I've had over a week to get used to the idea of actually being fifty.
Whatever way I look at it, fifty is a BIG number. It is trying with all its 'big number' might to remind me that it's all downhill from here - the slow descent into frailty and THE END. I am trying with all my might ... to ignore it.
I may be fifty and under different circumstances I would be finding myself with an empty nest, slowing down and reassessing what life is all about ... but my nest is far from empty. My two little 'late in life miracles' with my second husband are making sure of that. Fifty IS a big number but I intend to use it to my advantage - to give me the determination to do the things I want to do in the way I want to do them. Liberation by virtue of five decades lived.
Despite battling with the 'fiftyness' of it all, I had a good time celebrating my birthday. Highlights included dinner with an absent daughter courtesy of Skype, some amazing presents that will probably become the subject of future blog posts, a poem written and performed for me and FIVE cakes.
The poem from my eldest daughter was a complete surprise (despite the fact that my she borrowed my camera to record it!) I have watched it many times and every time - I cry. The tears are mostly good tears of pride and love and awe that she is my daughter - my amazing daughter. Mostly good tears. There is an undercurrent of real sadness - remembering a time when my life was not in the good and happy place it is now.
My daughter at boarding school came home for the weekend with the promise of making me a cake with fifty candles. When I told her that fifty candles on one cake was probably a bad idea, she changed her plan and made five cakes each with ten candles. The procession of cakes was a glorious sight and I was glad that we had our fireman (Liberty's boyfriend) on standby, just case. In the context of candles, fifty is a BIG number.