My Blogging Debut

Posted on July 30, 2007. Filed under: Turning 50 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yep, I’m starting an entirely new and strangely scary process. I’m going to be a blogger! As with many baby boomers over fifty, the very thought of writing an Internet diary is a totally foreign concept. Although I enjoy writing stories, an ongoing confessional for all to see is a bit much. Nevertheless, I strongly advocate that my clients take appropriate risks and I’m growing the writing side of my career, so here goes…

I was one of those women who dreaded turning fifty. For months prior to that intimidating birthday, I was busy girding my loins for the formidable assault to my vanity and pride. There was absolutely no way I could kid myself and claim to be “forever young” any longer. I was, to say the very least, upset.

But, destiny has a way of taking its own course and fate stepped into my life big time. In truth, my fiftieth birthday was totally different from anything I could have imagined. As I had wanted to ignore the date, I hadn’t planned any celebrations. That turned out to be a good thing because I was totally occupied with other matters.

My mother, who had been ill for many years, died three days before my birthday. So, rather than blowing out candles, I was planning her funeral. Actually, the timing was somewhat comforting. Both events, huge in my life, coincided in a way that seemed to soften the blow of each.

Although I missed her terribly, my mother had been so sick that I was relieved she was no longer in pain. And, I didn’t give any thoughts to my wrinkles, my growing waistline, or any other worrisome cares that this particular birthday engenders.

Many years have passed since that day. (I’m not going to tell you how many—at least not in my first blog!) And, I have come to treasure my fifties. Yes, I’ve suffered through some significant and painful losses but I’ve also experienced great joy and celebration. I truly feel that I’ve come into myself and am more confident and self-possessed than ever before. I like being an ornery old broad and I’m stretching myself, taking on risks, and speaking my truth. In fact, I’m enjoying the prime of my life in deeply satisfying ways I could never have known as a younger woman.

But, I’m interested in your stories of marking your half-century birthdays and beyond. Did you celebrate like there was no tomorrow? Did you reflect upon the past and your lost youth? Do you feel like you have grown and changed significantly since your younger years?

Please share your experiences and express your thoughts on the matter of all things aging. Tell us a bit about yourself and the challenges and joys you’ve known living on the feisty side of fifty.


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10 Responses to “My Blogging Debut”

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When I turned 50, almost 10 years ago, I knew it was a significant milestone. I had other wonderful Boomer role models to follow, so I knew I would mark the passage in a significant way. The book, Getting Over Getting Older, by L. Pogrebin, really helped me see it as a beginning, not an end. I decided to create a ritual and invite several of my women friends to participate. It involed readings, rituals with stone and fire (there’s a funny story that goes along with the fire) and then we all had a delcious lunch and opened a few presents. A circle of women always helps, no matter what.

I now face my 60th birthday! It seems impossible that 10 years have passed. Yet, those 10 years have been some of the best of my life with work, travel and family (daughter just got married) I have decided to celebrate myself with a big Hornblower Yacht party, with roasts, toasts, dancing and to die for views of SF Bay. I have a killer dress and am ready to have the time of my life. Years count, but the Number does not! I’ll let you know how it went.

I am an obsessive quote collector. In 1997 (when I was 53) I read this quote from columnist Ellen Goodman in the Columbus Dispatch: “At fifty something you have to build the rest of the life you don’t want to regret not living.”

That about sums it up.

Love that quote Betty.This is the year that I
turned 50. It also is the year that many of my
friends are turning 50. I have had 3 of my 4
children move out this year and it feels like
there might finally be space for me. I think
this decade might be my best yet.

Thank God I found this site! I’m fifty one and
can’t believe it, how did this happen? I’m bored
and embarressed to say it. I have a career I love
a husband I love, and yet I say, “is this all there is?”
I guess it is

Welcome! I used to write my mother every week, but now she is gone. So now I write a blog as if to her, but also to other friends and family. It is really fun when you add photos. Enjoy!

What did we ever do with all of these thoughts before blogs? Like your experience, my 50th birthday (8/8/07) coincided with a big event in my parents’ lives: A few days before the big day, my father’s caretaker announced that she was taking a three-week vacation and that I would have to come and live with him, caring for his needs 24/7–AND that when she returned, she hoped he’d be in a nursing home!

In a surreal turn of events, my childhood home which had languished on the real estate market for two years, suddenly SOLD, and when I wasn’t helping Dad, I was fielding anguished phone calls from my mother, helping her pack, host a huge estate sale… and driving my 19-year-old son to freshman orientation at college.

I entered 50 dealing with empty nest syndrome, Medicaid paperwork for Dad’s imminent admission to a nursing home, in complete overwhelm and the only thing that’s gotten me through it has been my blog.

Somehow, getting my feelings down on paper wasn’t enough. I needed to start a conversation about everything that was happening to me. It wasn’t just the stress (which was world-class). I wanted to talk about the disappointment–wasn’t 50 the year I’d promised myself to return to Paris? Wasn’t this the year I was going to dedicate myself to the fitness and health protocol I was designing? Wasn’t I goign to EVER finsih my book?

Anyway, thanks for opening this dialogue–I hope you’ll check out my site, too.

My oldest daughter has been blogging and absolutely loves it.. she talks about it all the time and I must admist she is quite the little writer!! But then why should I be surprised she used to write the cutest poems when she was in grammar school…. Anyway, I decided to give it a try myself.. I just turned “55”…. (still trying to get used to that)!! I sometimes have days though when my body is constantly reminding me with the aches and pains!! ugh :

Your post touched me. When I turned fifty last year one of the things that weighed upon me, was not so much my age, but the fact that if I was getting closer to my mortality, so was my mother.

I found myself becoming increasingly more emotional as I thought of her and frankly, have a hard time now wrapping my mind around not having her available for me whenever I want to pick up the phone.

Though fifty didn’t bother me so much in terms of looking at wrinkles, sagging skin, etc., it did remind me that the time I have left on this earth is numbered and that I should value the relationships I have.

I really love your website Eileen. It’s very inspriational and well written. Keep it up!

I started blogging last year, but I really got into it starting in October with the launch of my website, I do retro inspired contemporary art and wanted to include pop culture anecdotes and articles about my baby boomer past of the 50s-70s. Then I really got into it with my other obsessions and now I have 8 blogs!
I think I’ve put my entire life on the internet, lol.

In three months I will turn 50. My life is good yet what is it about turning 50 that some of us look around and say “is this all there is?”

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