I turned 54 yesterday, which in and of itself was a shock, because for some reason I have been thinking I was 52 and about to turn 53. So instead of waking up a year older, I woke up TWO years older. That was a lot to take in people . . . a lot to take in.
I woke up early, for no apparent reason other than my biological clock has now turned against me (in so many ways) and has fooled my body into thinking it should awaken at the crack of dawn. I walked into the kitchen, praying I had remembered to make coffee the night before, and found, much to my dismay, I had not. Ticked, and somewhat frustrated that the universe had not yet realized it was my birthday and should thereby bestow upon me countless blessings (including miraculously brewed coffee), I headed back to my bathroom to grab a quick shower before the day’s madness officially started.
I looked in the mirror and said to myself, “So this is 54. Fifty-Four. You, Carol Jones, are a 54 year-old woman.” I looked critically at myself in the mirror, noticing the muffin top and very curvy hips I have somehow managed to reacquire (despite my best efforts in the gym) and the crinkles surrounding my eyes and mouth and said again, “So this is 54.” And with a not-so-impressed shrug of the shoulders, I stepped into the already steaming shower.
As I stood in the shower enjoying what would likely be the most peaceful part of my day, I reflected about the life of the 54-year-old woman I have become. In my lifetime
- I have been married to the same man for almost 34 years. (And trust me, this is no small feat on either of our parts!)
- I have given birth to four children, two of whom lived through childbirth (and also their teenage years) and two of whom never took a breath in this world.
- I have failed at so many things in so many ways, hoping with each failure that I have been sifted and refined and made more beautiful because of the struggle.
- I have been blessed with some of the most incredible friendships with people in a wide span of generations.
- I have been given the great privilege of pouring into the lives of many young women, a privilege I hope I have stewarded well. And lastly,
- I have seen my nest be emptied and now refilled with two sweet daughters, children I never pictured (or could have even imagined) would be a part of my life.
As I got dressed and took one last look in the mirror before I went to awaken the Twinderellas, I said to myself, “So this is 54.” I smiled, fluffed my fantastic head of hair, slapped my butt, gave myself an air kiss in the mirror and said, “Girl, you make 54 look good. OW!”
All that to say, here’s to being 54. I won’t even begin to guess what this year will bring because if I have learned anything at all in this life, it’s that we have no idea what tomorrow will bring. But here’s to a year of tomorrows, one day at a time.