I turned 50 this month. I take a deep breath just writing that down. This is the first birthday that has ever bothered me. It’s not that I feel old, although there are days, it’s that I feel mortal, I feel that I have less time left than I have behind me. Morbid? Yes, but true. I haven’t dwelt on it a lot but it’s there, that feeling of mortality creeping up on me. I have so much I want to do, so many memories to build, so many things I don’t want to miss out on. So I took a big deep breath and put on my big girl panties and got on with being 50.

You should know that I’ve never wanted or expected much for my birthdays. Birthdays weren’t a happy time growing up and be the center of attention is a hard thing for me. So I simple birthday wish in passing is plenty. However this year some family and friends made it special without too much ta-da, and it was wonderful.

On my birthday my good friend Tricia came to my office and brought me lunch. I’m lucky enough to work in a fairly quiet office and it’s just my husband and me, so we ate and visited for more than 3 hours. That was a real treat! And I called it good for the day.

A couple days later at our usual Sunday dinner together, my daughter in law Christie rounded up the troops (my daughters and Tricia) and with the help of the internet made all my favorite foods from Olive Garden. When I arrived for dinner, the table was set, the salad with authentic Olive Garden dressing was ready to eat, a couple of better than ?? cakes were in the oven making the house smell wonderful. Friends arrived, family arrived and we enjoyed a fabulous meal. It was so good! It took so much effort and time and planning and I was grateful and flattered.

I’ve never felt neglected by my family, and I admit I’ve been guilty of making them feel like acknowledging my birthday was a waste of time. This dinner was not only well cooked and baked, but well planned and well done. It was still a little uncomfortable for me to be the object of this dinner, I’m much more comfortable being the person doing the work for someone else. But this daughter in law, these daughters and friends made me feel loved and appreciated and did it well.

I feel grateful. I know what kind of work that kind of dinner takes and I appreciate it. I continue to watch our family grow and become and come together, this dinner being one of a million steps we will take and I am grateful.

Being 50 might be ok if all the years just continue to get better.