Transitioning into the 50+ club has been quite the experience, and has been accompanied by a few other milestones. It’s my first birthday without a parent around to wish me a happy one in that way that only a parent can, reminding me of their unconditional love. Been thinking a lot about mom, dad and my late brother Bill. Missing them so. Bill died just short of his 50th. Now that I am here, it is even harder to get my head around it. If he were still here he’d make some smart-ass comment about getting old, in that big-brother-to-kid-sister way. I’d give anything to hear that.

A little over a week ago we closed on the house, selling the place my family called home since I was in 6th grade. So strange to think that I can’t go back there and just walk in. It’s somebody else’s home now. Of course one of my mom’s favorite pastimes was complaining about it and how there was always something going wrong (like any house).   So I gain comfort in the thought that it’s somebody else’s problem too. I also gain comfort in knowing that I took my time emptying it out, deciding what to keep and what to let go. What a process that was! I puzzled at my own reactions to things I dug up – and at some points it felt like an archeological dig! I hadn’t seen or thought about this thing in 20 years. Why do I feel so compelled to keep it? That emotionally draining process happened over and over. Find object-object triggers memory – memory triggers emotion – decide to keep or let go. Glad I took my time. Feeling content as I close this chapter.

Found an unexpected birthday present from Comcast when I returned home the other night to no cable or internet service.   I was livid. How dare they do this on my birthday! Turns out it was squirrels in the building’s cable box. With no cable or internet for four days I stepped back on day three astounded at how much calmer and more focused I was without it. Gee, it really WAS a gift. So not sure if I should thank Comcast or the squirrels. I’ll go with the squirrels.

As a birthday gift to myself I bought a high powered blender. I went for it, getting the latest, shiniest most tricked out, souped up model. Lots of bells and whistles. I find myself describing it the way guys describe sports cars – “with a 3 horsepower motor, it’s got a lot under the hood!” Is this a female mid-life crisis purchase!? If so, I’m cool with it. At least I’m not going after a 20-something hottie….not that there would be anything wrong with that. With 50 comes Cougar status. Okay, back to the blender. It’s changing my life! I’ve only done smoothies so far, but I’m realizing that I’m far better at drinking my vegetables than I ever was at eating them. I’m considering it a long term investment in my health, as I attempt to avoid our broken health care system for as long as possible. Can’t wait to dive into ice cream, soups and nut butters. Yes, you can get hot soup right out of the blender with the push of a button. I’m tellin’ ya, this thing is amazing. Still looking for the “do your taxes” button.

Oh would you look at the time. I’ve gotta get ready to play ball this afternoon. I play baseball in the Roy Hobbs league in the southwest suburbs. I play with a bunch of other middle-aged folks who love baseball and want to keep playing for as long as our legs and hearts will allow. Reminds me of the great adage: “You don’t stop playing because you get old. You get old because you stop playing.”

Gotta go play now.

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