Half a Century

Written by Tracey Welsh

I take a deep breath each time I think about it…turning 50. I started the year touting that I was turning 50, and going to embrace it, all while humming my mantra from the Pink song — “Well, so what, I’m still a rock star.” Not a big deal that I’m turning 50 before my younger husband. Well, as the half-century milestone birthday is now here — I’m not so bold and boastful. My mind is spinning in reflection — has it really been 50 years?

I have a 21 year old daughter, and as I look at her, I wonder where did my physical youth go? It seems like I was robbed of that youthful body far too long ago. Then I scold myself that fitness wasn’t a priority that I fit into the last 29 years and list the excuses of pregnancies, surgeries, weight gain, yo-yo dieting and my “food as my comfort phases” all while balancing motherhood, career, wife, etc. Well, I will never regain my 21 year old physical youth — but I know that I don’t have to give up on it entirely either, as I see shining examples amongst the Red Mountain team, who inspire me and show me that physical age is what you are willing to put into it.

Mentally am I fifty years old? Well, I just might have to own that one too. I’ve found and earned my happy place in my marriage and my community. I’ve said goodbye to a parent, two children and a few other loved ones and dear friends, so my mortality is well-understood. I enjoy that I’m not as emotionally reactive, as my life experiences have already shown me a great deal. It hasn’t all been pretty, and I haven’t always made the right choices — but I own them, and they have made me the 50 year old I am today. And I’m ready for what the next years may or may not bring. I can certainly say that I have felt a big shift in my personal priorities, and it brings great comfort. In that way, 50 is a sigh of relief!

A young 50 or an old 50, I’m not really sure it matters. I’m just 50 and glad to be here. Not sure I’m ready for the label "senior," but if it means a discount, I’ll take it.

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