In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
50! I can’t believe it. I turned 50 this year. What happened to me being the youngest? I’ve always been the youngest, in my family, among my classmates, at work…. Needless to say, a lot has changed.
I’ve been looking forward to this milestone all year. It sounds so cliched but I can’t believe I’m at this point in my life. As people often say, I don’t feel 50 in my head or my heart. Sure, I feel a lot wiser. I’m still a pretty feisty chick but I grasp motives a whole lot better and don’t overreact as I may have in the past. I feel a little bit of 50 physically, as in I seriously walked around like a little old lady yesterday as my Achilles’ tendons were so tight. Need to stretch those puppies! And other than being plump (humor me!), I’m in pretty good health.
I told my husband I wanted to go to a favorite vineyard on my birthday as it is hands down one of my favorite places. The weather was perfect for it Sunday, and we were taking the kids for the first time to show them how pretty it is, not to mention the good food and wine! Little did I know that my sisters, brothers-in-law, two nieces and their families, and our friends the Hires had gathered there to surprise me. It worked. I burst into tears at the sight of them and had extended family and friends sing to me for the first time since I was 16. What a gift.
Perhaps it is needless to say, 50 is a point of reckoning. It seems funny to me now that I had a quarter-life crisis but it’s what prompted me to take stock of what mattered, and family mattered so I moved to Pittsburgh to be closer to them and I LOVED how my life changed for the better with that move. I gained so much more with that change. While I’m not planning a change of address any time soon, I am taking stock of a lot of things.
I believe in God, in a higher power that is a force for good…and I believe every single one of us is the means to manifest that force, so the power of every one of us to focus on love and on the care of our earth, its creatures, and our brothers and sisters, is how God’s love becomes real.
My first priority will always be my immediate family and raising them to be happy, kind, brave, generous, productive young adults. They will get my time and attention before anyone else.
Then again, they say to put your own oxygen mask on first before tending to others so I realize my own health needs to be prioritized higher than it’s been. I love yoga, biking, and hiking so there will be more of that in the future.
Work is tougher to assess. I’ve always been driven to do my best, so I know there is no slacking off there. Plus the reality is I’m the breadwinner so I will do nothing to jeopardize that. But I’ve learned that some things are out of your control despite your best efforts. And right or wrong I throw SO much of myself into work that my self esteem not to mention my health takes a hit when things happen beyond my control. So my challenge moving forward is to do my best always but not put all my eggs in that basket. Time to diversify the use of my talents.
I’m not gonna talk about what there will be less of…it’s not even worth mentioning.
There will be…
- More writing. I have a book in me for sure. And this blog is a step in that direction.
- More travel. I love travel anyway, but I really took it to another level this year. I am rejuvenated and enriched every time I go, junkie that I am, and I want my kids to see the places I’ve been…relive each venue through their eyes and discover new places together.
- More photos to capture the precious people in my life.
- More charity: we give in small ways but I want to find ways to expand what and how we give.
- More flowers. Ready to stick my hands in dirt.
- More friends. Hopefully a season of loneliness that has gripped me for more than a decade is over. I’m a friendly introvert who has kept things pretty close to the chest for a while now but it’s time for a different tact.
- More growth. Spiritually for sure but really every kind. Growth is hard-wired into me.
- More hiking and biking with fresh air and trees.
- More meditation and prayer. It calms me and gives me perspective…helps me set my intention for how I move through and love in this world.
- More yoga: stretching ought to be the theme for the next decade. I’ve already made good on that as a new, beautiful yoga studio has opened in town.
- More love and laughter. Everyone can use more love and laughter. And celebrations, even little ones.
Making every moment from here out matter.