Well, let's get something straight right off, this really wasn't my idea. It's a wonderful idea and I’d like to take credit for it, but I simply mentioned starting a club since we were all turning 50. (Actually, I’d already reached that milestone a few years before, but Diana and Mary were about to join me.) That’s the extent of my contribution. They took the ball and ran with it. I merely stood on the sidelines and cheered them on.
Now, concerning my expectations about turning 50, I guess it depends on how old I was when I thought about it. At 21, I was probably thinking, “I hope they just take me out and shoot me.” At 49, I was probably trying to figure out how many years I could claim to be 49. I tried being 39 for several years until my son turned 30 and no one was buying it anymore.
The year I turned 50, I became a grandmother for the first time. It happened again when I was 54. When this occurs, it’s a life changing experience. Totally different from motherhood. Grandchildren are God’s gift to you for surviving parenthood. I can’t tell you how much I love my granddaughters. They made my life complete.
Also, in my fifties, I bought my first house, something I swore I’d never do. Now I spend my time mowing the yard, pulling weeds, cleaning up dog poop left by neighbor's pets, and thinking about washing my windows. Did I mention I couldn't be happier about it?
Near the end of my fifties, I was fortunate enough to retire. I taught elementary school for 36 years. I’ve since been lucky enough to travel places I never thought I’d see (Did you know they have tours for people on budgets? You just have to hop on someone else's schedule -- getting up at the crack of dawn to make sure your luggage is out in the hall so it gets on the bus.)
Now I am in my sixties—okay, 65 to be exact. My “friends” call me Medicare Carol. I’m blessed with wonderful friends, young and old, and good health. I exercise regularly and am actually below the weight on my driver's license. Who would have thought it?
Life goes on with changes, some good, some I’d rather pass on given a choice. (Oh, that reminds me, did I mention the wonderful granddaughter born when I was 50 is getting ready to take driver's ed? Oh, yeah, and those footprints? They belong to her!) I move slower and scare myself when I look in the mirror, but truly, I am content. Would I change anything? Well, we'd all like more money, right? But in reality I have it all....family, friends, health, and enough money to pay the energy bills. At least I do this month.
If you’re reading this, I’m sure it is an edited version. Diana and Mary are both much better writers than I am. (That is probably the one sentence that wasn't changed.) I’m sure you will enjoy reading the WOOFer book. It’s filled with wit and insight, and will help you as on move through your own glorious life journey.
--Carol Proffitt (aka Alpha Canine)
(Pictured: Dot (Pedigree), Diana (d.d. dawg), Mary (Milkbone) and seated before us, Carol (The Alpha Canine)