When JT was born, I remember thinking that when he graduated from high school, I would be 50 years old. Those notions — an 18 year old son; a 50 year old me — both seemed so far off in my future. But life has a way of passing time much more quickly than you expect and the cosmos certainly has a sense of humor when it comes to middle age, where the years don’t just pass quickly, they fly by. So here I am with 50 in my sights.
Today is my 48th birthday. Earlier this week, in a conversation with my 7th graders I revealed my age and student A said, “adults don’t tell their age…..you shouldn’t do that,” and I laughed and said some adults keep that information private but that I don’t think it matters. Being 48 gives me the confidence to make my own rules.
That is my wisdom about the world: I’m finally getting to a good sense of what matters to me. 48 brings wrinkles and grey hair; it brings sore knees and crummy eyesight. But it also brings self-awareness and the ability to laugh a little more often; it brings knowledge about which problems are real and which ones are just really annoying. 48 seems to come with a reminder to stop live in the moment.
I sometimes joke that if I had this knowledge when I was 12 I would have enjoyed the 7th grade a hell of a lot more. Instead, I try to give my 7th graders and my 15 year old son a little perspective, aware that their journey is theirs to travel. I embrace my many blessings in life and say “yes” as often as I can. And I look in the mirror and marvel that I’m a grown up.
5-0, here I come.