it's all about me

Fifty-five? When did that happen?

It happened today. My fifty-fifth birthday snuck up and slapped me. Hard. Really frigging hard.

Balloons, birthday, fifty-five, fifty-something, midlife, boomers

I long ago mastered the dark art of downplaying my birthday. Avoiding the limelight. Deflecting the invitations to celebrate.

It’s never been about resisting getting old. I simply don’t enjoy the attention.

Today, as I watched the birthday posts tick up on my Facebook page and text messages flash up on my phone, my unease thickened and gelled, like a leviathan glob in my gut. I don’t want to be fifty-five. I don’t want to be unequivocally in the mid-fifties demographic. And, I certainly don’t want to be glaring down the barrel of sixty.

For the first time ever, I had a sense of being defined by my age. Not by what anyone else said or by how I was treated, but by my own insecurities about my age.


Normally I’m on top of this shit. I profess (to anyone who’ll listen) that growing old is a privilege far surpassing the alternative. I tell all how lucky I am to have the opportunity to age gracefully. That age is just a number. All the clichés. Line ‘em up.

Today, I didn’t believe my own spin. It fell horribly short. I felt sombre and anxious … and old. I felt like those other people – the ones who bemoan each birthday as a step closer to the grave.

Mostly, I felt a sense of loss for my younger self.


This shit is getting serious.

Being fifty-five feels very different to being fifty-something.

Faaarrrrk! Faaarrrk! Faaarrrrk!

5 thoughts on “Fifty-five? When did that happen?

  1. I so get that feeling Sheryl, even though my coping mechanism has always been to celebrate to the hilt every birthday. This year was also my double nickel (55) birthday, and while 5 years ago, 50 itself was a strange milestone, this one kind of made the “omg I’m REALLY” 50 more real. So while “Happy Birthday” may not resonate today, let me wish you “Continued Happy Adventureous Life”, as your blog demonstrates. You help make the 50+ years feel fun, wise and exciting!

    1. Thanks, Laurie. Today’s feelings have surprised me so it’s lovely to hear that it’s not just me. I’m feeling better for having vented and for having your kind thoughts. 🙂 x

    1. Ah, Flamingo, you are so on the money. Most of the time that’s where my head is … I seem to have had a birthday aberration and deviated into some not-my-usual thinking. Threw me for a spin but I’m now getting back to my usual outlook. Thanks for your popping in. 🙂

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