On turning half a century

Turning 50 is no milestone considering the increase in the average lifespan–50 is the new 30 and so on. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful to have reached this age. “I’m turning 50 in just a couple of months,” I told my dad, and just like he always did, he reminded me that by comparison, I’m still just a baby. His “Baby.” I’m missing his presence especially today. He had just turned 84, and then he “passed away.”

I know I have much I’m grateful for, including a sweet, caring husband with whom I share an odd, peculiar sense of humor. That is to say we make each other laugh in a most unique way. Like everyone else, I don’t know “how much time I got left” (as my Papa put it)–but it’s probably a good idea for me to pause today and take stock: Where have I been and where might I be going? I agree with the philosopher Todd May that our mortal lives are fragile, and in the face of it, accepting our vulnerability is about the best we can do and that the projects we lay out for ourselves even though we know we each will die someday can give our lives meaning in a silent universe. Of course some argue that universe is not silent, you just have to stop and listen. That’s okay. Each has their own way of sense-making a universe that often seems senseless and chaotic. I’m still here and I suppose that’s enough reason to keep pushing on with glimpses of hopefulness every now and then.

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