Slice of Life Tuesday: The Big Five-Oh


So this is fifty.

I’m taking a look at this gal.

She’s been through stuff.
She has seen stuff,
and has LEARNED stuff.

She knows birthdays are
brim-full of
days that demand
days that belong
to her

And yet

She also knows a birth day
(just like the idea
of turning fifty)
is messy,
not what people
crack it up to be.

She buried her grandmother
on a birthday.
She put her dog to sleep
on a birthday.

And she is is still reeling at the news of
a mass shooting yesterday
in the neighboring town,
and she spent the day yesterday checking up
on friends
and loved ones
and their friends
and loved ones
and she feels perhaps
isn’t quite
what’s called for.

So she begins this day,
this decade,
knowing this day
(every day)
belongs to her
and to no one

she has it in her
(because she knows it’s coming)
to handle the stuff
coming her way

of those
gray hairs
and wrinkles
and age marks
have come earned,

And she will wear them
like the birthday crown
she deserves.

Thanks to the Slice of Life community for keeping me writing. Check them out!

Published by Lainie Levin

Mom of two, full-time teacher, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and holder of a very full plate

24 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday: The Big Five-Oh

    1. Thanks so much! I honestly wasn’t sure what would come out through my fingers today, but I’m pleased with it. So…thank you.

  1. Happy birthday! And age is just a number, is it not? I’m 39, but I feel much better than I did when I was 29, or 19. Wishing you many more years to come!

    1. Thank you! Age is absolutely just a number, and I don’t think I’d go back to be younger. Fifty has come with a lot of wisdom, a lot of confidence, and a *very* hefty dose of humility. I’m actually looking forward to it. =))

    1. Thank you. Wasn’t quite sure where this post was going to go, but I was pleased and satisfied by the end. =))

    1. Ahhhh…60. Folklore suggests that’s when you reach the distinction of CRONE – the wise woman. Wear it well!

  2. What a beautiful tribute to age and self and confidence even in the midst of uncertainty and times of sadness. I’m 56 this week, so I’ll return on Friday the 8th to read and reflect. Every year seems to have its new great things, so I’m looking forward to the coming year – for you, for me, and for all of us! Happy Birthday!

    1. Yes! I agree that every year has good things in store, if only we’re watching and listening for the signs. And yes, every year has its challenges and sadness. Guess we need all of that to round us out and make us human. Here’s to YOU on your birthday as well!

  3. !! Congratulations on this milestone sojourn around El Sol !!

    I adore this post – you wear your well-earned crown with grace, beauty, wisdom and humor.

  4. Clearly the universe is having a word. Happy birthday, Lainie!! I’ve been away for several weeks and just today, I thought, I think I can post something and check in. And here you are in your half-century glory!
    So glad I can be here to celebrate and commemorate not just your special day but you and the presence you bring to the page. Savor the wisdom. May the years that follow welcome you always with the just right theme song wherever you go!

    1. Oooh my own theme song! THAT one changes across the years, too. Gonna have to think about which one I’m hearing right now. And I’m so glad you dropped in just in time. I’m still just catching up with myself from the week, so I’ll have to stop by your “place” and pay a visit. And…thank you, for all your support and validation in this bloh-oh-sphere. =))

  5. As I read your birthday poem, I realise how much you care about the people around you. Even though you state that the day belongs to you, there is a whole stanza about the care for your loved ones. This is special! Happy birthday Lainie.

    1. Thank you for the birthday wishes! And…you definitely hit on a theme in my life – I’m definitely about support and care for others. It’s when I feel I’m at my best.

  6. Ah, birthdays. When we are young we look forward to celebrating with cake and presents. As we age the way we celebrate changes. Milestone birthdays cause us to reflect and take stock of our lives. What have we accomplished? What do we still want/need to do? I hit 70 last year and will have another year under my belt in one month. Happy Birthday. Many great years ahead.

    1. Thank you! Reading your comment reminds me that the older I get, the older “old” is. Somehow it’s a moving target…as for the reflection and taking stock, I hope that I never cease to do either one of them. And hopefully, I’ll give myself credit for my accomplishments and grace for my shortcomings. Here’s to wisdom as we grow and age!

    1. Well Honsye Zahoo who is DEFINITELY not a student I fondly remember from the past several years as having an amazing sense of humor and a wonderful heart…THANK you for the birthday wishes. =))

  7. Love the poem- Love reading your work. Love knowing what a special teen you were and Love social media for giving me a glimpse of Lainie lately.

    1. Thank you so much! Hearing that from you means the world. You get a fair amount of credit (blame?) for who I turned out to be. I maybe changed a *little* in the time I was under your wing. =))

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