The Big Five-Oh

Yep, it’s here. The half-century mark. I am now vintage—halfway to antique!

To my mild surprise, the AARP hasn’t found me yet. I suspect my husband may be tossing out their solicitations before he brings the mail home from the embassy. Smart husband 🙂

What does it feel like to be 50? Pretty much the same as it did to be 40. Except for my left knee, which aches a bit and sometimes makes mysterious clicking noises. WTF.

fifty

I’m not yet “over the hill.” But given the way my particular life has played out, 50 is a milestone for other reasons. For one thing, it’s apparently time I decided what I want to be when I grow up. Oops, forgot about that.

With one year to go here in Warsaw, I’m trying to assemble all the bits and pieces of the first stage of my working life into something I can use to jump-start the second stage. So, I Skyped with a resumé coach last week. I now have three pages of handwritten notes for organizing my LinkedIn profile and resumé. This is awesome as both a professional and personal exercise. I think I am getting a lot out of the process, no matter where it ends up.

Looking at my hastily assembled files and clips, I think I’ve done OK, considering. My modest ambitions do not appear to exceed my modest qualifications, let’s put it that way. But whatever I do, it will not be the same telecommuting gig that I have been doing for the last twenty years. The second stage of my working life will take place at least mostly outside my home, that much I know for sure. It will be different, and that is a milestone.

I’ll grant that my experience is more limited than it probably should have been, but nothing I have ever done in my working life has come close to being as satisfying as raising my kids. And I’m calling that a success. They are both adults now, and doing well in both their academic and personal lives. Even the former Teenager is getting himself to work every morning without complaint. It just doesn’t get any better than knowing your kids are on a good path in life. I can’t imagine any career achievement that would compare.

So, that’s another milestone. We just paid our last tuition bill. This is the last summer to be bookmarked by an academic year. 2017 will be the last family calendar to include school breaks. In a few months, my youngest will be 21 years old, and over the last hurdle to legal adulthood in the States. Of course, you are never really done being a parent, but I’d say when your last one graduates from college is as close as it gets to a formal finish line.

But wait! There’s more! Yet another milestone is coming up in my 50th year.

Next summer will be the last international move I make for my husband’s job. I will never research another post or go through the high drama of a bidding cycle again. My life will no longer broken into two- or three-year increments. I will never look at another EFM “employment opportunity” and smack my head. Frustration with State Department bureaucracy will be a thing of the past. Hopefully, I will do very little packing or unpacking of my worldly goods in the next half of my life.

And, as God is my witness, I will never have Drexel furniture or gold brocade in my house again.

Happy 50th birthday to me!

50th-birthday-cakes

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