decade of delicious disappointment…

Hello,  final week of my forties,
these last sips of a deliciously disappointing decade;
farewell to a beautiful battering,
the breaking down of fairytale ideals.
You shook and sifted my heart
until I began to see
the real stuff that dreams are made of.

It was a brave decade  of bold moves
and chilling changes,
swing and a miss….repeat,
swing and a miss,
striking out,
again and again
and I celebrate this.

I swung my heart out,
the hollow silence screaming back at me
like a noisy mockingbird prattling on about
trying harder and getting stronger
and then something  sweet and tender and true
in the whoosh,  whoosh,  whooshing
began soothing my soul sorted and saved
from some “isms” driving me to despair.

All that swinging and missing stirred up such a breeze
…the wind of my failing  singing me free
and now at last I’ve come to believe
that I am
not my swing.

The crack of the bat that I’ve longed to hear,
the sight of the ball sailing high and clear,
the cheer of the smiling faces in the stands
…that roar doesn’t fill me.

There is a roomy space instead for the blue of the sky,
the kiss of the sun soft on my face,
the deep whiff of fresh wild air
I’m leaving my forties fairly sure
that I’m loved still.
for just who I am
and it’s enough…I’m enough.
And this is pure gift.

In a few days I’ll be fifty and I’ll  swing away
for the sheer joy of it…..because I get to
and it’s good.
And whether I hear the sharp sweet crack of the bat
or sing of the breeze,
I’m grateful for another day to be dazzled
by the simple glory of just being me.


  1. Anita on January 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Such beautiful thoughts, dear Jen!

    I was dreading my forties when I entered them; now we are friends. Turns out there was nothing to be afraid of, after all! It has been a letting go of the fear of failure for me also, and changing my feelings about success and failure, as well. I’ve learned that showing up and being fully present is more important that knocking it out of the park.

    You knocked it out with this one, and I just bet you’ll be doing more of the same in the decade to come!

    Happy (almost) birthday. xo, Anita

  2. ELK on January 7, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    you and the bright blue sky .. make me smile . welcome to fifty , there are many of us at this party and grateful is the the word I would choose as well…happy day to you dear friend!

  3. Judy on January 7, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    I have read this twice and it is so moving, Jennifer. I love being older – it is very freeing and I worry less about things I used to obsess over. Your writing is so beautiful and insightful. Looking forward to hearing about your entry into your golden decade! xxJudy

  4. rachel awes on January 7, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    you swung your heart out…
    + i have seen such full engagement
    with you + your life, here.
    i adore the movement of jennifer.
    happy (just about) fifty, lovely!
    dancing through flowers + skies with you,
    as well, swimming through water otterly,

  5. Kathy on January 7, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Welcome, welcome, to my club. I’ve been waiting for you.
    I am just days away from 51, Jennifer! Let us both eat cake!

    Happy almost birthday, sweet one!

  6. Nancy on January 7, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    You are growing more beautiful with each year so lift your arms and fly girl, fly…..Age is freeing and liberating and so much fun. God knew what He was doing; He loves blesses his girls with some age on them….by the way, I have to really think about 50…but 60’s girlfriend….they are great…..

  7. Kel on January 7, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    the wind of my failing singing me free
    and now at last I’ve come to believe
    that I am
    not my swing.

    such scrumptiousness

    may your birthday bring love, laughter and lots of cake!

  8. Bren on January 8, 2012 at 4:27 am

    Your pen has a powerful swing my friend, save this one for the book.
    Happy Birthday, may it be a special year!

  9. Lynn (aka Nacher) on January 8, 2012 at 6:25 am

    That was a beautiful look back, now brace yourself for the ride and look forward to decades more beauty, love, life. I’ll be right here watching it all unfold. You pave a lovely path my friend.


    Happy Soon To Be Birthday!

  10. eydie on January 8, 2012 at 6:40 am


    Your words alway dazzle me.
    I love to take them in
    one by one.

    You truly are a magnificant writer.

    For me, I loved my 40’s (it was all about being a mom)
    and struggled a bit when it was time to leave them behind.

    I’ve been in my 50’s for just over a year,
    and there is so much to be found here
    in the vastness of it all.

    Have a beautiful celebration of YOU!

    I’d love to see a picture of you twirling in your birthday dress.
    Much love to you. my friend.

  11. jeanie on January 8, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Happy Birthday Soon — Perhaps Already! Oh — what a fabulous, honest, divinely perfect way to look back. And to look ahead. I don’t know if everyone is like me, but I loved my 50s. It wasn’t that bad stuff stopped — it never does, really — sometimes there’s just more of it than others. But apart from the fact that the lifeline continuum is a little shorter, it’s so liberating. The pressure is off, and you look back and wondered why the pressure was on in the first place. Your writing is powerful and beauitful and I look forward to reading ever so much more of it in your 50th year and beyond!

  12. Erin Leigh on January 8, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Jennifer, this is beautiful perspective. beautiful words. thank you, once again, for sharing them with us! xo, e

  13. S. Etole on January 8, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    It all seems so very long ago since I was there.
    Enter in with all your heart
    and may it be a
    lovely time with blue skies
    filled with promise
    and possibility.

  14. Barbara on January 8, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Blue skies and warm sunshine and just enjoying being you – all of you! That’s what I discovered in my fifties and I love it! It’s so freeing and invigorating and exciting – I know you’ll wrap it around you and turn it into something beautiful. Happy birthday!!

  15. kelly on January 8, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    I love this, that title is just wonderful! i am turning fifty this year, too, although not until November, but yes, I have reached the point where I am enough, it is all enough.

    here’s to fabulous fifty… have a happy birthday!

  16. Liv on January 9, 2012 at 12:09 am

    Wow. Wow. Wow. Every word perfect, every year necessary, every swing worthwhile, and may every year of your fifties feel like a home run.

  17. JBR on January 9, 2012 at 3:18 am

    I am four years ahead of you Jen. It is not too bad the next decade. As always, thank you for your continued encouragement to me. You are a blessing.

  18. Anne on January 9, 2012 at 9:50 am

    This piece is such a timely gift to me, Jen. I agree with so much of what the others have already said and I can only add that I have learned that showing up and being fully present IS knocking it out of the park — you do it on a regular basis and share it with us! What a blessing you are — happy early birthday!

  19. Christina on January 9, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    my friend,
    i am so happy you are here.
    getting older means you are here and that comforts me…
    i look for you often to be by my side, like today, it was quiet, and thought of you. so i tip toed over here. sigh. ; )
    happy birthday dear poet, may you discover unturned words to weave, and more love that one person needs.

  20. Mary on January 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    i came back for a second reading…thought for sure i left a comment on my first…
    the striping down of what we once thought we needed is often a hard process, but so worth the freedom and room it leaves for more…more of what we were made for…

    i’m grateful to for you just being you!


  21. Louise G on January 9, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    happy Happy Birthday sweet, beautiful and poetic jennifer!

    Happy Birthday (love the poem) and know…

    for me…

    the best began at 50 🙂

    to your beginnings of the best days of your life yet.

  22. sharon leaf on January 9, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    We must celebrate together when I return from California. I’ll be sixty-six on the 31st. I sometimes wish we didn’t have to be reminded of how old we are … wish we could just float through the years not thinking of numbers. Forty. Fifty. Sixty-something. My Mother left this earth at sixty-six. I don’t plan on making an exit. Like you, I’m happy to be alive and celebrate each day as a gracious gift from God. Happy almost birthday, Jennifer. I truly love who you are.

  23. Cousin Cathy on January 9, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    I was very happy when I turned fifty since only a few short week before we had been in that bad accident and God decided it wasn’t my time to go be with him yet. He still had plans for me here on earth. When you come that close to death your whole outlook on life changes. Little thing don’t bother you anymore and you are thankful for everyday you are still here with friends and family. Enjoy all your days to come and celebrate your life. You have become a beautiful person inside and out and letting us all know you better with your writings. Remember you are only as old as you feel so stay young and alive. Love to you always, my almost 50 year old cousin!

  24. beth on January 9, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    oh fifty…..i will be there soon enough. i think jumping in with both feet and an open heart is the way to go. go big or go home. isn’t that what everyone says lately 🙂

  25. Liz on January 10, 2012 at 1:08 am

    oh the Gift Gift *Gift* of You in my life, Jen….you and your liberating words…..little keys that fit these rusted prisons that have held me too long from flight and light……..

    I am running out of ways to tell you how deeply grateful I am for You…….especially as I am on your heels in a sense……turning 40 this year and wanting to be able to look back from your vantage point on a life Lived, wings unfurled, paths taken…….

    ….wishing us both courage in the Crossing, my dear sweet Godsend of a friend,

  26. Connie Smiley on January 10, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    You dazzle us all, Jennifer, with your open heart and honest words. From one who’s almost finished with them, 50’s can be very good. Welcome!

  27. kathryn on January 10, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    i definitely could not have put that more beautifully!! I felt the same way as you and except for a few more wrinkles i am very happy to be 50 and look forward to an awesome decade…i think you will find it wonderful too!!

  28. missing moments on January 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Simply beautiful and an early b-day congrats. I absolutely loved my 40’s but then my 50’s were even better! Enjoy each and every day of them!

  29. Marion on January 14, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    the simple, AMAZING glory of being you!
    And what a great person you are.

    The best part of being 50 is looking back on all that came before. You are celebrating this beautiful history that has made you you and given you the strength and courage to know that no matter what happens, you always have the gift of you. (lucky you!)

    Happy Birthday, Dear Jennifer!

  30. Jillsy Girl on January 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    That is the most heartfelt and touching poem! Welcome to the 50’s where we all FINALLY get to enjoy who we really are, what life is really all about, and forget about trying to impress!

  31. Jillsy Girl on January 14, 2012 at 1:07 pm


  32. Debi Minter on January 14, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I think my 50″s have been wonderful. I’m inching towards 60 with my 59th birthday in a couple of weeks. My 40″s were a roller coaster ride and things leveled out considerably in my 50″s. As always, I love coming here and reading what you have to say. You have a gift with words and I love to wander and linger here whenever you have something to say. It’s ALWAYS worth listening to.
    PS: What camera do you use for your fantastic photos???

  33. JBR on January 15, 2012 at 5:06 am

    Came back to take in the beauty once again of your pictures Jen. Blessings.

  34. Marcie on January 15, 2012 at 11:44 am

    An absolutely beautiful fairwell to the 40’s. And – I have to say – the 50’s are pretty good…it just keeps getting better!!!

  35. leslie on January 18, 2012 at 7:47 am

    “I’m leaving my forties fairly sure
    that I’m loved still.
    for just who I am
    and it’s enough…I’m enough.
    And this is pure gift.”

    that is a good place to be… and the crocus puts the finishing touch on your words of gratitude 🙂

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