Tuesday, January 10, 2012

On Turning 50 (4 years ago!)

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "Wow! What a Ride!" Author Unknown

I turned 50 years old, four years ago. I've had a little time to get used to the idea. And maybe it's time to write about it. In fact, I'm sure of it.

I don't believe in happenstance; I believe in synchronicity and co-creation with the Universe, even if I'm not consciously co-creating. In this particular instance, reorganizing a notebook, and a blog (http://homschlr4ever-loveandlunchmoney.com/2012/01/09/152-days-and-counting/) cooperated and encouraged.

We've been doing lots of renovating, packing and unpacking in recent months. Last summer, we were 90% sure we were moving to Colorado. In an attempt to make things easier in the long run, I began packing non-essentials. Since then we made the decision to stay put in North Texas for the time being, with a second home in Colorado as the goal. As a result, our focus shifted from moving to renovating, and once renovations were complete, the unpacking began, and in the unpacking, I rediscovered the notebook I made following my 50th birthday party.

It was a heady time for me. I was single and doing things MY way.  I bought a reciprocating saw and cut the posts off my four-poster cherry wood bed (cherry wood smells just like cherries when you cut it -- did you know that??), and painted the bed and everything else white. Except the walls. They were blue. I created matching a bedspread and pillows. I even wired an old Moroccan lantern meant for candles to become a hanging lamp over my bed that cast romantic shadows around the room (it took me about three hours to do this, but it was totally worth it). I called it my Blue Womb.

I needed a womb. I needed to feel safe and secure. I needed to feel loved. Even, and especially, if that love came from me.

So I threw myself a 50th birthday party. Part of my motivation was to show off my new accomplishments, one being the Blue Womb. But I had also taken the posts from the bed and used them as legs to create a dining room table. And there was the pergola I built over the patio in the back yard which, when it finally came down, took about FIVE minutes to disassemble (I kid you not --  thank GOD it never fell on anyone!). And the closet door I painted (see picture) which incorporated the quote at the top of the page. Bottom line, I was feeling empowered and wanted to share it with my friends.

I should probably also mention that, at this point in my life, I was already a grandmother, which prompted my first tattoo. But that's another story.

I invited friends, near and far, even the ones I knew couldn't attend. My mother always told me that it's nice to be included -- and I want to be nice! I didn't ask for gifts -- although there's nothing wrong with being showered with lovely, expensive presents; I just can't bring myself to ask for them. The only "gift" I wanted was advice for the next fifty years. (I received material gifts too, which was way cool!)

The following is an offering of some of the wonderful "gifts" I received:

*I am fairly certain that women with 50 years of knowledge are unstoppable! At any rate, I've chosen to believe it, and no one has tried to stop me yet. Just smile right through the steely eyes -- it keeps 'em off balance -- and do what you want to do. It'll all come up roses. Trust me, we've planted them in a lot of manure!  (ain't it the truth?)

*Everything after 50 is a plus! You're as old as you think or feel. I think as a 30-40 year old and some days feel 100. Think young.

*Everything I have experienced has contributed to my growth.

*Use lots of night cream on your neck and upper chest. You'll be glad you did! (I do this daily -- no wrinkled neck for me! Yet, anyway...)

*You create rewarding relationships when:

Everybody is a “Somebody.”

You just say, “Hi.”

You share yourself.

You are a safe person.

Your heart is in your listening.

You empower others to see themselves as more than what they were before they met you.

You tell people you love them, and prove it with your life.

* Every night before you go to bed, write down at least three blessings the day has brought you.

*Take care of the big rocks first (self-care, prayer, meditation) so you can take care of the little ones.

*Work less, play more.

*To understand life, look to the past; to live life, go forward.

*To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites.

*You are a work of art, each day creating a new self-portrait for the world to behold.

*Be here now.

*Stop and smell the roses, then rip off the petals, spread them on the bed and......... (loooove this one! Nudge, nudge, wink, wink!)

*Don't sweat the small stuff at all, and don't sweat the big stuff for long.

*This advice is from a sedum: practice a low maintenance approach to life, learn to take nourishment from the air itself (breathe!), set down roots easily and be willing to relocate as needed, and give your love away and watch it reproduce.

Needless to say, I have wise friends, for which I am grateful. I have been known to pull some real bonehead moves, so it helps to have wise people in my circle, especially if I discuss a bonehead move with one (or more) before I do it!

Turning 50 has been great! I highly recommend it. I've remarried (very scary, but completely wonderful), learned to ride a motorcycle, lost my father, and quit my job -- all since I turned 50.

Have you had significant birthday or turning point? What happened? What is new and different for you now? What advice would you give someone for their birthday?

Have you been there?


  1. Great blog, Claire!!! I hope you keeping on being there! Claire2

  2. My name twin! Thanks for reading and come back!

  3. Claire, you have such clear insight and encouraging words to offer the world! I greatly enjoy reading your posts!

    Where are you located? Do you ever get out to Vegas? You're always welcome should you decide to head this way!

  4. Thank you for the kind words! As it happens, we WILL be in Vegas, staying at the Venetian from 1/25 to 1/28 celebrating a family members' 40th birtday. Any suggestions? I'd love to get together while we're there. Not sure if I will have transportation. Maybe a suggestion within walking distance? My schedule is pretty loose, I think (I haven't received an itenerary yet)

    I look forward to sharing stories.


Yes! I've been there, Claire!