I turned 50 today. It’s one of the birthdays with a zero in it, which is supposed to invest it with greater significance than any other. I’m not sure why that is, but it’s a good opportunity to reflect.
If you had asked the 20-year-old Scott Higgins to describe where I would be, who I would be, and what I would be doing at 50, I’m not sure I would have come remotely close to getting it right. Life is like that. It is filled with unexpected twists and turns, some that are delightful and some that are painful, and it shapes us in unexpected ways.
At 50 I have come to appreciate that life is filled with shades of grey and that very little is black and white. Where I once lived with a strong sense of certainty about everything, I’m now satisfied with convictions and hunches.
At 50 I have laid aside my rose coloured glasses in favour of multi coloured lenses that are much more rewarding. Life has thrown up challenges that have stripped me bare, gutted me emotionally, and thrown my world into disarray. But life has also granted me exquisite pleasures, experiences that have drenched me with joy, and surrounded me with love.
At 50 I have come to realise that every person has an extraordinary story to tell, and that whenever I stop to listen to their stories I am blessed.
At 50 I have discovered that my relationship with Sandy keeps getting better and better. We sometimes assume that love and romance are at their peak in our youth, but the journey Sandy and I have shared together, those moments of vulnerability where we have caught each other, of self-doubt where we have encouraged each other, of pain where we have held each other, of joy where we have laughed and danced with each other, have left us with a love that grows deeper and richer by the day.
At 50 I have enjoyed an extraordinary 20 years with my children. I have never felt as deeply, worried as excessively, laughed as raucously, or wept as passionately as I have with and over my children.
At 50 I find myself liberated from the constricting dogmas of my youth, no longer shadowboxing with them, holding my beliefs much more loosely and with room for doubt, yet somehow in the midst of all of that feeling deeply connected to my God and very much defined by my faith.
At 50 my body shakes and my physical strength is fading but life courses through my veins and blesses me with faith, hope, love.
At 50 life is good.