50 is a magical number, it seems that it could be half a life, or the end of a life. My daughter was half my age when I turned 50, two quarters separated us and summed us up to be 75 cents worth. Hopefully, I will live that long and maybe if I decide to gamble, I might go for double or nothing to 100.
Life at 50 in my case was a series of first-time events that will be plastered in my brain forever. First there was the happy divorce of a marriage that lasted 28 years, produced two beautiful children who grew up to be successful adults with their own families. I say happy divorce because we had gone our separate ways long before the actual divorce and agreed to stay one until the kids were ‘old’ enough. I’m not sure what we were thinking because kids are never old enough to see their parents break apart like a popsicle. But, happiness is an objective in life, and if one is not happy, then one needs to change what makes then unhappy. That’s what I did when I turned 50.
I felt like a whole new life was presented to me on a silver platter. It was a blank canvas that I could create a masterpiece with. My emotions ranged from joyful, overwhelmed, excited, scared, thrilled, and confident that I could paint this new world beautiful and happy. I started dating for a bit, but decided that I really wasn’t interested in spending my premium time with another man. I was content to be on my own breathing the fresh air that surrounded me with a soft touch of peace, or to mingle with my girlfriends and family.
Then the second event happened several months into my new storybook tale. A diagnosis of Breast Cancer filled the next nine months with doctors, tests, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and a positive attitude that this cancer would not take me down. I just received a new lease on life, and I was going to live it to the fullest. Chemo was the best part of my day. I loved going to the hospital, having three lovely hours of tranquility while medicine was coursing through my veins fixing me so that I would not die. A nice warm blanket, a comforting smile from the staff and other patients, made me feel pampered and loved. When I lost my hair, I purchased five different colored wigs and wore a different one every day. I had fun with it. My customers weren’t sure who I would be the next time they saw me. I was determined that this disease would not take my love of life away from me.
But most of all, cancer gave me the need to make the most of every single day of my life. I sincerely hope that most don’t have to be diagnosed with cancer to learn that mantra.
The adventure continues fourteen years later to today; including many more firsts:
- Becoming an accomplished artist and selling my work around the world has been very satisfying and engaging to be part of the art world
- Traveling to my native countries of Ireland and Italy to find family and learn more about my culture
- Witnessing the birth of my first grandchild
- Traveling to enjoy my eight grandchildren scattered around the country
- Finding love again…meeting and falling in love with the Love of My Life
- Owning a restaurant
- Losing a restaurant
- Becoming a successful executive in my company and making a difference
- Writing a book and getting it published
I have painted a scene on that blank canvas that is still fresh and vibrant, ever changing with the each new day. I look forward to seeing what the color changes will be and the next first in my life.
My book – Rose Colored Glasses
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