Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Taking the Leap - Into the Second Half

I looked around the flower covered table at my "mommy" friends and I felt lucky. I have good friends, good family, and a good life yet there's something missing...


I spent much of today at a friend's 50th birthday party: a beautiful luncheon in a gorgeous Beverly Hills hotel. Twenty-five or so women, most if not all moms, dressed up, put on make up, scented ourselves with perfume and, if only for a few hours, were true ladies who lunch. Excited to be in an elegant setting on a beautiful Spring day with wine and hors d'oeuvres served to us by others we acted like giddy schoolgirls.

We talked about what it means to be 50 and hitting the second half of our lives. We laughed and cried while reminiscing about our past escapades and professing our love for each other despite the fact that we get little face time. We vowed to return each other's phone calls and emails more often, to make more plans for group dinners, to be better friends.

With the recent news about lower life expectancy for women, I'd already been thinking about this phase of my life; how I want to spend it and with whom. I realize the news focused on obese women and women in general poor health (of which I am neither) but after watching a 35 year old non-smoking friend suffer through two battles with lung cancer one can never be too certain.

While walking this morning it suddenly hit me that I've probably spent more days on this earth than I have left. Sure that's true of other mid-lifers, but me? Beyond it's morbid nature, the equation frightened me. If I were to consider my life's journey like climbing Mount Everest it's as if I was heading downhill before ever coming close to the summit. I wondered, do I have enough time left? The question packed a stunning punch. It took only seconds to calculate how many years I'd spent dreaming my dreams, talking about them, putting them on the back burner to foster those of others. Or is all that just an excuse and is fear of failure worth dying without making it to the peak of my Mount Everest?

I'm hoping I can use this epiphany to kick my butt into writing, not just blog writing, but writing others will want to publish. In other ways I've prepped for the second half of my life: I've cleaned my house of toxic people, I know what makes me happy and speak up when something doesn't, I've developed the confidence to own up to my failings without slinking off into a dark corner to beat myself mercilessly.

Now if I could only get this other part right...


Leendaluu said...

Fabulous post. I'll be 50 this year and often have many of the same thoughts. Who am I and how did I spend the first half-how will I spend the next half?

Sonia said...

Thank you for articulating these thoughts--I share many of themm and it very much helps me to see them on the page. I also need to kick myself in the butt, big time! I've still got some of that personal "detoxing" to do first, I think... that's the tough part.

Oh--in answer to your question on my blog--feel free to email me at sonia dot michaels at gmail dot com and I'll send you the info!

InTheFastLane said...

Good luck on whatever you endeavor to do!

ByJane said...

this post would be perfect for are you willing?

Karen said...

Merlot Mom--

This is a beautiful post. I commented on it over at being the first comment to your first post on that new site. I'm looking forward to reading more of your writing in both places!

Midlife's A Trip

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