Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Turning 50

Yesterday was quite significant. No, not because of a brief and possibly imaginary flirtation with a tree surgeon, but because in exactly four months from then I will turn 50. That's half a century, five decades. Good grief. 

I'm at a loss on how to mark this significant point in my life. I'm not sure about a party as I'm not really a party animal, but I do want to do something.  But what? What do people do when they are 50, apart from putting a down payment on a Saga holiday and start paying into one of those Over-50 funeral plans?  

So far I've got as far as thinking about a weekend away, somewhere I haven't been before but not too expensive.  Probably UK based, and probably taking my daughters with me.  But that's as far as I've got, so you can see how much thought I've put into it even though it's been on my mind since my last birthday.  Is it even worth celebrating? What exactly would I be celebrating?  I suppose the fact that I didn't celebrate either my 18th or 21st birthdays makes me want to do something, and my 40th birthday celebration was dinner with my then loving husband.

I don't feel like I'm almost 50.  Okay, perhaps my body does with its creaking joints and saggy bits, but mentally - up here - I still feel 27.  That was the age when I felt most confident, that I was at my prime and enjoying life.  I had a very good, well paid job - I earned more then all those years ago than I do now - I was single and had a cosy little terraced house that I loved. I travelled a lot with my job and for pleasure, and I was enjoying being single and dating different men. 

Fast forward 23 years and I'm a single parent mum to two fabulous girls who give me a lot of joy, laughter and wrinkles. I still have a comfortable home, both bigger and messier than the last one, I work part-time now and get a lot of job satisfaction out of it as well as some great work colleagues/friends, and guess what? I'm single again.

On balance, I'm much happier now than at 27.  Life has thrown quite a few challenges along the way over the last 23 years, but I feel stronger and more content as a result. Yeah, that's it, I'm content with my lot in life and I'd like to celebrate that. 

So, I'm looking for suggestions on how to do it in style but on a budget.  How do I celebrate such a significant birthday?  I just know you'll have some fantastic ideas!