I’m 50

On Flag Day, I turned 50. (Did you hear?)

The first thing I thought when I woke up the morning of my birthday was, “I’m 50.” I wish, like Tim McGraw, I could say that it felt good on my lips, but it did not. Not that it felt bad, just weird. Like it did not belong to me.

I’m 50.

I had a lobster dinner the night before my birthday to celebrate my best friend, Dale’s 50th birthday. She’s two days older than me. We’ve been friends for 44 years, and she rubbed it in my face when we were kids –I’m two days older, I’m two days older! Funny, she doesn’t do that any more. (Pssst. Hey Dale, You’re two days older, you’re two days older!)

lobster-dinner
I ate every last bite!

 

It was so lovely being with Dale and her mom and three other friends of hers. She told us we the most important and influential in her life. Dale is one of the best people I know and I was honored and touched to counted among this group.

The day of my birthday I slept late. I probably should have gotten up early to run -that lobster made me gain three pounds (I’m not even exaggerating) but I didn’t feel like it. So I didn’t.

Dave brought me coffee and breakfast in bed. Then I went bikini shopping. (Because that’s what you want to do on your 50th birthday.) Fortunately it was for Marley and not for me. Or maybe it is unfortunately. I’m not sure what’s more unsettling – seeing my 50 year-old body in a bikini or her 15 year-old body in a bikini. We’ll call it a draw.

We went to my mom’s for dinner. The weather was beautiful and we ate outside. Barbecued tri tip, roasted asparagus, sauteed mushrooms and onions, salad, potatoes and garlic bread. I never eat garlic bread anymore. It was delicious.

barbecue-birthday-dinner
A birthday dinner fit for a 50 year-old.

 

My mom gave me my grandmother’s candy dish. Inside was my grandmother’s heart diamond necklace. These are two items I have always hoped I’d get someday, but someday far, far away. So to say I was surprised would be an understatement. I was moved beyond words.

The day after my birthday I got some good news. Excellent really. I’m not ready to share it, but I will say that it just might be the best birthday present ever. (Well, next to the candy dish.)

A few nights after my birthday I went out for happy hour with my girlfriends from the gym. They pitched in and treated me to a gift card to Lululemon as I am one of three people at our gym who doesn’t own any Lulu. Or rather didn’t own any Lulu. It was a very generous gift and I am extremely grateful, but also a little resentful, because how can I go back to wearing my Old Navy leggings now?

lululemon
The place where expensive habits are born.

 

The weekend after my birthday my friends threw me a surprise party at Ladyface Alehouse. My sneaky husband was a big help. Were you surprised? Were you surprised? everyone wanted to know. The answer is YES! What surprised me the most was how many different groups of people there were there – my family, friends from different walks of life. I felt so honored. So blessed. So loved.

Oh, and I had a lot of fun!

birthday-celebration-beer
Yes, I am wearing the same Winnie & Kat shirt I was wearing at Dale’s birthday celebration. It’s my new favorite shirt. So?

 

Because, as you can probably tell, I really like to celebrate, two weeks after my birthday me and a few girlfriends snuck away for a girls’ weekend at my friend Lisa’s beach house. Lisa is so lovely and generous and truly the hostess with the mostest. It was a mellow weekend that consisted of long walks on the beach searching for sea glass, wonderful dinners cooked by the awesome Chef Lisa, quite a bit of vodka and wine (not mixed together), a harbor boat cruise, a couple of trips to the dive bar, my first attempt at karaoke (um, I’m really bad at it) and big breakfasts at Mrs. Olson’s that looked like this:

Mrs. Olson's Breakfast Oxnard
Breakfast heaven! (Why yes that is a Bloody Mary you see!)

 

So I was starting to think that 50 might actually be kind of fabulous.

50-and-Fabulous
I’m 50 and I’m Fabulous!

 

Then I got this in the mail:

AARP-membership-card
WTF?! Wait… Free travel bag! Hmmm…..

 

Grumble.

Sigh… I might as well embrace it. As they say, it sure does beat the alternative.

I’m 50. It’s starting to feel good on my lips. And I’m going to make damned sure it’s fabulous.

 

This is What Happens When You Call Someone Out in a Blog

Two weeks ago I wrote a blog about my birthday weekend and mentioned that I refused to get on stage during kickboxing because I didn’t like the way my ass looked in the workout pants I was wearing. I might have made a smart-allecky remark about Chris Stevenson not picking me up and placing me on stage against my will (as he is known to do) for fear of hurting his back (due to the size of my ass). I was trying to be self-deprecating, but Chris took it to mean that I was challenging his manhood and calling him old (which I would never do because he is at least 10 years younger than me and that would make me… nevermind)!

Stevenson Fitness.Group-X-Slide-21
Kick it Chris!

This past Saturday he motioned me up again. I did not want to go.

As much as I enjoy being the center of attention (what – a blogger that likes attention?!) kickboxing is a place I prefer to remain anonymous. I’m not very graceful and my kicks aren’t very high. I have to stop a lot to wipe off the incredible amount of sweat that is pouring down my face (I hate sweat on my face) and take a lot of water breaks. And of course the woman he had pulled onstage already was gorgeous and about two inches taller and 20 30 pounds skinnier than I am. That’s always fun to stand right next to. In front of everybody.

And saying my workout look is not my best look would be an understatement. Even before the sweat. I pull my hair into a messy ponytail that just looks sloppy instead of a messy ponytail that looks cute like other women seem to be able to achieve. And I hate the way I look without bangs, but I pull them back in a bobby pin and expose my gray roots and in-desperate-need-of-some-Botox forehead to the universe because the only thing worse than sweat on your face is wet sweaty bangs on your face.

And I wear baggy black yoga pants from Costco and drab deteriorating tank tops from Old Navy instead of the brightly colored Lululemon outfits that 90% of the other women at my gym tend to wear.

And don’t get me started on the sorry state of my middle age arms. Ugh.

But it was 95 degrees outside (at 9:30 AM) and when you are in a kickboxing class with 50 other people it gets really, really hot no matter how high you turn on the air in studio. It looked like I might be able to breathe a little bit better on stage. (And who knows, maybe my batwing triceps would be useful and actually fan the people standing behind me.)

And as lame as my kickboxing skills are (and for someone whose been kickboxing for about 14 years they’re pretty lame) – nobody really watches you when you’re on stage; they’re too busy watching themselves in the mirror. (Or is that just me?!) I couldn’t even tell you who was pulled up for the class I took three days before. (Except that she was probably skinny with a cute-messy ponytail and Lululemon clothes.)

So when Chris motioned me up to the stage this time I rolled my eyes and walked up there. I mean, I was afraid if I didn’t he might try picking me up, throw out his back and feel unmanly. And I didn’t want him feeling unmanly.

And you know what? I think I kind of rocked it.

Stevenson-Fitness-stage
Rockin’ the stage at Stevenson Fitness

*Photo of Chris Stevenson on stage courtesy of www.stevensonfitness.com