Silvia Is 50 ...
I was wondering, as you do, how I would feel about being 50 now.
I was wondering this on and off for the last year, ever since my 49th birthday,
Now I know.
And I must say, I am somewhat surprised.
I hadn't expected to feel ...
... so delighted
... so proud of myself
... such a sense of freedom and relief
... a sense of true delight, making me chuckle every time I think of now being
... a sense of power and strength that I never felt before.
How weird is that?
I guess some of this must have to do with the fact that whether or not I was
good looking, sexually attractive to men, able to produce offspring, own
physical prowess or being youthful had never factored into what I do with
myself, day to day.
It had and has nothing to do with my life's work, my income, or even my daily
So "losing" those things is not a loss that I can compute or perceive, or that
is relevant to me in any way; this being so, what's left is the gains, I guess.
It feels to me as though major aspects of me were hanging around and WAITING for
me to be this age.
And they are rising up and throwing a big party!
That is what it feels like.
But what a lovely surprise.
I feel like I'm either about to grow up or that I just did.
That I have power, influence, and a measure of wisdom.
Self esteem, hard won, many battles behind me.
Many treasures behind me, and behind me in the way of "having my back" rather
than "left behind on the long road through life" if you know what I mean.
Much trust accumulated in what I can do if I work together with myself. That's
important. Trust and compassion.
There may be entrainments at work that people who are 50 are to be taken
seriously - they are the silverbacks of society.
I guess I'm not a full on silverback yet - my hair is still mostly as it was,
with strands of silver coming in, but I feel I definitely belong in that league
now, even if I'm only a junior silverback at this stage :-)
And there's that smile again, that ... I can't describe it, it's a strange form
of self satisfaction, smugness, but it feels really, really good, self delight?
Is that a good word for it?
Could it be that's what it feels like to be ok in your own skin, to be happy
Or perhaps, and that might be closer to the mark, are these feelings of
happiness that wash over me every so often the harbingers of feelings that can
and will arise in the future and that are the result of living life in a
proactive and dedicated manner?
I don't know but whatever this is that has had me smiling to myself every time I
think about it or I catch a glimpse of my reflection in a window, or a shadow as
I move, it is a most welcome 50th birthday surprise.
I'm sitting here, smiling again, really smiling like I don't really recall I
used to do a lot before.
I guess it'll take me a bit to get used to feeling like this, so free, so
potentially powerful and most of all, so NEW.
I feel NEW.
I feel free and clear of the past and the future is in my hands, and that feels
good, it feels ... just brilliant, actually!
Who would have thought!
I wish someone had hinted at this when I was 14 and suicidal.
"Hang on in there! When you're 50, you'll have the world at your fingertips and
you'll feel brilliant!"
Perhaps I did!
Perhaps someone did tell me, and that might be a reason why it just kicked in
like it did :-)
Who's to know?
I'm just really grateful to be here, to experience this, to be amazed at these
new feelings and enjoy it while it is happening.
And whilst we're there, I really don't think it's "downhill all the way" from
That hasn't been my experience at all.
The older I've been getting, the richer and more profound do my feelings and
experiences become, and the more grateful and delighted I become in turn.
There is lots more still to be discovered, and if I could never imagine what it
might be like to be 50, we may presume I likewise have no idea what being 60
might entail, or even 70 if we get that far.
In the meantime, heyho!
I've got a silver streak down my back and watch out world!
Dr Silvia Hartmann
August 26th, 2009
© Dr Silvia Hartmann 2009