For the past year I’ve been talking at nauseam about turning 50. I’m not sure if it’s because the number seems so unreal to me that I need the constant reminder, or if by saying it out-loud I’m hoping others will respond with shock & amazement & give me the, “Really? You don’t look it!” obligatory compliment I’m clearly seeking. Probably both.
I know, “50 is the new 30”. “Age is just a number”… blah blah blah. I wish that at 50 I could tell you (and myself) that I am wise, no longer superficial, & above all of the BS and labels society bestows on aging women & especially aging women with disabilities, but well… not so much.
I wish I could say that after losing both my parents unexpectedly & living for 50 years with a progressive neuromuscular disorder that slowly nips away at my independence & everyday abilities, that I’ve evolved & wake up feeling grateful each day for everything I do have. Hmmm, sometimes.
The truth is that life is hard and doesn’t get any easier. It’s the knowledge & acceptance of this fact, in combination with one’s ability to adapt & work through life’s inevitable challenges, that comes easier with years of practice.
So, in honor of my upcoming birthday, here are 50 lessons I’ve learned about life, being a woman, and living with a disability.