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50 in 50

In 50 weeks I will be 50 years old.

When I ask my students to predict what will be the best decade of their lives, the vast majority pick their 20s. I try not to scoff too openly, because they only know what they know. But I know I wouldn't want to go back to my 20s, and that my 30s and 40s were both more satisfying in just about every way imaginable. I fully expect my 50s to continue this trend.

I don't see any downside to turning 50. I truly have been looking forward to that nice, round number for a couple of years. Not that it doesn't blow my mind. High school doesn't seem all that long ago, nor does the beginning of my teaching career. But last summer I attended my 30-year class reunion, and I am about to complete my 25th year of teaching, so I know that I am indeed nearing that half-century mark. Still I hang out with 18-year-old students all day, and much of the time, I feel closer to their age than to their parents' age (and these days I am older than many of their parents).

I think watching my three older brothers reach 50 with grace and youthfulness and joy has taken away any sting I might have otherwise associated with the number. Maybe it's just my personal bias, but I don't think any of my brothers look much different than they did fifteen years ago. And if Paul had time to train, I'll bet at age 53 he could still beat most runners at just about any distance.

One thing I really like about milestone birthdays is the extra motivation they seem to bring me. In the next 50 weeks, I am committed to accomplishing several things. First--get healthier. I have been blessed with a body that does not gain weight easily, and so I have been able to maintain a healthy weight and BMI my whole life. But looks can be deceiving. In fact, in some ways, I think my naturally slender figure has given me an excuse to eat poorly. Also I hate to cook. Oh, and, I love hamburgers. But I am paying a nearly silent price for my poor eating: cholesterol that, at times, inches into the dangerous zone. I do not want to get to the place where I need cholesterol medication, so I am determined to eat better and exercise more regularly, with the goal of watching the cholesterol come back down by the time I get it checked next fall. I am hoping the welcome side-effect will be losing 10 pounds, but even if that doesn't happen, I will rejoice at some healthy numbers.

I also have some financial goals. As an avid Dave Ramsey follower, I am enjoying being debt-free, with the exception of my mortgage, and I am really enjoying attacking that mortgage with extra money each month. I have a specific milestone I should reach before my 50th birthday regarding my mortgage balance, and another amount I am aiming for with my savings.

However, I would be willing (happy even) to slow down both of those financial goals in order to make my fourth CD. I am praying for the right timing, the right songs, and the right producer/engineer for my next project.

Finally, before I turn 50, I am going to start writing a book. It is something I have been interested in for years, but this time, mostly because of my brother David, I have a solid plan. I'm sure I'll be revealing more about that in the days and weeks to come.

This is not the lyrical piece my soul was longing to write, but after many drafts, it seems this is what my head can manage. Here's to making the most of the next 50 weeks . . . and the next 50 years!


  1. I love your outlook on life and on your journey to turning 50. I will be looking forward to that next CD and to reading your book!

    1. I have a feeling you might get some earlier views!

  2. Somewhere down the road, as I'm approaching 50, I hope I can demonstrate the same gracious acceptance you seem to embody so effortlessly. Wishing you all the best as you suffer through the last fifty weeks before your most awesome decade begins.

    1. Thank you, my friend. I will do my best to pave the way for you!

  3. What a wonderful self-reflection regarding age. I'm turning twenty in less than a month, and I find myself feeling equally introspective about many of the things you've mentioned above. Mostly it's me pondering what it means to have lived a fifth of my life already. But yes. Round-numbered birthdays certainly do drive one to think!

    1. Thanks for writing about my writing, Laura, dear. Your prompting definitely helped me get on the blogging train again. I'm glad this hit the sweet spot.

  4. I've never seen any age make a person old. The only thing that makes a person old is their spirit deciding to get there. I usually associate age with grumpiness and lack of zest for life, both which you are full of. I would put you at a round age of 25, spiritually :).

    Maybe younger when you are freshly out of the classroom. ;)

    1. Well, maybe not so much the grumpiness. Maybe I should read what I write occasionally. ;) lol

    2. Thank you, my Julia darling. And I knew what you meant! I'll take 25 any day!


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