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Now What?

In 50 days, I turn 50.

I’d like to say that I am embracing this milestone birthday with boundless grace and gratitude. But honestly? I’m dragging my heels more than a little bit as the looming finish line of my 40s approaches and I teeter on the brink of becoming officially “middle-aged” (which statistically actually happened when I turned 40, since the average life expectancy for women in the U.S. is 81).

You’re only as old as you feel right? Well….if that’s true, then I’m in big trouble.

When I turned 40, I didn’t feel old. There wasn’t time. 10 years ago I had an 10 year old and a 4 year old. I was working full time, teaching college students part time, and we’d just started the farm. Now I’m still doing all those things plus juggling a very busy high schooler and college student.…with extra aches and pains thrown in. Turning 50 on the heels of a worldwide pandemic, unrest in the Ukraine, and continued political strife that reaches right to my front door….it leaves me a little unsettled.

But the truth is…I’m scared. I’m scared that I’m 50 and I haven’t done enough. I’m scared that I’m 50 and can technically retire from state employment in 4 years, and I don’t know what to do now. And I’m scared that before I can unravel these fears and grab onto a tangible thread of direction, time is going to run out.

The counselor/social worker in me says that I need to embrace my fears and tackle them head on. But the Audra I know well….just wants to run and hide.

I’m not trying to reinvent myself with lypo or weight loss surgery, or a radical haircut or tons of tattoos (well….maybe one more 😀). But I do know that I need to be more confident in what I’ve done and feel that I’ve done enough. Remind myself who I already am.

So if you see me out…lookin’ a bit frazzled….just give me a hug and tell me that it’ll all be ok. Sooner or later. 🤷🏼‍♀️

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