I was born on Friday, February, 14,1964 in Waterville, Maine. That makes me fifty today. I harbored a hope that a new decade would make me feel different, like discovering a latent super power.
Instead the morning greeted me like most. I wrangled our teenagers up and off to school. Leo texted me Happy Birthday, no call. Lila annoyed me as she finished her math homework in the car, even though I promised myself I would be more patient in my fifties.
I guess patience is not my latent super power.
The plan for today is to lay low because of the marathon this weekend. I need to conserve my physical and mental energy. Tonight Matthew and I are going out to listen to music. Later this spring, I’m taking a short trip with a friend to mark this milestone.
I have absolutely nothing to complain about, I know.
That’s why I feel so terribly guilty for emotionally flailing today. I didn’t expect this. It began with the ordinariness and gained momentum when my mom called. I started to cry. She said exactly what I needed to hear. She reminded me that the big birthdays with zero’s need time for grieving as well as celebration. My mom gave me permission to meet fifty on my terms. I didn’t have to be happy.
I’ve flailed about all day, with breaks to be grateful and laugh with friends. It’s OK though, I have a note from my mother.
Fifty. Downtown Austin.
“Look, I really don’t want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you’re alive, you’ve got to flap your arms and legs, you got to jump around a lot, you got to make a lot of noise, because life is the very opposite of death. And therefore, as I see it, if you’re quiet, you’re not living. You’ve got to be noisy, or at least your thoughts should be noisy, colorful and lively.” ― Mel Brooks —