The Big Countdown Begins – Ten

It may seem a bit self-indulgent to announce to the world that I have a big birthday fast approaching but turning fifty seems as if it should have some special attention paid to it. I have no clear idea of what I will be saying over the next nine days leading up to my birthday, but I plan to post a bit of something that will be quite shamelessly, all about me. That’s right, I will be posting daily right up to my birthday on September 10. I have not planned a thing in terms of topic and will write whatever comes to mind which can be my favorite kind writing and might lead to some interesting insights.

Some people enjoy having big parties to celebrate special birthdays, but I actually tend to feel a bit shy and out of place when I’m the absolute center of attention so I am pleased to be making memories with a smaller gathering of people who care about me. Can two (John and my sister Margaret) be considered a gathering?

After a detailed examination of my accomplishments over the last year, I find that some of my goals for forty-nine have not been met. I must confess that not one thing I’ve written in my forty-ninth year has gone out the door electronically or otherwise in search of a publisher. I am not sure why I have dragged my feet so badly when this has been at the top of my list for so long.

I have watched as other bloggers and writers have found their footing while juggling huge responsibilities and managed to publish while I write and research and think too much about the best way to find an audience for my work. I don’t feel jealous about their success just a bit disappointed in myself for not getting more done by now.

Watching others seems to be a life long habit with me and I tend to take a bit longer to find my footing once I’ve figured out the steps. In the photograph above, my fourteen year-old self is on the far right looking uncertain about what the group is doing or how I might join in.

I still feel like that fourteen year-old sometimes … uncertain about doing things just right even though I know now after almost fifty years of living that movement in any direction is sometimes all you need.

14 thoughts on “The Big Countdown Begins – Ten

  1. That’s a great photo. The kid on the other end is doing the same as you.

    You’ve inspired a lot of people this year Elizabeth, me included. If you’re a thinker you to place yourself in the best place to observe.

    Happy Countdown! xXx

  2. Happy Almost 50th! And you are publishing…a great blog!

    I’m right on your heels with the 50th birthday. My Goal? To not have any goals but enjoy family/friends. Like New Year’s Resolutions.

  3. As part of your ten day celebration, make it a goal to send out one piece for publication. (Actually, that way you’ll accomplish two goals, submitting for publication, and doing so while you’re still 49!)

    I’ve sent things to and had things published on their website, no payment of course, but it still feels good!

  4. I’m a watcher too. I’m older than you (recently had my 56th birthday), and I guess I am accepting the fact more and more that that is who i am – guess I’m finally getting used to the idea that it is ok to watch, and I don’t have to learn all the steps.

    As soon as I saw this post and the old photo I thought you must be in it, and I picked you out immediately. Am I crazy, or do I also spot another famous character in that photo – it looks like the Big Chicken top right, beyond the Wendy’s. I’m crazy, right?

  5. Elizabeth,

    Just because you haven’t ‘got a publisher’ does not alter your writing achievements……..I LOVE what you do, your writing is inspirational.

    I have an idea for a ‘goal’ for your 50th year………be kinder to yourself.

    You are warm, honest & kind………..& that is reflected in your writing.

    Love Suzanne

  6. That photo is fabulous. But you are not that uncertain 14 year old anymore. My God woman — look at the leap of faith you took with John. If you leap to a new continent you can leap anything. In terms of your writing and putting it out there, you have to make yourself let go of the outcome. Do your best. Put it out there and then let the Universe worry about it.

    As for turning 50, I blew past that one a decade ago, so to me you’re still a puppy. Get out of your comfort zone, have a blowout party and dance on the tabletops, woman!


  7. I walked across the stage for my graduation from the community college just 3 weeks before my birthday 50.
    It felt wonderful to have an Associate’s Degree in Education in hand.
    I have an okay job within our public school system.
    And I have not yet felt a need to take a class nor write another research paper towards a Bachelor degree.

    here’s my blog post about the half century day

    It seems long ago now. More birthdays are over with.

    But menopause, a much much more important milestone !!

  8. I’m finding my 50s to be the best decade ever. I hope yours turns out to be equally fulfilling.
    My 50th birthday itself? Not so swell. The building that I managed had been hit by a freak flood and I was in a hotel room worrying about missing another day of university classes and wondering if the water had gotten into my apartment.
    Stressful, but it all worked out eventually. And just after my 52nd birthday I received my bachelor of arts, a degree I’d started, oh, 34 years earlier. 🙂
    Things happen sufficient to the time. I expect your 50s will hold a lot of surprises: Some welcome, some not. But nothing that you can’t handle. Bank on it.

  9. Ths is the 3rd time that I’ll try to post a reply, and maybe the third time’s the charm, or as we say in UK, third time lucky.

    If you had two sheets of paper, the first with your goals to hit before 50 and the second with “Jan 1 2007 – things I don’t know that will happen to me by 50, that the time warp fairy is allowng me to see just this once” on it, you might see a lot of things that would be on your goal list but aren’t, because you did them already or because you didn’t think of them way back then.

    My bet is that your wonder will not be less around why you haven’t achieved xyz, but rather how you managed to achieve so much by 50, and still be alive to tell the tale!

    And in my book, anyone that gets onto WordPress’ front page I think can call themselves published.

    As I imagine Kyran P might say: “Dude. I rest my case.”

  10. Happy Birthday E. Is that the Marietta Kentucky Fried Chicken Big Chicken in the background? I do believe so. And to think you have wandered the globe in search of unique places, only to find you came from one and having you there makes it even more special. What a wonderful picture. I picked you out immediately. You definately should celebrate such a lovely lady as yourself.

  11. Oh..I know exactly this feeling – of sitting back and watching and waiting and over-thinking..and then never quite meeting the goals I set out to meet. And – being just on the other side of 50…I think it’s pretty grand that you’ll be doing this little exercise. Looking forward to following along…

  12. I’ve never ever thought of you as a watcher and have always, always admired your courage….you live with grace and passion. I believe that this milestone marks so much more than you can imagine for yourself.

    And, you are published…you are inspiring readers every day…

    Happy 50th Elizabeth!
    (with love and great respect, Diane)

  13. i believe this will be the year for your publishing.
    seems to me you have accomplished and experienced many great things in your life – you are always an inspiration to me.

    hey that’s the ‘big chicken’ back there – such a great photo of togetherness

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