Today I turn 55. While I am unsure how this happened, I do know that it is going to happen whether I embrace it or not. I still remember every detail about the first time someone called me middle aged. It was as though the world stopped spinning and I was left looking at myself through a lens in reverse...I looked tiny and distant. I called a friend to commiserate about being called middle aged and her response was to laugh and ask exactly how long did I really think I was going to live?…..NOT the response I was looking for. I have ALWAYS hated the term “Middle aged”. It sounds like such a compromise….suspended in time just waiting for the Swing Low Sweet Chariot amusement park ride. Recently my hubby and I burned down a tree trunk in our back yard. It was the tree that had died many years ago, but more importantly it was the tree that housed our tree fort for the past 12 years. The tree fort bore witness to it all…. helping toddlers climb the rope ladder to the top, sleep outs amidst rain storms and racoons, chaperoning teen dates from the back windows. This summer, the base of the tree trunk was reluctantly and yet not a moment too soon, declared rotted and dangerous. My son and husband had a bonding moment as they pulled down the tree fort with a great sense of accomplishment, ropes, and pulleys. Their muscles flexed and my tears flowed. This was it… there were no more little kids in my home and I was suddenly middle aged. I had clearly left the “Childbearing Years” and “Middle Age” was a reality. So, as I watched the flames consume the tree trunk, I reminisced and re-experienced many of those sweet and excruciating moments in time of parenting, loss, travel, and love. It was then that I decided to create my own response that my friend had failed to offer me years ago. (Likely because I made the mistake of calling a much younger friend!!) At the beautiful age of 55 I am not entering “Middle Age”. I am officially in my “Wisdom Bearing Years”. How much better does that perspective feel? Nothing about “Wisdom Bearing” says compromise. It is vital, wise, dynamic, magical and giving. From the moment I coined this term, I breathe easier about a number. About a place in time. And about a future based in my Wise Woman place. I now look forward to this time and place in my life rather than shunning it. I hope you come along for the ride….It’s going to be staggering!!