50 and Free

Fifty is a four-lettered word: FREE

I turned 50 in 2005. I was excited. I had lived well so far and was expecting to live just as well in the future. I had already outlived my parents who died at 42 and 47 respectively. I had out lived some of my friends. Friends who left this earth rather unexpectedly and some who you just knew were not going to get past 25. I even had a friend get killed at the age of 16. He was a Black Panther recruit. So was I. All in all, I had no complaints.

For my fiftieth birthday, I took myself to Red Lobster and got my usual lobster fest special. In case you have never had it. It is a grilled lobster tail (2) with rice, vegetable medley and your choice of any side and style of potato. It generally runs about $22.99. Oh, well! I'm worth it. This was a treat I gave myself for many years, since I was forty. I usually went with my friend, Cyndy, who usually treated me to this special occasion. In fact, she had called to schedule a date. I didn’t want to wait. So I went on my special day.

At that time, I was single and living in a Missionary Home in Cincinnati, Ohio. This particular home had been my dwelling place for nearly a year. I liked living there. It was quiet most of the time. It was ninety-five percent women, few children and even fewer men. So I was good to go. I was teaching at a community school at the time. A school I had helped developed. The ninth through twelfth grade students were not only joyful to work with, but I enjoyed teaching them. I taught English, History and Health Sciences. When we had history classes, I was always excited to tell them about my many travels. And, they always enjoyed them. This was a very fruitful year for me.

Five years prior, I had gone to Africa for the first time. A year later, I had traveled to Paris, France. In 2006, I was scheduled to go to Germany for the second time.

Being fifty for me was not a curse, but a blessing. My life had become quite full. I enjoyed it. I looked forward to everyday. I was doing what I loved; teaching, and traveling. There were no commitments to another person, like a husband or child because those were part of my past. Today, I was free. Some people would think that I should have been lonely. Oh, no! This was really the time of my life. I was enjoying the ride. I did not want it to stop.

As a counselor for many years, I was now free from some of the pains of counseling. As a teacher for many years, I was now free from the unrealistic expectations of teaching. As a minister of the Gospel, I was not free from teaching others about Jesus Chris, but I had more flexibility in doing it.

For me, being fifty was a sign of freedom. I was 50 and free. The world was my oyster. I was in seven heavens. I was truly free. I had accomplished much of what I had wanted to accomplish and was still ticking. I didn’t have any major diseases. I was healthy. I was blessed. Little did I know, in two years that would change? But for now, I had no worries; no fears. Fifty for me was free with a big F. And I was going to enjoy it to the fullness.

What did you do when you turned 50? Send me an e-mail at scmcqueen@yahoo.com.

© 2011 Sherri@NBIM


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