Going for gold

In a few days' time I will celebrate my golden jubilee of life - in other words, I will turn fifty. It's a once in a decade excuse for having a party and lots of fuss - what one of our sisters used to call a "hullabaloo". But in between the excitement and the enjoyment of peoples' surprise (you?? fifty?? No way!!) there's a mixture of thoughts and feelings about my impending half-century.

There is a large part of me that knows just how old I am. After all, if you can remember tuppeny bits, black and white TV and whole decades lived without internet and mobile phones then that in itself is a sure sign of getting on. Add to that encounters with history students who blithely tell me they're studying  - as historical - events I experienced in the 1980s, when I was in my twenties, plus greying hair and a frozen shoulder, and it's all pretty clear and real.

But there is another part of me that can't quite believe I really and truly am fifty. If I say I don't feel fifty I should add that I'm not sure what fifty is supposed to feel like, physically or emotionally. I can remember what my younger self would have imagined it must be like, but the reality feels nothing like that. I also don't know what age I do feel. Forty? Forty-five? Forty-seven and a half? No, I just feel like me, today, whatever age I am.

But, regardless of my incredulity and what my Olympic summer mug may tell me, I don't want to keep calm - I want to celebrate! I'm reaching half a century in good health (even with my bad back and shoulder), I'm blessed with loving sisters and good friends, live with some lovely people and I'm fulfilled in who I am and what I do. I may well be unregenerating - even degenerating - physically, but creatively and spiritually I'm full of life. That's not to say that everything is or has been a bed of roses, but the blessings and the sense of life and fulfillment feel stronger. And that is pure gold.


  1. Hi Silvana,
    Sadly we will be able to join you for your celebrations in Oxford as we celebrate Sal's oldest son's 21st in Lancashire at about the same time.
    We do hope to travel south later in the year and hope we can meet up then to mark our mutual 50s... albeit I was slightly ahead of you. Enjoy this milestone.


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