Saturday, March 5, 2016

SOLSC '16 Day Five: Hello, fifty

Hello, fifty.
You don't look much different than forty-nine.
A bit more rested, maybe, after seven-and-a-half hours of sleep.
(That forty-something had too many nights with less than six hours; fifty knows better!)

Good morning, fifty.
You've got a few more grays and wrinkles than forty.
Your morning glasses are different, too; are those bifocals now?
At least the contacts are the same.  Snazzy reading glasses are fun, I think.

Your coffee's ready, fifty.
That hasn't changed much since your twenties.
I seem to remember your taste for coffee started even earlier than that,
Drinking from your father's leftover mug, cold and sweet and light with milk.

It's a day for remembering, fifty.
I know it's hard, thinking of mom.
Her fifty was so much different, lying in a hospital bed, dependent on machines.
You are in a hotel, sitting at a desk, typing on a laptop....breathing on your own.

It's okay to cry, fifty.
Maybe that's the real reason you asked for time alone this weekend.
You've never been one for public tears.
Why do you choose to navigate those waters by yourself?

Take a deep breath, fifty.
Be grateful that you can.
Don't let the possibility of not breathing overshadow today.
Unless it spurs you to take really, really good care of yourself--you should.

You've made mistakes, fifty.
God willing, you'll make many more.
I know that's not a problem for you; you're pretty good at admitting your foibles.
Life moves on, the sun always rises, the grass grows, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Spend less, save more, fifty.
You've been on a shopping binge lately.
Yes, birthdays are special, but they need to be less about the stuff.
More about the time--time for you, time to breathe, time with loved ones.

There are some regrets, fifty.
Mostly self-imposed challenges you haven't met...yet.
Give yourself space and time to work on them.
Ask for help--there's plenty to be had.

Make room for fun, fifty.
For a Pisces, you are sometimes waaayyy too serious.
Leave some holes in your schedule, stop over-planning your time.
There's more to life than ceiling fan dust and laundry.

Breathe more fresh air, fifty.
Yes, you've found your calling as a librarian.
But you know time outside makes you feel so much better.
Especially salty ocean air--give in to your Piscean fishy needs.

Enough introspection, fifty.
Get up, get moving, get out there.
Breakfast is waiting, there's a walk to be had.
Let's get this birthday weekend started.

Glad we talked, fifty.
You're doing just fine; goodbye, forty-nine. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.


  1. "Don't let the possibility of not breathing overshadow today." This was beautiful. Happy birthday!

    1. Thank you! It's going to be an absolutely lovely day, I think.

  2. Happy birthday. I turned 50 recently too, and can relate to many of your thoughts. I love the structure of this slice.

    1. Thank you! Fifty is the new thirty, I think. I was halfway through before I decided to make it fifty lines. Seemed appropriate.

  3. This is a very clever format! It would be great to use as a mentor poetry text! Your voice is powerful too: nostalgic, funny, wise.

    1. Thank you! The "hello, fifty" popped into my head as I looked in the mirror this morning. And I appreciate the "wise"; it's exactly what I hope to be, from now on!

  4. Lovely Chris - Happy 50th Birthday!

    1. Thank you, Cynthia! Hope you are already making plans for yours, too!

  5. Happy 50th birthday, Chris! (From your picture, I wouldn't have thought you were a day over 35.) Enjoy this new season of life.

    1. Old picture, definitely time to update! Thanks for the birthday greetings, Stacey!

  6. Happy Birthday! This poem is an even better gift to give yourself than the shopping could! Loved it! (For me, 50 is a nostalgic look back- my sister teased me mercilessly with numerous cards starting weeks before, sneaking in to my classroom to decorate, and decorating ME with a tiara and flashing button when we had my birthday dinner! I threatened her with dire consequences if she repeated any of that on my 60th birthday!)

    1. I hope the decorations were any color other than BLACK! I have never understood the "over the hill" nonsense. I hope your 60th is spectacular!

  7. Happy will rock 50!

    1. Thank you, Tara! You know, the kindergarteners think it's pretty cool that I'm halfway to one hundred. :-)

  8. Some friend I am. I missed this post yesterday! Happy birthday to my dear slicer friend Chris. This poem I read twice. I need to keep it and save it. I have 2 1/2 years until 50 and I've been planning so I can stay ahead of it with thicker face cream, allowing my hair to go gray, and accepting a size higher so my jeans are more comfortable. Thank you for being such a graceful 50. xo

    1. You didn't miss it, just posted twice today! And amen to face cream, larger jeans, and gray hair...though these grays are going purple on Tuesday. Yes, I'll include a photo with that Slice! Thanks for the birthday wishes!

  9. Ahhhhhhh... Ohm... WOW! Birthday hugs, love, and memories.

    1. Thanks, Ms. Nash! It was a fine weekend, indeed. Will be celebrating all year long!