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Evens in an Odd Life: One Step Closer to 50

September 11, 2019



I'm gonna ruminate, reflect, and maybe whine and wonder a little about turning 50 over the next month, with little to some coherence, and hopefully equal amounts of humor. Along the way, I'm also gonna call in the power of a lot of badass, wild + sage energies, experiences, and goddesses. Let's give it up first, here, for Oya, Goddess of Empowerment. And a few opening thoughts...



I was born on 10.10.1969, in San Jose, California, at the Good Samaritan Hospital. From the start, my identity was dubious--even the correct spelling of my name was a conundrum to my mom, the woman naming me, who, in the bliss of afterbirth, could not remember how either of my namesakes (one a renowned environmentalist and the other my Canadian great-grandmother) truly spelled theirs. So, I legally became Deneene McCLaren, but it should have been Deneen McLaren. Looking at it now, I think the legal spelling is the perfect balance--4 e’s, 2 n’s, 2 c’s. Evens in an odd life. And it is this odd life that I reflect upon now.


In 30 days I will complete my 50th rotation around the sun. That is 50 years on this planet. OMFG. I will be FIFTY! It’s a beautiful number, balanced as my triple-Libran nature would have it: half of 100—the grandfather of numbers— and cleanly divisible by 1, 2, 5, 10, 25. Fifty is a strong, respectable number. One that denotes all of the wisdom and life experience you think a person might have by the time she reaches it. 


According to Numerology, 50 is the number of progress and growth, symbolizing fusion of body, mind, spirit. The advantage of having this much life behind you is that you gain a lot of opportunity for hindsight, if not hindsight itself. But if you bother to take a deep, honest, “long as it takes to finish that extra large bag of popcorn” look at your playback reel, you might actually learn something about yourself. You might at least come by some knowledge of what you could tweak about yourself to live a more robust, positive life. You might actually find the power and gumption to make those tweaks. You might even be actively changing your life’s story with new adventures and routines. You might successfully be dumping lifetimes of emotional and karmic garbage into the cosmic waste bin in non-self-destructive ways! That's evolution! You might actually get to enter into this next phase of life without the same fucking baggage you’ve been carrying for at least this entire lifetime!! Wouldn't that be amazing? OMG! Yes! ... I could pretend to be that evolved. But I won’t. I'm working on that shit, though.


What I do know I will continue to practice, hone, and stand firm on as I cross the threshold into my 50s is the following:

  • I will not apologize for being myself.

  • I will set boundaries and prioritize the needs of myself and my family.

  • I do not have to share everything I think. 

  • I am welcome to share everything I think. Try to make it kind, true + necessary.

  • I will not make excuses.

  • I will (strive to) be a light unto myself and others.

  • I will celebrate progress not perfection.


That’s what I’m working with. One step closer to 50.


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