On the Eve of My 50th Birthday

It's the last night of my forties. It's a night remarkable for its ordinariness — Patrick is rigging at circus, we had a pool party, Beatrix is in bed, I am sitting in the dimly lit living room at Summit with Coya and a cocktail. Cicadas sound outside like every August night I can remember in this house. The upstairs hall light glows pink and I remember so clearly sitting on the rug up there in my shortie cat pajamas that my grandmother made me on a night so exactly like this that there is no way that it was 47 years ago.

I've thought a lot about turning 50 and I am still not at all at peace with it. Almost all my earlier life I have been the young one doing things, remarkable for achieving things at an early age. Now I most definitely am not. I don't even know what to achieve next.

I'm painfully ware that my mom was only 68 when she died. Patrick says, and rightly so, that that does not mean I will die at that age — I could go tomorrow, or at age 103. But nevertheless it weighs heavy on me.

I had even wanted to write something really thoughtful and insightful about this birthday, and I did not even get there. I'm afraid I have wasted the last week of my forties with administrivia that doesn't really matter. Well, at least I spent an hour of the day making a replay good chocolate zucchini cake (which incidentally reminded me of hanging out at my friend Scott's house as a teen, where his mother always made an amazing chocolate zucchini cake — see, everything leads to nostalgia today).

So it's all to say that the simple act or rolling into another decade has never killed anyone. I love the life I've built, my family, my friends, my home(s). It's just...harder than I thought right now, for no particular reason.

So help me turn it around and celebrate a half century (YIKES! Ok, that didn't help) and another trip around the sun, as they celebrated at Beatrix's Montessori school. Because the one thing I do know in this is that I am lucky to have you all, even if I don't always live up to you.


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