On Turning a Half a Century Old

Upon turning a half a century old, I have a lot to reflect on. Some good, some bad, but all valuable in its own right. Does life really begin at 50, or is it basically just the beginning of the end?

On turning a half a century old, reflecting on good, bad, and valuable lessons. Does life really begin at 50, or is it just the beginning of the end?

I remember, vividly, the day I turned 25. I was depressed…so depressed. I knew, as the not-so-happily married mom of one almost four-year-old daughter with a “real” job and real bills, that I was no longer a kid anymore as soon as that clock struck midnight. I remember the week leading up to that day, crying regularly, knowing that day was the “beginning of the end” for me. I remember staying up until the clock turned, just to see if I felt different. I totally did. I felt grown, I didn’t feel like I was in a good place, and I was depressed as hell!

That year, my mom helped my then husband and friends in my neighborhood host a party for me. By host, I mean she basically planned and paid for it. She was worried about me. We still call it Suicide Watch 25 because it was THAT BAD in my mind. So bad. I really wanted to be a Toys ‘R Us Kid forever. The party happened, it was fun, and obviously, I didn’t commit suicide (because that would have been just a bit too dramatic, even for me). Life went on.

In fact, life’s gone on for me for an additional 25 years. The ups, the downs, the MANY more kids, the divorces, the marriages, the job changes. I’ve handled them all like an “adult” because that’s what I am and it’s what I’ve been since that day 25 years ago.

So, 25 years later (THE WHAT? I cannot be 50), I’m still trying to figure out this adulting thing. I’m still depressed about it, at times. I still long for that day, the one that lasted for a full 24 hours before that clock struck midnight, 25 years and one day ago.

My husband says I should wear this age with a badge of honor. A lot of people “don’t make it” here (well thanks, babe, that’s depressing). Not many have raised as many kids, have accomplished what I have, still look as good as I do (his rose-colored glasses are so refreshing to me, y’all), and a lot of people still don’t have their shit as together now as I did back then.

Sure, easy for him to say since his badge is 10 years younger than mine. Whatever. Grain of salt, but I love his sentiment and I definitely try to take his words, and sentiment, to heart.

But still, I’m 50 y’all. FIFTY. A half a century. I’ve seen a lot of shit in my life. I’ve seen global walls come down, and global walls go back up (thanks good and bad U.S. admins). I’ve seen my babies be born and grow, I’ve had my heart broken, I’ve seen failing health in family members, and I’ve witnessed the birth of my third generation. Literally, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain, I’ve seen sunny days…OH, you know.

My life’s been a good life. The wait for the rollercoaster always seems long and annoying, but it’s always worth the ride. Sure, I still get as depressed as I did 25 years ago about taking this adulting thing to a new level, but (other than the wrinkles) I don’t think I’d trade any experience (good or bad), any bit of knowledge I’ve obtained, or any nook and cranny of this long, crazy life for anything in the world. I could ditch the heartache (that’s a song for another time), I could ditch the aches and pains that catch up with you from being a tomboy on the playground in elementary school, a cheerleader in the 80’s, the ex-wife of an abusive crackhead, the mom of four kids by c-section and two kids by marriage (step parenting is *super fun*), but I would NOT be the person I am today if I skipped any of those stages in my life.

I’m a pretty freaking awesome person, if I do say so myself.

Do I wish I were a younger me? You bet your ass I do. I was gorgeous back then, but in a way, I’m more gorgeous today (I just have to be a little more inventive when I take selfies for you to see that on the outside). Do I wish my clock weren’t ticking so quickly? We all do. I still have littles to raise, a husband to care for and love, a family that means SO much to me, and work goals I need to accomplish.

Am I ready to give up? Hell no! I’m middle aged in my mind. I watch Good Morning America, people live well into their 100’s. It’s my turn to do this 25 year old depression again, and then again…again.

So, if you see me today, know that I’m fragile. I’m dealing with half a century of emotion…of love, of joy, of experience, and of pain. Understand that I might not be “myself” today, but tomorrow, when that clock strikes midnight again, we’re all cool. Be gentle with my heart. Today, as odd as it as it sounds, I’m feeling 25 again and I’m just trying to figure out where to go from here in this next chapter of my life.

Today, I turn 50, and I’m just not certain how I feel about turning a half a century old, you know?

The Kindest Soul I Know Turns 8 Today

When you’re graced with true greatness and beauty in your life, you learn to appreciate everything around you. The kindest soul I know turns 8 today, and I’m happy and sad, all at the same time.

the kindest soul I know turns 8 today

Some things in life are very complex. Some things are not. I deal with complex issues every day, but the minute I pick my Bubby up from school, my life gets easier, happier, healthier again. He completes me, as weird as that sounds, and I think the feeling is mutual. Today, this little man, the kindest soul I know, turns 8.

EIGHT.

My BABY turns EIGHT today. How can this be possible?

He was born yesterday, right? You all remember it like it was yesterday too, don’t you?

the kindest soul i know turns 8 today

He makes me laugh (constantly), he makes me cry (yes, sometimes he’s a butt too), but he completes my world and I don’t know what I’d do without him. My Bubby.

He’s my baby, he’s the forth chamber of my heart, and he’s so excited that he turns eight tomorrow. Me? I’m ready to turn back the hands of time and hold him in my arms and have him need me for absolutely everything. That will never happen again. He’s the last of the lineage, and I couldn’t be more proud of the little man he’s becoming. He’s smart, funny, independent, and amazing! Everyone loves Bubby, as they should!

Today, the kindest soul I know turns 8! Celebrate with us, wish him a happy birthday if you see him, but remember to be kind to me because my baby is growing up and I’m just not ready for this. He reminded me that in just two years, he’ll be ten.

What’s next? Ten years after that, he’ll be 20. It all happens in the blink of an eye. I know from experience. I relish every moment I have with this little man, with all of my children, and I mourn the days gone by because I’m afraid I didn’t relish each moment enough.

Don’t blink!

Happy birthday, little man, Z-bub, you are the light of my life. I love all of you just the same, swear I do, but you are my last. Can you just stay little just a little bit longer, please and thank you?

A Family Beach Day, A Day in Photos

A family beach day is so cleansing to the soul. Sometimes, words aren’t necessary when the photos tell their own story. This is one of those occasions, and I’ll enjoy this photo journal for years to come! Random thoughts from a mom after a day at the beach.

family beach day

Sometimes, just letting them enjoy each other’s space is enough.

family beach day

And most of the time, just letting them be them…well, it’s enjoyable for both of you. I dig his style!

family beach dat

Bubbles! What’s a beach day without bubbles? What’s any good day without bubbles, actually?

beach family day

A day without bubbles is like a day without a beach ninja. I mean, it’s not even really a day, is it?

family beach day

The only sad part of the day is when you look through the lens and realize they might be growing up too fast. It all goes by too fast. Until…

family beach day

You realize that one of them is looking back at you, from inside of a sand hole, enjoying life like only a small child can, and you realize that there are still many years of joy, and frustration, to come. Be still my heart!

b burying kylee edit

And then there’s this. THIS is the beginning of a memory in the making, with a man that you adore making memories with.

beach family

It ended way worse than this, of course, but I was too busy unburying my baby (face and all) to get a photo. Sometimes, like this time, it’s not OK to just sit back and be the spectator…because…buried alive?!?!

beach family

And just when you realize you’re absent from your own online album, all of your family photos, you see that you were there all along. In their reflection. Capturing every moment. While they looked adoringly at you, and you realize you’re doing exactly what you were meant to do all along. Take care of them, love them, enjoy the moment, and capture the memories in their reflection while they reflect on the love that you give them.

In the end, that’s all that matters. The memories, their love, capturing their beauty. When you realize you’re doing what you love…while you’re watching the ones you love the most…enjoy themselves? That’s when you know you’ve made it. That’s when you know your life, your world is complete. That’s the moment you realize you’re living the life you intended, the life you’ve always wanted to live. That’s when you know love.

I know all of these things, and I’m glad my camera reminds me daily. I’ve made it. I’m happy to be in their reflections. I’m just happy. Not everyone achieves that level of success in life. I’m content that I’ve found my success from within my own little world.

Are you?