ME Time — the second 50 years
“I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming…suddenly you find — at the age of 50, say — that a whole new life has opened up before you.” – Agatha Christie
My family is taking every opportunity to remind me that I will soon be turning “the big 5-0.” We pass a speed limit sign: “Mom, even the sign is warning you that you’re going to be 50!” My wife filled out an AARP application in my name. And asked if I had earned the senior discount at the movie theater. I don’t mind (much), though, because I’m continuously reminding THEM, that, come February 9th, they and their needs are going to have to get in the back seat, because life will be ALL ABOUT ME.
Mine, All Mine
For as long as I can remember, I’ve told myself that, when I turn 50, I’ll have truly earned the right to call my life fully mine. I have no idea why I chose such an arbitrary number, and not 30, or 45, or even 15. Indeed, I support clients in owning their lives fully and authentically from the moment we begin work together, and I wholeheartedly believe we all have a right to live by our own truth and vision of who we are and what we want. Perhaps it’s being raised in a more traditional family, where the women were expected to be — and enjoyed — caretaking their families. Maybe it’s my “nurturer”personality — for years, I didn’t sit down, eat, or wrangle the rights to the remote control until everyone else had their turns. And I don’t regret the decades of putting others’ needs first. I gained fulfillment, purpose and a sense of achievement knowing my efforts helped my family members feel cared for, supported, and celebrated. But now it’s MY time. Whether it’s a nap in the middle of the day, or saying “not interested” to an invitation, I’ve given myself permission to do what I want, when I want. My family is used to hearing my opinions, and they would be surprised if I suddenly censored myself when it comes to claiming my values or beliefs. But I’m not entirely sure how any of us will react when, for the first time, I push myself to set my needs squarely before theirs. They tell me I should have done this years ago, that I never needed a particular birthday to dawn in order to assume the universal right to meet my own needs. And as much as I am anticipating saying “I’m not doing that because I don’t want to,” I wonder if I’ll hesitate when my choice impacts the comfort or preference of someone else. What I do know is that I’m excited to find out. I’m pretty sure that this blooming is going to be FABULOUS.