Redefined at 50
Let me quote in part Jules Feiffer, "At sixteen I was stupid, confused and indecisive. At twenty-five I was wise, self-confident, prepossessing and assertive. At forty-five I am stupid, confused, insecure and indecisive... "
Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. ~Samuel Ullman
Vanity passed on
Mama was vain. For someone who had seven kids, who ran a home like she ran a company, and had time to direct a church choir, she was by all standard, quite amazing. With my own eyes, i saw my mom age well, and with much grace. She never seemed worried about adding another year, she always had the answer to defying age, like some health drink, a new creme, and so on. When i say she was vain, i mean she took especial care of herself from head to toe, compared to many women peers. She had a beauty regimen, and she was consistent. It was through her that i learned, beauty was not just a physical thing, but a lot more about attitude.
For some reason, I never liked the 80's TV sitcom "Golden Girls", not even when i turned 50. As popular as it were, I could not relate, nor appreciate four grey haired, previously married women, who shared apartment, act 'cool', and made fun of the many oddities of being oldies. I thought the show tried very hard to make light of the 'pains' of being over the hill.
I didn't know how vain i was until i experienced the dread of turning 30. I was in horror, but couldn't tell anyone about how i felt. That in itself was a frightening idea, to share my fear. But, as many women who have transitioned like me know, you survive crossing over, and realize, life goes on. And if you're fortunate, no new wrinkles that showed up, there are no creaks in your body when you get up from bed, and you're still 'hot' based on how your partner's treating you!
But, at 49, i thought...this is it! Middle-age? No, no, no! Get away from me! You can go ahead and surmise why i felt this way. Anyway, i didn't let anyone onto me, how depressed and horrified i was. I really thought my life was over, and that i was going to just fade away into nothingness. I didn't have a clue what to do with myself, and whatever i imagined to do, i didn't like what i saw. But one 90 year old lady would change all that. I was fortunate enough to watch the mother of my brother in law play piano in one of her solo concerts. I still remember vividly, watching her fragile figure, slightly stooped back, wearing a lovely long gown, her hair well coiffed, a crown of beautiful grey (never been dyed), and with arthritic fingers play skillfully, from memory, classic from music piece after piece, applauded profusely by an adoring audience. As she played, i couldn't help but think that i was wasting away the one and only life God had given me. But there she was, like a heaven sent gift, bringing a powerful game changing message just for me . I was completely knocked off my socks that night, i left that concert hall deeply reflective, and wonderfully inspired. Rebuked as well.
This is my 50th hub, and by way of celebrating this milestone, i'm indulging and sharing my journey about the time when i turned 50, or 'golden girl'. 50 is a good number, not that i'm into numerology. But, a milestone is a milestone, and when i hit that age, it was a critical time in my life. It was the year i found my redefinition, and in writing my 50th hub, who know's if there is a new defining that's about to happen again. Will i be writing more hubs, or publishing a dream photo book? Who knows.
But before i go ahead of myself, i do want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the HubPages community for welcoming me 7 months ago, and allowing me to write (and challenge my skills) and connect with many wonderful writers, some who i have come to endear. Muchos gracias! Gratis! Mahalo! Salamat!
"You're only as young as the last time you changed your mind", and when i turned fifty that's exactly what i did. I retired from my corporate life of 15 years. After putting in years of so much hard work, running corporations, i had completely burned out. I quit in order to save myself. I didn't like that i had become so much like a robotic machine and serving someone's else's vision, opposed to my soul and essence. This artificial makeover had taken it's toll on me, psychologically, physically and even socially. When your family and dear friends tell you, time and time again, 'you have no time for us', they hurt and they mean it. If you hear yourself saying 'I'm too busy" much too often, then you are likely missing out on what is truly most important in your being in this planet. Like i did. This is just one of the many lessons i learned from my unholy pursuit in our material world. People are more important than things.
To celebrate my 50th birthday, i actually threw a once in a lifetime party by inviting friends and family to personally thank them for the priceless community they have afforded me. I made special mention of those who, knowingly and unknowingly, were the bridges that kept me sane, alive and strong, for the long haul. That night, I even wore a mustard yellow outfit to make a bold statement of my maturing.
Aging can be a cruel thing, if you let it. I find that many of the young tend to look down at our so called 'age group' as inutile and irrelevant. I used to be intimidated by technology, like many of my baby boomer friends. But, unlike them, i not raring to 'age' sooner than i should. I have too much of a curiosity about the world i am still breathing in, and i want to continue to be part of the great big and exciting technological 'wiring'. I know my passion, that's why I went back to school and took a Computer course. I was the oldest student around, would you believe? But, i didn't care. I have to say, it's the best thing i ever did. It's unbelievable what a little machine and the techno highway will open to anybody, including a 'grama' like me. Now, I am back in the map, and have recaptured my lost dream to be a photo journalist. The negative voices that used to taunt me and say 'i can't do it' has, so far as i know, have been silenced. Or, even if they are still around, i'm much too happily engrossed to listen