Health and Wellbeing

On Turning 50: Into the Next Frontier

This is the post I’ve dreaded writing for about 6 months now.  I’m not sure why the thought of turning 50 has been so hard, but it is.

Most birthdays are like “Meh, lets do dinner and get a Cold Stone Cake.  Bag the presents, or get me a scented candle”.  No different than any other day.  But, not this one.  It’s a half century on the planet with likely more than half my life over.

Sobering thought indeed.  I’m not going very gently into that good night.

But like it or not, on November 21, 2016…I…am…turning…50.  There, I said it.

The 40s have been a trying decade in many ways and one I should be excited to be rid of.  But I’m not…I’m just not ready to be 50.  Never, Never Land and the Fountain of Youth have got to exist!

I’m forcing myself to write through the melancholy denial I seem to be wallowing in.  Maybe it’s therapy while passing through the Fall of life into Winter?  One can only hope.  A mid-life crisis may be the real deal.

Swans and Snow in Alaska

Middle Age Temper Tantrum: 50 is the new 40

No it’s not!  Whoever said that must have had a gas leak in the house.  At 40, I had a 6 month old baby and 5 kids living under the roof.  Rio the dog was a puppy.  And, I was teaching skiing, living in Teton Valley, Idaho.

At 50, I’m living in Alaska, have 2 kids left at home, an old dog with diabetes whose going blind, and an older body showing wear and tear from the abuse of youth.

And are you kidding me with the hormones?  I have never chucked bed covers and shed clothes so fast in my life!  (I hope I’m burning extra calories during these hot flashes!)  Plus, dang on the mood swings.  It’s worse than adolescence!

Gray hair?  Yup.  Wrinkles? Uh huh.  Reading glasses?  Of course!  Acting like a big baby?  Apparently.

It’s my party and I’ll whine if I want to.

Won’t change anything, I’m leaving 49 and turning 50.  But let’s get this straight: 50 is nothing like 40!

Winter Bridge in Alaska-turning 50

The Real Reason Turning 50 Bothers Me

Turning 50 has forced me to reflect on life.  There’s so many wonderful memories of every stage and age I’ve passed through.  I cherish the time I have spent with all my family.  And, relish the adventures while celebrating a big life and love of the outdoors.

Overall, it truly has been a wonderful life.

But, there are regrets.  It’s the “what if” or “I should have” or “I wish” that creeps in to taint the water as you ride the tide through middle age.  There are things I would go back and change.  However, it can’t be done…and that’s what hurts the most.

I miss my younger years.  I wish all of my kids could be here, tucked under one roof so I could see them every day. What if my parents were still my age, and I had 30 plus years still to look forward to with them.  I should have appreciated all of this more when I was living through it and made a few better choices.

That’s the mystery of 50…the most important part of what I had to do in my life may be said and done.  And I can’t change any of it.  I’m grieving, in a sense, for an era now passed on, and  I hope I didn’t waste the time.

Into the Last Frontier, ice on pond

Into the Next Frontier

There’s a reason I titled my blog “Into the Last Frontier”.  It’s not only because I live in Alaska, but because I knew this day was coming fast.  Turning 50 means I’m heading into my “Last Frontier”.

There’s still time.  How much, I don’t know.  What I choose to do with it is as fresh a start as birth I suppose.

On the upside, I can apply lessons learned, love those around me, and serve family, friends, church and community. I’m still a wife and mother raising kids at home. And trust me, kids never really leave.  Just look at our bank account and AT&T bill!

Life projects abound!  There’s a log cabin to plan and build, more kick a$$ adventures, and writing this little legacy of a website/journal for my kids.  I’m feeling a little better and inspired already!

Most importantly on this journey into the next frontier, I can forgive myself for mistakes, learn from them, and leave the past behind.  Harder said than done.  But, I don’t generally back down from a challenge.

Time is marching on.  It’s happening, no stopping now.  Turning 50?  Let’s do this….

COMMENTS
  • November 22, 2016
    Richard Rowland

    Janet,

    You are beautiful inside and out! I really love your insight on life. I wish I could express myself in words the way you do. You are so inspiring!!

    Love, Rich

    • November 24, 2016
      Janet Bowman

      Thanks Rich. I love putting words to pictures 🙂

  • March 06, 2017
    Angie

    I’m turning 50 in May and feel like I’m being dragged there. Eventually, I hope my attitude about this next phase of life changes for the better, just like your attitude has. Cheers to the next 50 years!

    • March 15, 2017
      Janet Bowman

      I definitely took a while to come to grips with it! But, life goes on with good things to look forward to. Indeed, here’s to another 50 years!

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