Monday, January 30, 2012
I had a birthday last week. Fifty is one of those milestone birthdays that get a lot of press and I spent a lot of time trying to decide how I wanted to celebrate.
I seriously considered a tattoo. I came up with designs and words that I loved and even got the name of Max’s heavily inked stylist’s tattoo guy but in the end, I decided against it. It wasn’t that I was scared of needles – what I had in mind was so tiny, I’m sure I could handle that. And it wasn’t that I was distressed about the permanence of getting inked. Fifty, I discovered is one giant lesson in impermanence. When I thought about getting a tattoo and was really honest about why I wanted one, I think I wanted to change my physical body – my outsides – in order to reflect a change I’m cultivating on the inside. As the day got closer I realized that what’s happening on the inside is enough for me. I don’t need to etch something onto my body as a sign.
I didn’t want a big celebration either – though I struggled with this too because isn’t that what you’re supposed to do on a milestone birthday? I thought a long time about how I wanted to celebrate and wound up having a really perfect day that balanced time with friends and solitude. There was cake and dinner at the mexican place down the street and it was exactly the kind of celebration I wanted.
But it is fifty. A milestone to be sure (and if I wasn’t sure, my AARP card came in today’s mail just to drive the point home). So in honor of fifty, I hereby declare this my jubilee year. (In the bible, the old testament, God declares every 50 years a jubilee year wherein debts are forgiven and celebrations abound.) I will celebrate this birthday all year long, choosing at least one special something to celebrate every month.
It is as simple as that.