What a Ride!

Although I appreciate the thought behind the quote “Youth is wasted on the young,” I’m not sure I’d want to go back and do it all over knowing what I know now–especially if I had to go through all the angst and raging hormones of adolescence again.

With age comes knowledge, experience, the ability to make better choices, a broader sphere of influence and–if you’re lucky–some measure of wisdom. And it takes all those years of fits and starts, of falling down and getting back up again, to figure it out. I don’t see it as a waste–it’s simply part of the process.

I remember realizing when I turned 25 I could no longer use my age (i.e., youth) as an excuse for the terrible decisions I had made up to that point. I was expected to be a grown up, with all the attendant hassles and responsibilities that go along with it. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), I was not very good at following the rules.

On my 46th birthday (last year) I put my hair up in pigtails for the first time in, oh,  35 years or so, took a picture and posted it on my Facebook page. And then I told my friends I was freaking out because I was officially closer to 50 than 40. *gulp* It was a sobering moment because, regardless of what Oprah says (50 is the new 30), 50 sounds so ooooold to me. But I got over it, went to work for a few hours, ate chocolate cake my coworkers treated me to and then went home and played in the dirt for a while out in my garden. In other words, it was just another day.

This year wasn’t much different. I’m back in Chicago and will be gardening in a community garden again rather than in my back yard, but other than that my 47th birthday was no big deal.

What is different is how I feel inside. Some people call it serenity; some people call it contentment–some might blame it on lethargy. All I know is the worry and anxiety I had at 25–silly stuff like what do people think of me and what am I doing with my life and when is that guy at the end of the bar who’s been staring at me for the past hour going to get off his ass and buy me a drink–are no longer a part of my lexicon.

I am edging up on 50 and the path that has gotten me here has been a squiggly one–and you know what? It’s all good. On most days I am just fine with where I’m at, ’cause I know it’s right where I’m supposed to be. Yeah, I need to lose weight and I’m not in the best living situation right now and I’m definitely no millionaire, but I am OK with me today and am looking forward to tomorrow in a way I couldn’t even imagine at 25.

Welcome to my new blog. It’s about life pushing 50 and its attendant “unfoldings.” I hope to be able to use some of my knowledge and experience to find and share useful information for people “my age” and older.

It’s been a hell of a ride. But I wouldn’t trade a minute of it for the peace and contentment I feel right at this moment. How about you?


About Phoebe King Copywriting Pro

Phoebe is a Chicago-area B2B writer, specializing in white papers, case studies and email marketing. She has worked in publishing and communications for more than 15 years in the following industries: Health Care, Information Technology, Nonprofits, Real Estate, Trade Associations. When not on her laptop, Phoebe can be found gardening, walking her dog or hanging out with friends at her favorite Thai restaurant.
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2 Responses to What a Ride!

  1. We were tweeting one night just as you mention in your wonderful story. I sometimes feel restricted by the Twitter character limitation, but it does force you to get to the point. If I may, your story begs for me to expand with what is success for me.

    I turn 60 my next birthday in April and have retired once, but with too much idle time I was spending time in poker rooms and not contributing anything to society at a time I had the most to contribute. Both of us (me and society) were not seeing it at the time.

    About a year ago the death of a friend shocked me into a self evaluation that ended up with me putting the money games away and getting out my keyboard and writing down my thoughts. A year later I look back and see what an amazing year it has been.

    I have gone from a man with no direction to being back in business with four employees in the Philippines who are like family to me. They all work from their homes for $300 a month or less and are highly skilled with college degrees.

    I never intended to return to business. I certainly never intended to hire employees overseas. I am a supporter of organized labor and am actually opposed to the exporting of American jobs, but some things become inevitable when mistakes are made without correction. An example would be stretching a rubber ban until it finally breaks.

    When I discovered in the Philippines how those without education were suffering I was overwhelmed with compassion. We as Americans even in our worst hour do not have it as bad as those who live in the poverty of the Philippines. Over 40% of the country is in poverty.

    I witnessed with my own eyes how street children are being gunned down by “death squads” known to be ordered by the mayor of the city to get rid of crime. My life has been turned upside down by what has happened to me this last year. My blog attempts to tell people the story of how corruption and poverty can be overcome by education and freedom. It takes time.

    I also am trying to soften the American spirit toward those who are working in the jobs that have cost some Americans their much higher paying jobs. What isn’t being shown is the the body of the gunned down 11 year old who was killed without due process.

    The connection between death squads and outsourced jobs may not seem obvious, but it is very much there. Take away the higher paying $200 – $400 a month Philippines jobs going to the college graduates now and these skilled workers end up taking away the jobs unskilled workers now get at $8 a day or less which leaves more unemployed workers.

    Compared to America social programs are minuscule. Government corruption is deep and money is shallow. There is little left for the people.

    Additionally, Americans must bare much of the responsibility for the poverty in the Philippines. With the exception of President Jimmy Carter all other US presidents supported the Marcos regime just as we supported the Shah of Iran.

    When Marcos was overthrown in the Peoples Revolution of 1986 it was the United States that gave him protection and his own island in Hawaii where he built a Mt. Rushmore style monument to himself with some of the money he robbed from the Philippine people. The monument was later destroyed by covert Philippine military forces.

    He had carefully managed to completely drain the Philippines treasury and left the country penniless. Many Filipinos died of starvation because of his greed and he used his political pull with the American government to imposed and enforce martial law for many years in the Philippines and became a dictator in a country intended to be a democracy when the US gave it freedom in 1946.

    When I turn 60 in April my destiny will begin. I plan to move to the Philippines and commit the rest of my life to saving as many of the Philippine children as I can from being shot like rats (currently at the rate of almost one a day) and helping any other way I can to stop babies from starving to death.

    With money no longer an issue I will finally be able to achieve “success” if I can only save one child. I hope to do much better than that.

    “Born Under a WanderinStar”


  2. Phoebe, I somehow put the wrong extention (.ws) on the website in my comment above and it goes to nowhere. My blog uses the .me extention and it is best if the story to the children is linked to.


    Marvin David Webster


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