I realize that some people might think that my 50th year won't end until I turn...gasp...51 in May. However, I started this blog on January 1 (with a preview post on December 31, 2011) so to me, the end is near (but, not in the Mayan Calendar kind of way) since I followed the calendar year.
While I have been pretty open and shared just about everything that I thought had import on this blog, there are many other things that I have not shared. Perhaps the biggest of these things is how incredibly difficult I have found this milestone to be. And, how I believe that I have epitomized the midlife "crisis" cliche, questioning everything and everyone in my life, and finding this past year one of the hardest I have ever faced, which is saying a lot considering I have been through actual horrible things in life, not just some stupid milestone birthday.
But, I am me. I over-think things so it should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me. In all fairness to myself, as I reflect on it, I did not go out and buy a red sports car (oh wait, I am not a man); nor did I get myself a boy toy and go all Cougar on anybody; nor did I start coloring my hair or go under the knife for a little nip and tuck in an effort to be something I am not.
As I wrote when I first started this blog, I have used this milestone as a time to reflect on my life, both the good, the bad, and everything in between. I think what has made it so difficult is the reality that taking an honest look at yourself makes you not only aware of the things you do not like, but also aware that you need to change them.
Changing life-long habits and beliefs is hard work. But, I am a workaholic (one of these self-revelations) and hard work is something I am used to. It is just not something I am used to doing for myself, but for everyone and everything else. And hiding in work isn't any better than hiding in other things.
So, as a way to end this blog and my 50th year, I will use this last week of this year to share a few of the big things that I have learned, and will post them over this last week of 2012.
The first of these is that I have discovered that my life is not any more special, difficult, or unusual than anybody else's. It is simply life. But it really is what we do with the things that happen to us, how we react or conversely, don't react, that really matters.