The milestone that I have waited fifty years to arrive is fast approaching – I am turning 50.
If I live to be 100, then I am at the halfway point of my life on this planet. If I don’t live to be 100, then I am well beyond the midway mark.
Many friends and acquaintances have already hit this point in their lives, me being the December baby…I am one of the youngest in my social group.
I don’t know how I feel about this number. It is sizeable for sure, but so was 40…so was 30. Why does there seem to be some urgency attached to 50? Why is it difficult for so many people who have entered this club to accept?
I have been thinking a lot about my mortality in recent weeks and months. I am thinking about my role, my purpose, what kind of mark am I going to leave when I am no longer around? What will happen after I go, what will I be doing between now and that eventual day to improve the quality of my daily existence…are there things I should be eating or things I should be avoiding?
What about my relationships – with friends, with family, my children…my wife? Are they where I want them to be…do I need to devote more time and focus on them?
Financially…am I good or am I fucked (right now I would say that I will be working until the day I drop dead…but I am ok with that).
Spiritually, what will become of me when I am no longer? Is there an afterlife? What will I come back as….how will my kids and other people who I love and care for, remember me when I am gone? Will I be in their thoughts every day or will I fade away over time?
Are these morbid thoughts? Did I think this way when I turned 40? I don’t recall having these conversations with myself. As for being morbid…no, not really…I am just now beginning to think of things like this because at 50, certain truths set in. While death can happen at any age and for any reason (accident, illness etc), it is now when the chances of illness and failing health become more apparent to me.
Please don’t take offense to what I am writing. I am not trying to be a “Debbie-Downer”. Hell, I have much more life in me. I have many more things to experience, to celebrate and to enjoy. There are other “milestones” that I have every intention of sticking around for….graduations, weddings, trips, bottles of wine, grandparent-hood…colonoscopies!!!
However, I am going to try and implement a few new behaviours that will hopefully enrich my life going forward and maybe those who are near and dear to me.
Firstly, I will try to go to bed each night without any regret. I will try to live each day fully and completely…never thinking when I hit the pillow that “I should have done this” or “should have said that”.
I want to write more…hence the new blog. If I am not an artist, singer or poet, at least I can be a blogger and leave my mark in the digital universe for future generations to discover. While I will never be an Ernest Hemingway, I will be a Stephen Gosewich.
I will try hard to not judge or be as critical as I have had a tendency of being. “Live and let live”. While it might be hard to undo certain behaviours as you get older, I am quite aware of this character flaw in myself and will aspire to work hard to figure it out.
I will listen more….especially to my wife and children. What they have to say is important and the more I hear them the more I have them etched in my brain. The sweetness of their voices and their intelligence is soothing and comforting to me.
I am sure there are some other things that I will work on that I haven’t figured out yet. But, as I turn the page on the first half of my life, I am anxious to discover what is ahead. Just like a good book, I hope the balance of my life here is a “page-turner”!!