The Sobering Reason I’m Delighted To Turn 50

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I was dreading turning 50. The idea that I was about to turn half a century just didn’t seem right to me. I still felt the same as I did when I was in my twenties but by everyday standards I was . . . well . . . old. For months leading up to my fiftieth birthday I refused to make plans for a party. I’d decided I wasn’t going to celebrate. After all, what is there to celebrate about turning 50? Turns out there’s a lot to celebrate. You see a gorgeous friend of mine who joined me for an impromptu birthday lunch on the weekend is now fighting for her life in hospital. She suffered what could have been a catastrophic brain aneurysm a few days ago and is now on life support.

As I’m writing this my mind is filled with a blur of emotions. Shock, sadness, disbelief – the list goes one. But my overriding feeling is of hope. Hope that before long our much-loved friend is well enough to share a laugh and some fun times with us again. The other thought that keeps creeping into my mind today is how lucky I am to have made it to 50. If I needed a wake up call about how fortunate I am to even make this milestone then this is it. My friend is fitter and stronger than anyone I know. She’s also a mother of three, runs a successful business and always has time for everyone and anyone. She’s an all round great chick who is now facing the fight of her life.

As for me, I’ve turned 50 and I’m feeling lucky. Very lucky! I have my health, my family, great friends and a job that I love. Sure my eyesight is failing and I definitely don’t look the same as I did when in my twenties, but who cares? These things are absolutely inconsequential. I’ve always known this but when someone you care about is suffering it sure has a way of knocking things into perspective. So from today I’m going to be loud and proud about my age. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop trialing all the latest and greatest anti-ageing treatments. That’s just what I do and I enjoy it. But what it does mean is that I’ll never spend another minute feeling woah-is-me about my age. I’m one of the lucky ones and I hope in my heart that my gorgeous friend is too!

Above: Former Silver Fern netballer Tania Dalton (pictured centre at my 50th birthday party on 19 February 2017) died peacefully in Auckland on 1 March 2017, nearly a week after suffering a brain aneurysm. I feel incredibly honoured to have known you Tania!