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50th birthday

I turn 50 in a couple of months.

It feels like it's a milestone that should be celebrated, but in actual fact, I feel a lot of anxiety as it closes in.

As I look back 50 years, I have so many thoughts. There have been many proud and unforgettable moments and no less, many challenges along the way too, but then there are challenges at every stage of life. After all, these are the things that have contributed to shaping us into who we are.

Every decision, good or bad has led me here.

I am glad for the many amazing things that I have had the opportunity to experience. Having my son takes the cake, and also I had many, many years working in a job which I thoroughly enjoyed which has allowed me to travel to many cities all over the world.

I look back because that's what I know, all the memories of the past 50 years are still clear in my mind, but looking forward?

By social standards is 50 old? I don't feel old. I don't feel 50. I feel the same as I did last year, or even 5 years ago. Honestly, every birthday was just another number added to my age and nothing more. Somehow this year is different. It feels like one day I was 30 then time kind of fast-forwarded and here I am turning 50!

Now, when I look in the mirror, I'm noticing changes that weren't there yesterday.

As much as I want to be nonchalant about it, I can't help but pick at every imperfection that seems to have appeared overnight. I know I can't control what naturally happens to my body with age. I can't control menopause, I can't stop my sagging jowls or drooping eyelids, or worse, the heaviness around the middle, or can I? I don't even want to talk about my hair that's greying at the speed of light!

I'm torn between embracing it and doing something about it, not to the extent of going under the knife, but in other ways. I'm constantly scouring articles and youtube. Strength training, eating right, increasing metabolism, reverse ageing and using this lotion and that potion. So much information. All targeted to people like me who want to be youthful for longer.

I realise that I'm not 20, or 30, neither am I 40 so I can't possibly expect to stay the same, though with all honesty, I wish I could.

What am I extremely grateful for is my health. I've been so lucky to not have had any major illnesses, except for that one time I had to take my gallbladder out, but apart from that, I've been in perfect health. I hardly fall ill, get the flu, fever whatever and I'm grateful for that. Though I do feel apprehensive about what lies ahead.

With age, your body naturally deteriorates, some parts faster than others. Wanting to stay youthful, just means that I'm on this planet longer and that's what I want. I don't mind growing old as long as I'm healthy and strong and capable of doing whatever a 30-year-old can.

I recently watched a 90-year-old Japanese woman who looks nothing like her age and is a fitness instructor - at 90?! She only took up fitness in her 60's. She's still teaching classes in her 90s with such energy and vigour and was such an inspiration to watch. She hasn't let her age stop her and it is truly inspiring. On the flip side, there are 60-year-olds who are unfortunately bound in a wheelchair. My grandmother who is in her 90s is well but, not strong enough to walk anymore because of her knees.

Is it a mindset? Does it have to do with nutrition? Is it genetics? What do I need to have in my arsenal to live healthy, strong and well, right to my 90s?

turning 50

I'm so hung up on turning 50 and what it means that I sometimes fail to realise that everybody else close to me is ageing as well. I take this for granted especially when it comes to my mom and dad. They're both 70 and 75 respectively. My dad had cancer and is now free from it. My mom is as strong as an ox. Me inching forward means they are too, but I live every day as if they'll live forever.

I tell my son, who's 18, that he has a lifetime ahead of him and that he should embrace it, experience life as much as he can, find a career he enjoys and have a family. I want to be able to see him live that life. I want to be around long enough to see all the great things he goes on to do with his life. I want to be able to cheer him on every step of the way. Bottom line is, I want to live as long as he lives! And he'll have a long and fulfilled life and I want to be able to see that. Then I can leave knowing that I have completed life. It might be a bit dramatic but it is what I want.

I might just be overthinking this whole turning 50 thing and might also be getting ahead of myself but it seems like such a pivotal moment and I can't help but reflect and contemplate.

There are still so many things that I haven't accomplished, things I still want to do that I haven't. Would it be realistic to know that I can still do them? Feels awfully like I'd be racing against time! The last three decades went by mostly in eat-sleep-work mode, but I did also make my son a priority and I'm glad I did. Does turning 50 and him being a young adult mean now I can prioritise myself?

I want to have a set of goals for the next decade or so, but currently, my mind seems to be all over the place. I feel all kinds of feelings - overwhelmed, anxious, happy, sad, terrified, excited, confused, melancholy, not sure if it's due to me turning 50 or the menopause.

Looking forward is quite frankly daunting. I don't know what lies ahead, and that scares me. But then again nobody knows what the future holds.

The road only goes forward and we can't do anything about it. We can't turn back time. We can't retrace our steps. We just simply cannot stop from going forward.

But we can plan and take still have time to take action for what we want our forward to look like. Though it is daunting not truly knowing what lies ahead, we can strive and hope that it's as good, if not better than what we've left behind.

Is turning 50 the beginning of the end?

Maybe turning 50 has no meaning unless you give it meaning!

What are your thoughts?


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