I celebrated my birthday this week — surrounded by family and good friends. While others might feel daunted by turning fifty-five, or “the double nickel” or “speed limit” birthday, I am good. Really . So why do I welcome each birthday (still), when other people…well not so much?
When I turned fifty, my daughter and I started creating rhyming tag lines for each of my birthdays. ”Nifty at fifty.” ”Fifty-one and still having lots of fun.” ”Fifty-four and ready for so much more.” We haven’t found one we really like for 55. We’ll continue to look for the tag line that best matches how I feel. Happy. Proud. Wise. Blessed. Excited. Confident. Experienced. Accomplished. Open to learning and discovering. Delighted by new experiences and new people. I’m less tolerant of fools and and have no patience for small-minded people. I am absolutely certain of my values and beliefs, but recognize that my perspective will continue to evolve.
While I still tend to describe myself as middle-aged, that’s probably no longer true because I’m not really sure I’ll be celebrating my 110th birthday. But there’s really no description that works for me. Maybe “maturing baby boomer” but that feels more like a demographic category for marketers than a description of where I am in my life-cycle.
I’m a member of a small “mastermind” group of professional women and we inspire one another with new ideas, opportunities and possibilities. Our already successful careers absolutely are not yet fully-baked despite our collective experience and expertise.
As my baby applies to college, and my oldest is already there, my husband and I prepare to be empty nesters (another consumer label). We know we’ll really miss our kids, but we’re beginning to plan our post-kids fun — like a cruise through the Panama Canal next year (that doesn’t have to take place during a school vacation week).
Is 55 the new 40? Do I wish I could go back in time? Nope. I love where I am and who I am today.
But let me know if you think of a tagline for this year’s birthday, “55 and ___________.”