The start of my journey of turning fifty

As I approached my forty-ninth birthday, I wanted to not be scared of turning 50. Knowing my life would become shorter and shorter, I wanted to not only celebrate and share the first fifty years with my family and friends, but I also wanted to ensure the next fifty, I gave something back to this world we all share. It’s over a year later, and I’m still searching for that something…….

I started my journey of turning fifty on my forty-ninth birthday, celebrating with my family and friends. It was, you could say, just another party at the Szabo home. But for me, it was a walk down memory lane. Food and music always had a way of defining me and influencing my mood. What better way to express the many facets of my life, then through a playlist of songs from each year of my journey and food from each place I lived in those first 50 years. It was fun putting the music together and listening through my life stages. As well as eating some things I haven’t eaten, probably since I lived there, like bagels with cream cheese, cucumbers and raisins. Just so you can get a sense of what I served and where I’ve lived, here was the menu:

1964–1982 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Style Hot Dogs – Mustard, Onion, Relish, Tomatoes and Peppers
1982-1986 – Carbondale, IL – Bagel Man – Toasted Bagels with cream cheese, cucumbers and Raisins
1986–1990 – Houston Texas – Chicken Fajitas
1990–1994 – Puerto Rico – Black Beans and Rice and Amarillos (Fried Plantains)
1994-1998 – North Carolina – Carolina Barbecue with coleslaw – This is not Texas Barbeque!
1998–to current – New Jersey – Ziti

I’m not sure anyone else enjoyed it as much as I did, but I can only hope it gave them a glimpse of my life’s journey. Each of those places touched me in some way. Chicago, my roots, my hometown. And will always be my hometown. I may not know the ins and outs as well as others, but I can get you around the city and the suburbs pretty well. Although in the middle of the country, Chicago gave me a love for the water. Lake Michigan is more like an ocean and till this day the lakefront still brings peace in my heart. Memories of time with Mom, walking the lakefront near the planetarium, still run through my mind regularly. But college came and took me to Southern Illinois. Carbondale. The Dale. So many changes at that age, that I will have to devote, at least a few postings to just that phase of my life. Houston, Puerto Rico, North Carolina and finally my new home New Jersey. Each place I absorbed their culture, and I hope, took a little with me as my journey continued. Aren’t we all a mesh of the places and people we’ve met as we journey through life?

So my start to turning fifty was well over a year ago and I am now well into the second half of the century – if I am so lucky to live 100 years. But I am still looking for that something. That legacy. That mark I am to make in this world. I have talked about this blog with my husband since at least July when I started writing regularly on my IPhone. Yes IPhone Notes is my journal and where many of my thoughts are recorded. It’s easier than trying to read my own handwriting! So I am going to post regularly (I hope) during the month of November as my exercise for National Novel Writing Month. It may not be more than a personal memoir, but it is the novel of my life, and it is waiting to be written. So join me in my journey as I scroll thoughts on friends, family and feelings on turning fifty.

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