Musings of a Dinosaur

A Family Doctor in solo private practice; I may be going the way of the dinosaur, but I'm not dead yet.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Fifty Years

I was born fifty years ago today.

I don't look any different (than yesterday.) I don't feel any different. Today does not represent some huge existential crisis for me. I don't mind turning fifty. Why should I? I have a successful career and am on the threshold of another. I have a Darling Spouse and healthy grown children. I have a roof over my head and food (sometimes too much) on my table. I have my health. So what's the big deal about "the big five-oh"?

A day isn't very long. Nor is a week, or even a month, and now even the years seem shorter. The divisions of time as we measure it may be arbitrary, but as I look back I suddenly realize that fifty years is a long time.

The 60s were the years of my childhood, memories faded into sepia even as Kodachrome was coming into vogue.

The 70's, an era now ridiculed for shaggy hair and bad music, were my coming-of-age.

The 80's were my training. Dominated by medical school and residency, I still managed to get married, buy a house, have three children and grieve the loss of my mother.

The 90's were supposed to be the building years of my thirties. I built my practice, but the marriage failed and I found myself flung into the chaos of adult singlehood.

The Aught's (or whatever we're calling this zero decade) have been my forties. It's been a time of great change that frankly I could never have predicted. Finding Darling Spouse was one of the kindest blessings the universe could ever have offered. My kids are great; not fully grown, but fun, wonderful people well on their way to making it on their own in the world. Ten years ago I had a cat; now I have four, not to mention a tiny, paraplegic dog. And now the chance for a new career as an author when it is only in this decade that I began calling myself a writer.

The world has changed in so many ways. Far be it from me to launch into a history of all the political and scientific changes over fifty years, but however you look at it, fifty years is a long time.

If I live to be 100, then I am entering the second half of my life; if not, then I have already had more than half my allotted time on the planet. None of that feels important. Whatever I do today is what matters. Whatever tomorrow brings, I will face it then.

Still, just this once, I look back and treat myself to the thought that fifty years is a long time.

I confess that I've always loved birthdays and enjoy making a big deal out of them. In our culture, though, it is unseemly for adults to do so -- except for birthdays that end in zero and some that end in five. Therefore I am looking forward to having an excuse for making a big deal.

Today I am fifty. What am I going to do now?

I'm going to Disney World.

25 Comments:

At Wed Mar 04, 07:36:00 AM, Blogger OHN said...

Happy birthday! I turned 51 last summer and other than a few creaks and cracks when I get up, it isn't till I look in the mirror..and see my mother looking back..that I realize that I am not the age my mind thinks I am!

 
At Wed Mar 04, 07:56:00 AM, OpenID crankylitprof said...

Hippo barfday two ewe....hippo barfday two ewe...hippo barfday, deer Dinooooooooooooooo!

Shark sends love, Biscotta sends drooly kisses, and I offer margaritas!

 
At Wed Mar 04, 08:35:00 AM, Blogger Resident Anesthesiologist Guy (RAG) said...

Happy birthday. I'll have to try and see if I see any Dr. Dino books out there for sale - I do like to support the bloggers I read regularly.

 
At Wed Mar 04, 09:05:00 AM, Anonymous Chuck Brooks said...

Happy birthday! Only a puppy, with the best yet to come.
Chuck Brooks
FutureWare SCG

 
At Wed Mar 04, 09:48:00 AM, Blogger Dr. K said...

Happy birthday Dr. Dino. No matter how many years are left, may they continue to be happy and healthy ones for you and your family (human and otherwise).

 
At Wed Mar 04, 11:09:00 AM, Anonymous NinjaBaker said...

Happy Birthday, from a loving child to a loving parent <3

I also look forward to seeing what the next 50 years hold. Have fun in Disney World.

P.S...I had a dream recently that you had released your book, but I found out about it on your blog. It was kind of weird.

 
At Wed Mar 04, 11:12:00 AM, Blogger Ambulance Driver said...

Happy birthday, Dino!

And you don't look a day over 35.

Srsly.

 
At Wed Mar 04, 11:13:00 AM, Anonymous MGoldRN said...

Hi Dr. Dino! I turned 50 three weeks ago today and it was great! 1959 babies rock! I am a school nurse here in Jersey and I wore a lovely tiara with my scubs. I think the coolest thing was getting birthday greetings in so many different ways: cards,e-cards, text messages, Facebook messages, etc.
I hope you have a great birthday!

 
At Wed Mar 04, 12:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

K&Q&P2
W2WUATN
SWDWDWSBD
HBTU!

K'ton MD

 
At Wed Mar 04, 12:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey NinjaBaker! Didn't realize you read this blog too.

Loving wishes to a sibling's child from that sibling's child's parent's sibling!

(The post-book phase will permit less tortuous phrasing!)

Love,

Kensington MD

 
At Wed Mar 04, 01:18:00 PM, Blogger Voter Mom said...

Happy Birthday!!!

 
At Wed Mar 04, 01:37:00 PM, Anonymous hashmd said...

Perfect time to go the Disney World. It was dead this past weekend. (I was there for a conference, not for fun).

 
At Wed Mar 04, 02:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, Dr. Dino, and many happy returns!

 
At Wed Mar 04, 07:07:00 PM, Blogger Margaret Polaneczky, MD (aka TBTAM) said...

Happy Birthday!

 
At Wed Mar 04, 07:44:00 PM, Blogger rlbates said...

Happy Birthday!

 
At Wed Mar 04, 10:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Dr. D!

 
At Wed Mar 04, 10:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy birthday! And in case anyone asks you how it feels to be 50? Strangely, a lot like 49! Just remember, 50 is the new 30!

 
At Wed Mar 04, 10:40:00 PM, Blogger Surgeon in my dreams said...

Happy Happy Birthday you!!

I'm right behind ya - 48.

 
At Thu Mar 05, 01:06:00 AM, Blogger Medblog Addict said...

Happy Birthday Dr. Dino!

 
At Thu Mar 05, 02:08:00 AM, Blogger Dr Benway said...

Happy bday!

I found the Beck's Dark at the German place in Epcot strangely delicious.

 
At Thu Mar 05, 02:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on joining the club....August was it for me, so many of us '58-er's are still wallowing in the big five-oh. I don't miss being a struggling young adult, a harried young Mommy, an overage nursing student...and most of ALL I don't miss being the mother of two live-at-home teenagers!!! Other than some aches and pains, I can still leg-press 400 lbs and once in a great while am mistaken for my three year old grandson's Mom..great on the ego! Heck, we "50's" probably have at least another twenty productive years HAPPIEST of Birthdays to you!
Pattie, RN

ps--ironically, the word verification is "dedly!!"

 
At Thu Mar 05, 04:54:00 PM, Anonymous PineBaroness said...

Happy Birthday Dr Dino!!!

I am a little older than you (I turned 50 last August) but quite frankly I wouldn't want to be younger, certainly not in my 20's or 30's.

 
At Thu Mar 05, 08:31:00 PM, Anonymous geena said...

Happy Birthday!! Have fun at Disney World :)

 
At Fri Mar 06, 04:36:00 PM, Anonymous PookieMD said...

Happy B'day! As they at Disney World, "Have a Magical Day." I agree, 50 is the new 30!!!

 
At Mon Mar 09, 01:37:00 AM, Blogger Toni Brayer MD said...

You might be done celebrating by now but HAPPY BIRTHDAY month. 50 is a big one and you seem to have made good use of the last 50. Full speed ahead!

 

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