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    Posted July 31, 2008 by
    Kilauea, Hawaii
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    The new face of 50

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    Fifty is Liberating


    I turned 50 in April. I used the opportunity of my 49th and 1/2 birthday to get really clear about what and where I intended to be when I turned fifty. It all came down to getting back to doing the things that bring me joy everyday.


    We are here for the blink of an eye. When all is said and done, the great majority of what we have achieved will be forgotten. I find that quite liberating. Fifty is a time for getting over ourselves and any sense of self importance we may be clinging to. As the Beatles once sang " And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make."


    Despite a clean diet and healthy lifestyle, I had for the first time in my life tipped the scales past 130 lbs ! I informed all of my girlfriends that I was determined to bring in fifty under 120 lbs. and  was giving myself six months to get there. If they wanted to get together with me we could walk or hike or workout or do yoga. This turned out to be a wonderful way to spend time together as our  supportive friendships deepened and our endorphin highs kicked in renewing our sense of appreciation for everything we had been blessed with.


    A professional modern dancer in my youth, I returned to  belly dance, determined that I wouldn't be envious of the perfect twenty something beauties that I shared the circle with. I would love my body despite the extra role of fat around my waist. It was time to accept the changes even as I transformed my body into the best shape it could possibly be. Prematurely gray, I stopped dyeing my hair many years ago. No botox,no collagen, no nips or tucks for me. I am here on earth to  experience  being a human being in a body that ages. I had my first and only child at 40. She was naturally conceived and naturally birthed. Menopause coincided  with my 50th birthday. Thirteen moons with no cycle. Hot flashes gone. Night sweats gone. All done without a bit of hormone replacement, synthetic or otherwise.


    I also took the momentum gained at the prospect of turning fifty to master a new skill and took on the daunting Photoshop program in order to create my photo collage work digitally as opposed to manually. I challenged myself to push through my technophobia and  to stop telling myself it was beyond me. It has become one of my greatest joys and sometimes I'm up until one in the morning creating new pieces.


    I love to travel and began to think about where on the planet I wanted to spend my 50th birthday. We had gone to Bali for my husband's birthday and he later went on a snowboard trip in New Zealand with his best buddies. They came to be known as the Hawaii Five O crew by the other young shredders at the lodge.


    I realized that I really wanted to be home on my farm on the North Shore of Kauai on my Fiftieth, surrounded by my beautiful community of friends.A garden dinner party set up under a big tent in the middle if our palm nursery. I sent out an invitation, asking people to share a song, a dance, a poem, an act. My girlfriends and I rehearsed an a'capella piece and I choreographed a dance. It was a wonderful, magical full moon night, with guests ranging in age from one month to 92. We entertained each other until the wee hours.




    Fifty is a time for looking at the ways that I can give back and  continue to do my small part in helping to alleviate the suffering of my fellow humans. There is so much need everywhere we turn. Our community is looking at finding a sister village we can adopt. It is important to me to raise our daughter with a sense of connection, compassion and responsibility.


    Life is a blessing and our time on this beautiful planet is brief. It is about doing the things that bring us joy, spending time with the people we love and making a meaningful contribution in whatever small way we can. Fifty is liberating. Its time to get over ourselves. Strengthen the things that remain.

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