A few of us in our ‘Writing for Wellbeing’ class turned 50 this year, so we each decided to write how we felt about it. As I’ve only got a couple of months left before I officially become ‘over 50’, I thought I’d blog about it, alongside a photo of myself dressed up in my best Glam Rock gear (best not to ask!) It’s a very tongue-in-cheek, light-hearted view about becoming 50. I might not end up doing any of what I say that I’ll do in my 50’s (except the nude sunbathing, I’m so doing that!)
Alt text: A coloured photo of a white woman with long blond hair that’s styled in a 80’s-frizz. She’s sitting in a purple wheelchair, in her front room. She’s leaning forward in her chair with her arms outstretched & her eyes closed. She’s wearing a lot of thick make up including long false, black eyelashes & dark blue/ grey eyeshadow. She’s wearing a white headband with ‘Henge’ written across it in black capitals, & a purple cape, a black long-sleeved jumper, a silver top, blue/purple leggings with a night-skyscape printed on them & white furry boots.
I’m delighted to have made it to 50. Who knew that would actually happen? As a disabled baby, I was given 3 days to live, so I figure that any extra day that I get to have is a bonus. To reach 50 was always my goal & then I felt that I could take it easy for the rest of my days. But then at 49 I got diagnosed with breast cancer, then my surgery was cancelled due to the pandemic, & so those two events combined threw a big spanner in the works. I honestly thought someone was having a laugh when the consultant confirmed that I had cancer. I thought that because I’d survived so long with my disability, that I was ‘home & dry’, never imaging that a life-threatening disease would come along to test me.
But here I am, at 50 & 10 months.
I don’t want to (over) ‘achieve’ anymore. I just want to ‘be’; suspended in space & time, in the moment. 50 is great. 50 is a powerful milestone. 50 means that I don’t have to put up with your s*** anymore. 50 means that I can do & say whatever the hell I like. 50 means being menopausal & boy are the hormones raging through me, pushed along by the ‘Zoladex’ shots. 50 means that I’ve never felt it more important to be a feminist than I do right now. 50 means that I’m going to shout even louder than I’ve ever done before (yes, that is possible for a loud mouth like me!) 50 means a whole lot of rich life experience behind me & a whole lot of adventures to come.
50 means that I have saved enough money to have a posh kitchen. I’ve waited all my life for a grown-up kitchen (well, I’ve waited since November 2017). I’ve ‘come of age’ with my kitchen & its double oven & extendable mix-tap. I shall want nothing more in materialistic things.
50 means that I can have a SAGA Holiday & relax in a Warner Hotel (other brand holidays & hotels are available). I envied my grandparents & my great aunts & uncles because they always looked like they had so much fun at these places – singing, dancing & sending up life with their friends. I want to aspire to being on endless holidays.
I can still go partying & laugh along with all the young people who exclaim “But you can’t be 50, I would never have guessed!”
“Thank you,” I reply modestly, secretly thinking “Yep, I still got it.”
In a few years’ time perhaps I can retire. I can spend my days dancing to the radio. I’ll sunbathe nude in the garden just to piss off my millionaire neighbours when they are ‘corporate entertaining.’ I won’t have to do a stroke of work.
So, if you want me, I’ll be in the garden drinking gin, regaling everyone with my tales of misadventure, thrills & bellyaches whilst working on the edges of the music industry. I’ll leave you to work out what I’ve embellished & what parts I’ve left out, because what goes on tour, stays on tour…