I am off to a party on Saturday night, its for my life long friend, Christine, who became my very first friend when we were both 4 years old and this week is turning 50. The fact that I have known this woman since she and I were that young is quite incredible in itself but to think we are both turning 50 this year is a bit surreal, even though the years are telling us this is true….1964 – 2014, yes mathematically that makes 50 years…
I am still 3 months off turning 50 but each day that gets closer to June I am finding myself thinking…..Do I feel 50? Do I look 50?
But the one occuring theme inside my head is asking – Have I lived my best life, or is the best yet to come?
Fifty….50, the Big Five – O – has been whirling around in my head ever since I turned 49. Its the strangest feeling really and having given it a bit of thought I realised I want to celebrate this birthday in particular, where I have been and where I am going. I am so proud to be turning 50. I am so proud of where I am right now. I am so proud to have achieved what I have achieved in the first 50 years of my life.
So I thought it fitting to reminisce on the eve of all the ’64’s turning 50 what looking back looked like to me…and to appreciate the fact that I have already lived more than half a wonderful life. Join me while I take a trip down memory lane…
June 1964 I was born and began my life in Glenroy, Melbourne Victoria, Australia.
I dont remember much of being 2 or 3
4 years old, I met Christine and we became firm best friends which lasted right through our school years and into adulthood where our lives took us in different directions for 20 odd years and have now brought us back to living ‘just up the road’ from each other again.
4.5 years old began school always a bit younger than everyone else which wasnt such a problem until final year of school when I was not mature enough to cope with pressures of HSC and subsequently failed that year and dashed my hopes of going to University, so began my 15 year career of being a library officer.
5 – 22 grew up in Melbourne suburbia a relatively normal upbringing albeit somewhat strict, in a big catholic family.
19 years old took my first overseas trip with Christine to Bali, a very memorable holiday, one of which I shall keep the details to myself…(and Christine of course).
23 Grew wings and took myself off to Europe on a 6 week Contiki Tour, beginning my lifelong affair with all things French and vowed I would return to France one day…
24 Moved out of home and met my husband while working at the Broadmeadows Army Barracks. Engaged after only 6 months much to the surprise of a lot of people, mainly my parents. Funnily, while many marriages around us have not stood the test of time, we are still here and happily so…
25. Got married to the love of my life, will be celebrating 25 years of marriage later this year. Gained a very special step daughter.
25 Became a mother. Definately the most significant role I have played this lifetime. Welcomed our son Matt into the world.
27 Moved away to Bendigo and gave birth to our daughter, Melissa
28-38 Moved to Brisbane then back to Melbourne and immersed myself in the next few decades raising my family, my most rewarding career to date.
38 Bill was discharged medically from the Army and became a ‘Home Dad’ I left my library work to pursue better paid work at a local university
38 Lost my beautiful mum to cancer, then lost my brother 6 months later. A significant turning point in my life.
The next few years were a mix of heartache, grief and spriritual renewal as I tried to come to terms with moving on and through grief. From here forward my whole spiritual outlook developed as I grappled for answers and finally found peace in acceptance and awareness of self and what I wanted to do with my life. The biggest lesson I learnt particularly from my brother’s early death was not to take life for granted and to reach for everything you want even if it takes years, keep striving for that what makes you happiest.
39 Bought my first house, something we never thought we would be able to do. I was so damn proud of that moment.
40 celebrated with a trip to Tasmania
41 Said a final goodbye to my beautiful Mother in law. I was very blessed to have her in my life particularly when I was a young mum.
44 Left working at Universities to persue a library career once more
45/46 Welcomed our beautiful Grandchildren into the world and became ‘Grandma’ to two very special little people
46 Began a university degree, Lost my wonderful father at 79 years of age. The world said goodbye to one of the finest gentleman who had graced this earth. Went back to work in Student Administration.
47 Finally started to chase my dreams. Went on an amazing trip to the US with my beautiful friend Rima. Saw the fall that I had dreamed about since I was a teenager. Realised that you can have anything you want in life, if you want it bad enough, you will make it happen.
48. Bought our second home down by the sea where we had always dreamed of retiring to. Most spectacular year of discovering that life is amazing when you believe in yourself enough to ask for what you really want.
48 Packed up and left our first home to live out our retirement dream. Bill began his new job.
49. Said goodbye to a longtime friend, my husband’s best friend way too early. John’s passing has taught us both that life is too short, not to be wasted on things we dont want to do, spending time with people who do not lift our souls or visiting places we have outgrown. These next years are definately our time to find what makes us most happy each and every day.
At nearly 50, I am absolutely loving where I am in life, content with my choices and happy to change what no longer works for me without guilt. The big events that have shaped my life so far clearly has been wonderful friends, the births of our children and grandchildren, the parting of our most loved and the courage to follow my dreams. The times when I have felt the most joy in my life as I look back is when I have been with my family or chasing my dreams and realising them.
I have been thinking a lot this year on what makes my life content and the things I most value and treasure now are:
What I am most grateful for after 50 years on this earth is
That I am still here, still healthy and able to pursue the rest of my life whatever that may be…
and realising most of all that the things I crave the most is what my soul is crying out for me to do in this lifetime…
I cant wait for the next decade to unfold…