Fifty

 

The number 50 has been—in various cultures and throughout time—been invested with importance, symbolism, and gravitas.

 

In years, a person of 50 has reached a landmark: half a century. This is not as astounding as someone who makes it to a full century, but a halfway point is a nice place to stop and rest and reflect. That reflection could lead to change: ah, my first 50 years were filled with ____; I will make sure my next 50 years are dedicated to ____.  Of course, one nice thing about being 50 is that the memory is not very sharp, and much of those first 50 years has been forgotten. (I am sure this is part of the design. If 50-year-olds clearly remembered all of their past deeds, they would be too embarrassed to step outside each day and the whole world would just fall apart.)

 

In the United States, we have 50 states. I have been to all but 3 (New Mexico, Alaska, and Hawaii) and visiting all 50 is one of my life goals. It’s not a great goal, but it seems likely I will accomplish it, so it seems like a better goal than World Peace, which is a great goal, but not one I am likely to accomplish.

 

A 50th anniversary is the Golden one; folks who have been married for 50 years can expect gold (or at least gold-colored) gifts. Fifty red roses outdoes a dozen red roses on the love scale: 50 means limitless love, and it’s tough to beat that.

 

The atomic number of tin is 50. Gang slang for a non-gang member is a 50/50. In more general slang, 50-50 means something can go either way, that one has as much of a chance at this as they do with that. Is there some sort of mystic relationship between these things? Everyone has a 50-50 chance of being good (non gang) or bad (in a gang) and if you are good, then you are on the same side as those with sheriff’s badges, which used to be made of tin? Hmmm . . .

 

More appropriate, 50 symbolizes, in various religions, cultures, countries, the following: grace, kindness, intuition, illumination, change, restoration, mutations, feast, joy, new beginnings, celebration, and metamorphoses. These characteristics seem fitting for someone turning 50 years of age. Certainly, someone at this age should have honed their best qualities—grace, kindness, joy. Likewise, being alive for 50 years should illuminate much about life and the world, as well as strengthen that intelligence. Such a significant birthday requires a celebration, which requires a feast. The other characteristics are what everyone should hope for in their 50th year: a chance to restore one’s place in the world with friends and family, change what hasn’t worked in the past, mutate into a new beginning, and end up as a butterfly, with the 50 years of caterpillar in the past.

 

I will be 50 in 83 days. I have big plans for my 50th year, and I am inviting everyone who reads this blog to share in those plans and help me. Until December 26th, I won’t be blogging much; after my birthday, I will blog at least once a week, and will be asking for your help. (And, yes, I am writing a book that focuses on my 50th year project.) I will need lots of help and support and fans, so please subscribe to my blog and get everyone you know to subscribe!

 

I don’t want to give away too much now, but I promise it will be fun. And it will be less text-based (or will at least include pictures). So please join me! You can subscribe by clicking on that little orange square-ish thing below. I look forward to sharing the ups and downs of my project with you (and finding an agent/publisher) and making my 50th year one of transformation!

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