Woman Gives Birth to 50-Year-Old!


Lee Ann Brownby Lee Ann “Sunny” Brown       

Photo by Billy Brown

 

“It takes courage to grow up and become

who you really are.”

–e. e. cummings

 

My 50th birthday is right on my heels. That’s getting on up there—and I’m afraid of heights! Actually, by the time you read this, I will already be over the hill. They say it’s all downhill from here, but I have always found it harder going downhill, especially in heels. It’s painful. (The only pain I like to experience is champagne.)

If the 50s are the middle ages, then I am having my own renaissance of sorts. As with other women of my baby boomer age, I am experiencing labor pains as I am reinventing myself. It’s hard enough birthing a new baby in your 20s; it’s even harder giving birth to a 50-year-old. But that’s exactly what it feels like what I am doing.

I guess I’ve really been going through the reinvention process for the past seven years or so, although I didn’t realize that was what I was doing until this year. I thought I was just killing some time while waiting on my kids to grow up. But as it turns out, I was actually growing up, too. This birthday brings so many things into sharp focus, besides the obvious signs of aging. It brings clarity to the realization that now is the only time you have to live your life. For some, this can be depressing. For me, it is liberating.

At least it was until I read an author interview in the New York Times about a new book that’s out about turning 50. I haven’t read the book, but the interview with the author made it sound like such a downer that it made me want to take some. The gist of it was that if you haven’t reached your full potential by the time you are 50, then you are just out of luck. Sorry, she says, but if you are not rich and famous and fabulous and thin and living your dream by now, then you might as well just call it quits. I mean, after all, that is the whole goal, right? To hear her tell it, you might as well just go ahead and pull the plug on your blog, your website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, photos, celebrations of any kind, this whole thing called your life, and pack up all your hopes, dreams, and anti-aging products, your dancing shoes and your musical instruments, and slip off quietly somewhere where nobody knows your name and nobody ever will. (By the way, this only seemed to apply to women.)

No fair! I am just getting started! I just found out that people were laughing at me! I can’t help it that it didn’t happen until I was almost 50. I guess the joke is on me. Except I’m not laughing, and I really love to laugh. And I love to make other people laugh. I love that I write ideas that bring laughter into the world. I consider it to be a privilege. And I thought funny was funny no matter the age. I thought there was longevity in comedy. I guess I was wrong. Oh, would somebody tell Betty White? She didn’t get that memo, either.

After being a stay-at-home mom for the last 20 years, I’ve been excited about stepping into my next stage of life. I really wish I had read this before I got my hopes up. I mean, I went and changed my name and everything. I even bought new shoes!

Actually, one good thing about getting older is that you don’t pay attention to the naysayers anymore. In truth, I never have. I am going to continue exploring my interests and how I might be able to give a bit of myself back to this world that gives us so much to be grateful for every day. I am going to continue to offer a few more laughs into the world for whoever might be interested; after all, laughter is meant to be shared, and the world could always use a little more of it, I think. All we ever really have is now, so the way I look at it, now is always the right time to do whatever you want to do—to create the life you want.

That author might feel negatively about being a baby boomer and be ready to slip into a pair of safe, fuzzy slippers and say at least she tried, but this is one boomer babe who is looking forward to the new mid-life adventures, high on life. After all, so many great adventures in life happen when you’re high. It should be a great trip!

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