birthday, is the most anticipated day of my week off. Today is the day I will get my first, and most likely only, tattoo. The thought of a permanent picture on my body never crossed my mind because I could never come up with an image that meant enough to me to permanently etch it into my flesh. But the more I thought about doing something monumental for my fiftieth birthday, the more the idea of a tattoo kept invading my conscious thoughts. When the picture eventually presented itself, it was perfect.
Having lost both of my parents long before their time, this image is the perfect blend of the things that remind me the most of my mom and dad. My mom loved butterflies and my dad loved owls. From where I sit in my living room as I write this post, I can see the framed needlepoint monarch butterflies my mother created in the seventies and the carved wooden owls my dad hung in the living room of our childhood home. I couldn’t think of a more appropriate image to have as a permanent reminder of the two people I loved the most.
Turning fifty is not a burden, it’s a gift. It affords me the chance to look back on a half a century of love, laughter, friendship and memories. Turning fifty gives me the wisdom to prioritize the people and the things that are most important in my life. Turning fifty allows me to ignore the things I have learned from and have been able to leave in my past. And turning fifty makes me truly appreciate the fact I still feel like I am in my thirties.
I can’t imagine a better way to welcome fifty than to embrace the journey I have taken to get here, to hold close the people I value most and to look forward to what is yet to come.
I love your idea for the tattoo! I say go for it – celebrate yourself on your 50th.
The 50s were my best years – I was a bit smarter and still had good health to enjoy them!
Happy Birthday this week! Keep writing.
Thanks Sheila. I’m loving this week and loving the thought of turning 50! 🙂
Happy Birthday this week! Enjoy your time off—you deserve it! I struggled when I turned 50 because I wasn’t in a very good place in my life, but wow, did things turn around in the next couple of years. I’m now looking at my fifties in the rearview mirror, but I’m grateful for them and for that time of personal growth. I think you’re gonna love this decade!
Thank you so much! I’m already loving the thought of being in my 50’s. 🙂
Happy Birthday to you! The image somehow perfectly illustrates the transitioning-the wisdom we have from experience is giving us freedom. Beautiful!!! I love you. I thank you…
Thank you. I love you too! 🙂