Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my fourth birthday in my sixth decade, which is a convoluted way of turning 53. I’m loving my 50s. I couldn’t wait to join this club and with three years of it under my belt am officially declaring it my favorite decade to date. The 50s feel like a time when experience, wisdom and vision, come together with energy and drive in one powerful space.

Fifty years of living is respectable. You can claim to know a thing or two and speak with authority on occasion without anyone questioning you except my beloved 65-year-old friends whose advanced wisdom show me that I still have a long way to go. I actually love that idea that there’s still more depth of wisdom to garner. I get it. I thought I knew a thing or two at 30 and 40, and of course I did in a way, but I realize that I’m just now truly coming into a new, powerful layer of knowing. Sometimes that feels like intense, deeply-felt wisdom and sometimes it feels like I don’t know a damn thing. And I’m OK with both of those. It’s sort of my nature anyway to trust my intuition while suspending certainty, to live within the Shades of Grey courtesy of Billy Joel.

Some things were perfectly clear seen with the vision of youth

No doubts and nothing to fear, I claimed the corner on truth.

Now with the wisdom of years I try to reason things out

And the only people I fear are those who never have doubts.

Save us all from arrogant men, and all the causes they’re for

I won’t be righteous again

I’m not that sure anymore.

Shades of grey wherever I go

The more I find out, the less that I know.

It’s this wild vantage point being sort of in the middle of life. I can look back on 50 years and assess the powerful changes and patterns witnessed in myself and the collective AND I can look ahead to the next 50 with what feels like a clear, hopeful, realistic vision. My vision is one of connectedness and healing. And it’s a vision I feel like manifesting. My 50s have brought me renewed drive and energy to move into the world with this purpose. In fact, it’s all felt a little more urgent and exciting and the pace has picked up a bit because I now totally understand the concept that 50 years can feel like a lifetime and a split second simultaneously. It’s sort of a weird mind bend that can freak me out if I don’t just flow with it.

The pièce de résistance though of being in my 50s is that I care less and less about rules and conventions, expectations and outcomes. If I have something that feels like wise truth that needs to be written, I’ll write it. Something to express to someone – love, gratitude, a hard truth – I’ll express it. I can feel the worries about being too strange or forthright or loud or emotional sliding off of me in chunks like glaciers calving into the sea. Does every woman in their 50s feel this way? Men too? Should I start wearing purple with a red hat that doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me? Do you think that ensemble will clash with my blue hair? I hope so! 

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One Comment on “Happy Birthday to Me!

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Regina Leffers McCaleb, Ph.D.

Master Teacher, Midwife to the Birth of the Wild Soul

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