Fifty Shades of Gray


Today I am FIFTY. How did this happen? I still don’t feel like I’ve got a handle on this thing called life. I get it wrong more often than I get it right, and there’s so much I still need to see & do. I’m most likely more than halfway through my lifespan — what a humbling thought.

At this point, I figure I can do one of two things: either accept that I’m old and use it as an excuse for not trying harder/doing more/taking risks/being bold. OR, I can see it as a challenge and push to be the youngest, freest, happiest version of myself that I can possibly be.

In retrospect, my forties were about lessons learned. They showed me time and again the fleeting nature of contentment and security. I rang in the decade just as Jim’s employer declared bankruptcy – stranding us in a foreign country during a huge economic downturn, with no choice but to drain our savings and start over again. I should have taken it as an omen. In my mid-forties, Ryan died. After that, I hid from the world… a feral creature given to eating & sleeping too much and shunning the world at large.

There were still plenty of moments of happiness, but it always felt elusive and transient.

Well, fuck that.

No. More.

If my forties were about harsh truths and letting go, then let my fifties be about self-discovery and embracing life. I’ll do what I can to make this happen. Life, of course, will throw curveballs; that’s what it does. I can’t begin to imagine the crazy shit that will happen, but I can preemptively work on managing my response to it.

Starting today.

So, happy birthday to me!  I will no longer take for granted a single second. I will be happier, healthier, and more appreciative of the things that matter most.


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