Fifty years ago today, I made my entrance into the world. I am pretty sure my guardian angel cried in dismay because they knew I would go on to make their job hell. I’m pretty sure exasperation with me over the years has been an understatement. I digress.
I am pondering this morning the correlation between the 50th year of wedded bliss being the “golden” anniversary and the fact that once upon a time, and honestly even unto the here and now, people tend to refer to turning fifty as the “entering into the golden years.” As if turning fifty is a bad thing, something to be mourned: time to slow down, life is over, middle-aged, all down-hill from here, time to get the AARP card (like, WTH??). And, inevitably someone will bring up black balloons.
Now, I know it’s all in jest, these black beauties, but I just have to say, friends, my life is far from over. In fact, it’s just begun. So, when I was teased about them a few days ago, I responded, and I quote in my most sassy southern voice, “I do not want black balloons, I want whore red ones.” Anyone who knows me, knows this is typical Dixie-speak and is laughing it off right now. Anyone else southern in the crowd knows the exact shade I speak of; that tone of red which an otherwise decent respectable girl dons when attempting to seduce the man of her dreams and wears without shame. The rest of the world who might be stunned right now and wondering how they should feel about such language should laugh as well because, well, it’s funny. By the by, the red balloons have not been produced as of yet, although a red velvet cake wandered into my life last night, and was damn delicious I might add.
No, I’m not about to go down on the black balloon ship. Not today, not ever! I don’t feel whatever society has deemed one should feel at this crossroads in their life, which is apparently misery. I was just telling someone a few days ago, in fact, I actually feel better physically and emotionally at fifty than I did at thirty. It’s due to am immense amount of growth and finally learning how to self-care properly and let things go. I’m grateful for this lesson learned because I realize some people will go a lifetime without having embraced it.
Having embraced it myself, I decided to do things my way concerning this milestone birthday. You see, I don’t celebrate this day solo. It just happens, today is also my husband’s birthday and it’s our wedding anniversary. So, it’s not my day, not his day. It’s our day. I didn’t want a personal celebration taking away from that because this day means so much to us no matter what age I’m turning or he’s turning. People kept asking me, at least the folk who’ve not forgotten what today is which quite frankly outnumber those who did not forget, what I wanted to do. They kept wanting to know what sort of huge celebration was planned. They were all quite taken aback when I said nothing special was planned as far as a party of any sort to mark the big five-zero and no I didn’t know what I’d like to receive as a gift. Honestly, I have everything I could ever want, need, or desire. (Except for a contract…I’m sitting in wait for response to a submission currently, any word on that would be awesome—in fact, this is where I sat concerning things ten years ago on my fortieth, waiting to hear on a submission. I digress.)
We’re keeping it low-key today. I’m doing it my way. Husband and I have a couple’s massage scheduled for later this week, and he’s scheduled a private carriage ride for me at one of my most favorite places on earth, Biltmore Estates, next week. We’re celebrating our way, celebrating us, each other, not just me and my milestone. We are celebrating.
I’m embracing fifty and moving on with a smile on my face. I have a lot of life left to live and I’m going to do it while carrying a whore red balloon into battle.
Girls, do yourselves a favor. Go buy a balloon today and carry it around as a reminder that you are fabulous. Make it a bright and bold color. Make it red. And when someone asks what you’re doing carrying that thing around, tell them you’re embracing life and celebrating your eternal youth.