In December Dear Abby got a letter from a woman determined to ignore the fact that, in 2010, she would be turning The Big 50.
"I'm not interested in acknowledging my age. In fact, thinking about it throws me into a panic..."
Her daughter wants to throw her a party, and she is desperately trying to convince her she won't attend.
Abby assumes the woman plans to acknowledge the Big Day in her own way by planning a get-away, and leaving town, and not burrowing into the closet, and hiding, and so tells her to think positive thoughts like "50 is the new 30" to overcome her panic attacks.
In her Feb. 9 Column Abby's readers set her, and the worrywart, straight.
"Holding" "needs to grow up and learn to celebrate life instead of hiding from the fact that she's growing older. She is aging because she's alive -- and what a blessing that is...."
"Life's milestones warrant a party. Those who don't want to celebrate life and the birthdays that come with it should consider the alternative."
"Sorry, 50 is NOT the new 30. Fifty is 50!"
"I hope she won't continue sitting on the sidelines of life."
"my sister told me that, for her, turning 50 was an exceptionally freeing experience."
"why be depressed over something you can't control? When I turned 50, I decided I could either be depressed, and drink myself silly, or celebrate the milestone.
I declared to my family, friends and co-workers that it was my year and my goal was to do 50 things I had never done before -- or hadn't done in a long time."
I will turn 50 on March 5th.
I won't know, until a week before, what my work schedule will be that week, but one thing I'm reasonably sure of is that since the 5th is a Friday it won't be a day off.
Would I like to have a party?
I have not had a birthday party in years, so wouldn't know how to handle the festivities. ;-D
I've always found a way to mark the occasion, however, and this year won't be any different.
My parents are long dead, one sister seemingly wants nothing to do with her siblings, and the other sister is so busy working, and raising a family with her husband, that I only hear from her, and see her, when it's time for her little kids birthdays, or a major holiday shindig, where friends, and family get together to partake of her wonderful cooking skills inherited from our Mother (I AM SOOO THERE on those days! The Sis is finally gonna send me the 2 recipes from Xmas so this bachelor can try his hands at them.). ;-D
My life is so much better than it was 12 years ago, yet I find myself worrying about the future during these tough times.
I'm torn between looking back at the 1st 49 years, and lamenting so many lost opportunities (From 1984 to 2001 I worked a low paying job in a bookstore, the last 11 as a Manager), and so much aloneness....and then looking back at the last dozen years, and all the friendships, and positive activities, and changes in my life, and my struggling efforts to expand on those positives, and changes.
I hope, and plan, to live to a hundred, at least, but who knows, so I have to think positive, and continue to move forward.
I have a 401K, but have not been able to save money in a seperate savings account.
I have a little bit of credit that I don't add to, prefering to pay it off as fast as I can.
I have barely had a Social Life in my 49 years, my last, and only, girl friend being when I was a year old. ;-D
What few friends I have are a wonderful, diverse, supportive, trio I've corresponded with almost daily for nearly a decade, and a handful of fellow bloggers, and others, across the country, and around the world, that I've known for the last few years, also via the internet.
I don't drive a car, and don't go to parties, clubs, or pick-up bars.
Not my things, though finding a nice cafe to hang out in from time to time, has been something I've thought of trying as a place to read, and do some writing, while eating a meal. ;-D
In the last decade I've somehow occasionally found other ways to get out of the house, and be active, from hiking, and biking, to movies, concerts, museums, zoos, fairs, conventions, genealogy research, 4 day trips to Phoenix, & Chicago, and 2 weeks in Va. & DC.
I've learned to use a Computer, and discovered the Internet, re-discovering a long dormant writing talent along the way.
So what does the future hold?
I don't have the time, knowledge, or resources, to do with my 3 blogs, and my writing skills, in general, what others I admire have been able to do, it seems, yet I keep plugging along, quoted in a book, interviewed by a neighborhood paper, appearing at a couple of speaking engagements when invited to speak on cycling, attending a Film Premier when invited, spending 2 years blogging about a local Symphony Orchestra, and more recently learning to use a Flip Camcorder, and posting on YouTube, and then starting a Cat Blog, the 1st month of which has surprised me with its popularity, compared to the starting YEAR of each of my other blogs, especially because my small traffic has been from people not visiting thanks to Google Searches, but learning about it in other ways due to some self-promotion (Maybe I should have given Nikita his own place, years ago, instead of sharing for 7 years!). ;-D
I got an e-mail, the other day, from a man who has recently begun a Cycling related Podcast, and wonders if I'd like to be interviewed.
I have not decided, yet.
I continue to write poems, and humor, and share my interest in photography, as well.
Where all this will lead I haven't a clue. ;-D
I will mark 6 years on my current job, this summer, yet I do not know if I will still have that job by then because the Union is negotiating a new contract, since the old one ends at the end of March, and the company has closed one office recently, and is considering closing more later in the year sometime.
When I moved into my current apartment, in 2004, my rent was just over $700, and now it is $952, a developement that plays hell with my ability to save even though I now make over $33,800 a year.
I could look for a cheaper apartment, but probably not find one as nice, or roomy (Not to mention Cat Friendly!), yet with my job uncertainty I can't help but think I'm better off staying put, where I'm at, for the time being.
This is California, and California is seriously F-ed Up! ;-D
The uncertainty of the rest of the year has made it hard for me to know how best to proceed, or to know what the future will hold.
I could do like "Holding", and freak out in terror at the mere thought of turning 50, and wondering what the hell am I going to do with the rest of my supposedly miserable life...
Or I can continue to plug along as best I know how, enjoying the good things in my life (My Cat, my Blogs, my Library of America Book Collection, my DVD Collection of old TV Series, and my cycling, among my few pleasures in life.) maybe developing the skills, and knowledge, to take advantage of any opportunity that could conceivably come my way, even being fortunate to finally meet the "Woman of My Dreams", and raising a family (This last seems pretty farfetched, I know, even to me.). ;-D
2 friends tell me to enjoy myself whatever I do to mark The Big 50, and another says "No matter who is, or isn't, participating in celebrations. ..treat yourself well, and be happy."
I count myself lucky, and blessed, to be reaching 50.
I am reasonably healthy, despite a slight weight problem, and working.
At 50 my Father was in a mental hospital, and I was 13, with 2 much younger sisters.
At 50 my Mother was struggling to raise 3 children alone, on Social Security Disability Checks, and Food Stamps, and I was a 19 yr. old college kid.
My 1st 11 day vacation of the year is in late March, and other than a planned day down in San Diego, at a convention, where I will meet a friend in Cycling for the first time in person, who has a promised case of Native New Zealand Beer for me, I have no other plans as of yet. ;-D
Since I have no clue what my work shedule will be, early in the month, I will most likely do anything special during my vacation time (March 19 to 29), unless something else comes up.
I HAVE thought of something special, and funny, for my Birthday Day Blog Post, and took the photos for it this evening. ;-D
Nikita Cat has his birthday on the same day as MY birthday, even though the only thing we know for sure is that he WAS born in March, and I saw something today that I'd like to get him to mark his 12th birthday (That's over 70 in human years, and he's quite spry for a Senior Catizen!), but we shall see.
If you are still with me, dear reader, after all that, then I thank you for your interest, and support.
I'm 49, and Waiting...
Waiting for the next 23 days to go by, already, so that I can stare the dawn of my 50th year in the face, and boldly declare...
Bring it on!!! ;-D