Thursday, March 20, 2008

What Happens After the Big Day?

An “over-50” friend recently mentioned to me that when she turned 50 she forgot to think about what comes afterward. All her energies were focused on the big birthday, then the birthday was over and she felt a little lost, didn’t know what to do. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. I feel pretty focused on my 50th birthday. I’m planning a party. I write this blog. I have several friends who turn 50 this year. Yes, it’s a major focus. As I’ve thought about my friend’s experience I’ve wondered if I’m setting myself up for that sort of realization. I appreciate her telling me about her experience because now I know that I need to make sure that I am, in fact, looking beyond May 31st. But, honestly, I think I have the right attitude. The goals I’m setting for myself, the dreams I’m thinking about all go beyond the month of May, in fact, they go beyond this year. I’m looking at this birthday as a time for reflection: where have I been? How did I get here? Am I happy with the ride I’ve taken? And as a time for projecting forward: Where do I want to go? What do I want to do that I haven’t yet done? How will I do these things? The goals and dreams don’t end with my birthday; the birthday is just a chance to take stock and make plans to make the next 50 as fulfilling, or more so, than the first.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Debbie--I am Julie Atchley's sister, Elaine. We have met a few times. Julie sent along your blog to me since my "big day" is on Sept 25 this year. I never knew we had so much in common with just those little hellos at the the basketball games!! I too take care of my boys (only 2 of them, though) and volunteer extensively in the area of environmental education. I've had a few instances lately where I have been wondering about my "worth" since I do not get paid for all my work--but I got over it too--it is always a struggle. Nice to read your writings and know I am not the only overachieving 50ish Mom out there struggling with these thoughts. I am going to pass your blog on to a good friend in Kentucky who will enjoy it. I live in Virginia--so your really are helping women coast to coast!!! Thanks, Elaine