And just like that, I’m 50. Ok, please don’t read this wrong, it didn’t happen “just like that”. Five full decades of growing and evolving was involved, tears of joy and sorrow as well as a rainbow of emotions encountered at each turn.
But at the end of it all, I’m content and happy where I am.
A lot was planned but did not go as planned. COVID-19 forced us to rethink our plans, our priorities, our daily lives. What was once taken for granted has now become very precious. Each healthy day is a blessing, a new way to live life. Well, sometimes it is frustrating also.
Like everyone else, I was showered with loads of advice, lots of do this, try that, it’s only one life, time to check off items on your bucket list. And like everyone else, I also made plans to do something radical, something outside of my comfort zone, something I always wanted to, but never got around to doing.
Man proposes, God (in this case, a virus) disposes. The reality was a far cry from what I thought a middle age milestone celebration would be like. In keeping with the times, yours truly zoomed in and out of video calls all day and was showered with loads of love, albeit virtual. Towards the end of the day, I started feeling this was the best way to celebrate, more because I ended up eating every slice of cake I cut. No sharing worked for me just fine.
Amidst all this fanfare and some panic on seeing the number 50, is also the fact that somewhere I decided to take a good look at life so far and try to charter a modified flight plan for life going forward. After all, the oft repeated YOLO has to be honored.
So, here I am, doing a factory reset of life. Taking a small step back, detaching myself from the daily grind and thinking of what, going forward, is most important. Not surprising, what stands out head and shoulders above all else are health and happiness. No amount of money can buy either, we have to find them for ourselves and hold onto it.
Going forward, I plan on practicing self love and pledge allegiance to self to take care of my happiness, not at the cost of others, but with others. Nurture the friendships, old and new, which have stood the test of time. Take time to smell the roses enroute, pause to savor life’s experiences thus far, make new memories at each step. Be a little selfish, be a little more healthy, be a lot more wise.
Very soon, I will find myself sitting on a sun-drenched porch, thinking back to this time in life and reflecting on all the years gone by. Slowly I will check off all the friendships I hold dear, all the relationships I have nurtured in life and have been blessed with. And then I plan on walking back indoors, get dressed to party the night out with the crazies on my list. After all, YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE.