The Delights of the Over-50 Birthday

1093393_birthday_cakeHer birthdays were always important to her; for being a born lover of life, she would always keep the day of her entrance into it as a very great festival indeed.  Elizabeth Goudge

Like a five-year old girl, I can’t wait to celebrate my birthday each year!

For the first 50 years, I let others be in charge of my birthday.  My Mom threw me a party every year…the most memorable being the surprise 16th.  Once Tom came on the scene, he designed wonderful outings and gifts.  Since my birthday falls on the first day of summer and the longest day of the year he had a lot to work with for fun options.

Then came 50.

I loved turning 50 – Really!  .  Finally I was grown up enough to own my essential-ness and eccentricities and enlarge my voice.  Judgments and opinions of others just didn’t matter as much.  After all, I was 50 years old and that earned me a podium.

It was time to take back my birthday.  Growing older comes with depth of wisdom, experience, the ability to sort out the majors from the minors, and a deep appreciation for the exquisite details of day-to-day life.    Each year brings more truth, more clarity, and more authenticity. I wanted to celebrate it all.

So on the day of my birthday I usually take the day off and engage in a lot of personal reflection, savor the opening of any cards or gifts I might have received and go to a favorite place or two until time to party with my family in the evening.

Opening CeremoniesFamily Celebration 2 years ago with my son, Gabriel

For this season of my life, birthday week also includes lunches and dinners and backyard parties, mostly with other over-50 year old women.  We toast and sing and celebrate together another year of our tapestry of friendships that includes rich colorful fibers, uneven patterns, and stains from the spills of life. It grows more beautiful each year.

I try to stretch it as long as I can.

The Great Thing About Getting Older is that You Don’t Lose All the Other Ages You’ve Been.  Madeleine L’Engle

Hope for the Best,

Tish

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