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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

I'm 49.5 years old...

River Through My Heart: A Memoir - L. Goyen's photo.

I'm 49.5 years old...only six months away from 50. When did this happen?
In preparation for this rite of passage, I’ve already mentally made my age 50. I have to frequently remind myself that I’m still only 49 years old. Does anyone else do this?
What to say about this upcoming landmark birthday?
I'm just happy to be here. - My new favorite motto sums it up quite nicely.
The hard-won wisdoms, perspective and gratitude gained over time have uncluttered my path, lightened my load and freed up my soul. Any outside “changes” happening are easily superseded by the bounty of harvest that’s been reaped.
Coming up on 50, I may not be lighter on the scale but I’m definitely lighter.
It’ like we start out on a hike through this wilderness called life in our 20’s and 30’s, the backpack we carry on our shoulders is at times heavy and cumbersome. It’s filled with all of the necessities. But then there’s the minutia that slows us up and weighs us down detracting from a lot of the fun and adventure of it all:
• Insecurities
• Shaky sense of self and the struggles of finding it.
• Lack of direction which tends to get you lost.
• Caring too much what others think.
• Constant need for approval.
• Low-self esteem
• Immaturity
• Pettiness
In our 40’s as we continue down the path, hopefully we’ve discarded a lot of the burdensome non-essentials in return for the more weight-less useful stuff that helps us along the way. Insights like:
• Gratitude
• Perspective
• Wisdom
• Strength
• Character
• Self-acceptance
• A sense of humor (this is huge)
• Stronger Faith
• Acceptance of what is.
• A bird’s eye view of things
• The need to please a much smaller audience; God, yourself and those you love.
As I round the corner to 50, my compass is on point and the journey is much more enjoyable, meaningful and peaceful…lighter.
I wouldn’t trade in a few gray hairs (okay, a lot), some wrinkles and extra padding in odd places, for this place which I’ve arrived to.
What I’ve gained is a nice and welcome offset to this inevitable aging thing. My knees may creek a little when I walk but I sure do appreciate a sunset more fully.
Hopefully, by the time we’ve all reached 50, we know full-heartedly what a precious and profound gift that life is; to be living, to be healthy, to be.
Like I said, I’m just happy to be here.
Laurie Goyen Writer

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