Monthly Archives: March 2017

Plan for my 50th BirthYear!

I’ve thought about this a lot. There wasn’t one big thing I could do today. Instead of a big birthday celebration or, I  have decided to have a birthyear! And I’m going to do 50 things that will make me happy, starting on my 50th Birthday, and go straight through until my 51st. It’s not a bucket list, but it’s things—that I know will bring me joy and will let me celebrate this wonderful birthday, for which I am grateful, for longer than one day.

It’s just my way of embracing the start of this important decade in a very meaningful and fulfilling way. I will share some of the things that are on my 50 Things I’m Going to Do to Celebrate my 50th Birthday list. None of them are a huge stretch, and most are simple, every-day pleasures. And, each and every one is on the list because they will make ME happy, not someone else.

Here is a peek at how I am planning to celebrate my 50th from March 20 2017 to March 20 2018:

  1. Actually, exercise … yeah maybe join a gym. Yikes!
  2. Visit Oregon wine country
  3. Visit my Texan friend
  4. Go to a dance class
  5. Rescue a puppy from a shelter
  6. Register at the police station as a line-up person.
  7. Keep writing
  8. Be more selfish
  9. Stop being afraid of failure
  10. Keep forgiving people
  11. For every three pieces of chocolate, eat a vegetable …Double yikes!
  12. Wear more colors than just black
  13. Go to the park – and swing
  14. Ride a bike
  15. Try yoga / meditation
  16. Write a love letter
  17. Cook for someone special
  18. Stop saying, “sorry”
  19. Schedule a massage
  20. Do / watch something scary
  21. Sleep more than 5 hours
  22. Start baking again
  23. Flirt more
  24. Go for a tarot card reading
  25. Give and get more hugs

Clearly my celebration list is a work in progress.  Celebrating me and my life is not something I do naturally.  This will surely be an interesting year as I dabble in and practice this thing called CELEBRATION.  Since today is the first day of my 50th year – I better go get this party started!


So Much Life After HS …

I have learned some very valuable lessons in my life – as I hope all have by the time they reach the age of 50.  I didn’t have a good time in high school; I attended two very different schools in those short four years.  The last few years, I find myself back home, close to where I went to high school and so many fellow classmates all still hang out together.  Still.  I have no problem with this until they made an issue with me not attending the school functions, the class reunions, etc.  Some remember those years full of angst or full of joy.  My four years of high school was more full of angst and I have chosen to try to put behind me -especially when many of the same people who made my life unbearable in HS tried to make my life difficult 30 years later.  So shame on them.   And to think many of these people now have children of their own.  I pray for them.  I was shy, sheltered by my immediate family, basically an introvert back then and now I like to think I have graduated to an ambivert.  I tend to only surround myself with calm people these days.  I don’t need to loud, crowd filled moments.  I prefer to look at the photos after an event or party then be the life of the party.  I wish more people would respect that some connections and so-called friendships from a tenuous connection from high schools days do indeed have an expiration date.  I attended my 25th and 30th HS reunions.  It was okay.  I learned I still have very little in common with most people there who showed up.  I tried.  I went.  Now I just want to be left alone by that ‘crowd’.

To me, it seems like some people never leave high school.  They are still jealous, bullies, immature, and many busy trying to relive glory sports days or prom queen days.

After attending the 25th reunion, so many of the same people who tried spreading gossip about me in HS invited me out; I went, I am a forgiving person, chalking all those HS moments to immaturity.  But sitting with these strangers around me, and all talking about things I had no true connection to nor memory of, I realized I still had very little in common with this group of tight knit high school friends.  I tried.  I wanted to know what it would be like to hang out with the HS ‘in-crowd’.  As an adult, being invited to parties I never got invited to while in HS, I thought would vindicate me and erase some of those sad HS moments.  But it didn’t.  If anything some get together’s just exacerbated it.

My curiosities were at an all time high, and I tried to just approach by observing, more like an anthropologist than an active participant.  I was learning a little of what it most of been to be popular in HS.  But curiosity wanes.  People show their true colors, and I was sad – but not for myself, but for them.  So many of these people, left high school, married someone from their local area, and settled in the same area or a place just like our hometown.  I couldn’t truly relate back then nor now.  Most of my friends are people I have met outside of high school.  I have a huge family and am close to my cousins, who will always be my friends, my source of home.  And have been lucky to have traveled and work in many different places, so many of my friends are from shared experiences as adults.

I have been busy trying to put those tough awkward years behind me – only to learn that I am still more awkward than not.  Daily, I battle depression, PTSD, body image issues due to cancer and scars, and have never been the social, bubbly, pretty cheerleader type.  I prefer to get lost in the background, in books, in words, in engaging all my five senses by enjoying wine and food.  I detest dieting and never go to the gym.  I don’t feel the need to look perfect nor do I believe in plastic surgery nor in spending tons of money on wrinkle cream or cellulite cream.   I am happy with myself, by myself.  I don’t need validation from many people, especially those from high school who never had my back then or now, and have never walked in my shoes, Jimmy Choo or not.

I have learned that I didn’t allow those four years of high school to fully define me. I haven’t lived there for a very long time.  I never allowed that HS shadow to linger.  Some feelings did arise whenever I get an invitation and then I write posts like this.  But for the most part, I realize that my HS years were hard but it doesn’t hold much glory days.  I was on the honor society, I had my cousins as my friends, and didn’t need much.  I graduated, moved on.  I don’t have that sense of melancholy from those HS days. I see that those HS years occupy a privileged place for many people.  They reminisce and want to relive their glory days.  Perhaps explains Ralph Keyes’s observation in his 1976 classic, Is There Life After High School?: “Somehow those three or four years can in retrospect feel like 30.”

About the only thing I still deal with since I was a teenager is still learning how to be myself, to not lose control and to continually keep learning.

 

So I wish when I chose to RSVP NO that people from high school could respect that and move forward.  And not feel the need to talk about me behind my back … but sadly, we all know that is not the case.  So I try to remember the saying, “What people say about me behind my back is none of my business.” (RuPaul).  They don’t know me, they can dislike me, well dislike what they think they know of me.  And I will continue being me, living my life, with its ups and downs, but me loving myself each day.

Most importantly, it’s my life, and if something doesn’t serve me, I am learning to let it go.  We have no obligation to someone else. When something upsets you, let it go.  And that includes what other people think of you. If other peoples’ judgement is bringing you down, ignore it.  Try to only hold onto things that make you feel good. Other people can make their choices. They can bitch about you and say nasty things. But don’t forget that you have choices too.  So let’s all try to make better choices.  Shaking off the negativity, moving forward with purpose, and looking forward to all the beautiful, positive things that make me happy … with hope in my heart and grace in my step.

 


Giddy at Fifty

In exactly 7 days, I will turn 50 years old … yes, me turning 50!  I am over the moon ecstatic.  I never thought I would reach this age.  I am a cancer survivor, a crisis survivor, continue to battle PTSD and depression.   I have lost so many loved ones when they were too young – my brother 25 yo, my Dad 57 yo, my fiance 37 yo, aunt 35 yo … I had decided that was my fate as well.  I have spent most of my life thinking I was running out of time.  I lived in the past or in the moment, never fully preparing nor planning a future.

I am almost halfway to 100 and I am so giddy lately.  I am finally midlife.   I will be half of a century old.  How downright exciting … to be me right now??   I am about to finally reach a true milestone and with this I have learned that a happy life starts at whatever age you finally grow up and realize that it’s yours to live … not dictated by family nor work.  It’s all mine.

Sure, I am not naive enough to think it will all be smooth sailing here on out.  I have been through too much to believe that.  But I have been through so much already, I know I can get through whatever life throws at me.

I do worry at times, financially I am not in a good place; nor romantically…even professionally.  Could I have accomplished more?  Sure.  I have spent way too many years in the past.  I no longer live there.  I have hibernated enough.  I have compromised enough.  I have sacrificed enough.  Cancer, regret, loss, crisis, compromise, sacrifice – all have changed the course of my ideal life.   I still have many anxious moments – I still work hard each day to keep my fears and demons at bay.  I have learned and accepted that even with the best planning, we are never fully in control of our own destiny. This lessons learned has come with a high price in my life; it’s a benefit that I have been gifted with the act of getting older, being wise, being experienced.  I am fortunate enough to understand that growth in life doesn’t just stop midlife – it’s a continual realigning, reevaluating, realizing, reexamining, renewing, reconnecting, reacquainting and renewing…and loving the alliteration as always … finally relaxing and just accepting me … yes ME.

Learning as I turn 50, there is so much of life to look back on …and there is so much more to do.  I live for all my loved ones who died too young.  I live for me.  Turning 50 is great because I am still here.  I have learned to be my own cheerleader, my own support system.  I am a survivor.  I have found my smile even through my tears.  I fight through any pain, any sadness, any setback.  I look in the mirror and am happy to see wrinkles, even the gray hair and the love handles.  I have earned this life.  I have lived this life.  And I will continue …. with hope in my heart and grace in my step.  #JustT

 


Need A Spark …

Well I am trying to be more social again and start dating …yes trying again to put myself out there and be open minded.  Agreed to meet a nice looking, age appropriate man for coffee.  The night before we talked on the phone for three hours…yes, 3 hours!  We talked about so much even politics.  It was refreshing.   So when we meet today – conversation is easy.  He is a great listener as well as a good speaker.  Bur we talked about work, skills – more professional than personal.  There was no romantic spark.  And I find myself home, writing this post, feeling a little sad.  On paper he fits all my criteria – he is dark-haired and handsome.  He is employed. He is Christian.  He believes in family.

But I touched his hand … and nothing.  We chastely kissed at the door – I felt nothing.  Well, ironically there was jolt of static cling electricity but not a true chemical spark.  So no spark, now what??

Now I am tired of all my friends saying I am too picky, or I don’t give men a chance.  But how long do you wait for the spark to develop?    How long should you give to see if there is true chemistry?  I am mature and intelligent enough to understand that sparks are usually temporary and they don’t normally last.  Compatibility lasts.  Logic.  But I have lived too many years without true love and passion.  Don’t I deserve it?  Don’t I deserve the butterflies?  Don’t I deserve to feel that zing, that unexplained must-have chemistry, pure magic??  Do I have to settle?  No I refuse to settle.  I need to feel that spark.  Soon!  I totally accept that love at first sight is beyond rare.  I need to accept that we may need to allow for the slow burn of attraction, let our first meeting date jitters to pass and try to get to know each other.

The guy I met today is into the gym and working out hard, faithfully and is very physically, outdoorsy active.  I am more a home body and I have let myself go a little sideways, struggling with weight, body image issues, hitting 50 and pre-menopausal.  So maybe he wasn’t physically attracted to me hence no spark.  I don’t know.  Maybe I don’t care too much right not to learn otherwise.  Maybe he has zero boyfriend potential; maybe he is indeed just a nice guy.  Perhaps there isn’t enough chemistry for a relationship. But seriously how many ‘dates’ do I need to go on to find out??

I will try harder to keep from closing off.  I just don’t want to be that girl – every man’s buddy – where they think I am a great lady, we talk for hours, laugh, but they use me as sounding board.  They want to hang out, talk about their job, family and dating woes, ask for advice but ultimately there is no shared attraction, no sexual interest.  No passion.

So we didn’t make plans to meet up again, but we did text already tonight when he got home.  Maybe we will just be friendly.  I don’t know.  I would go out with him again though if asked.  I think it’s rare to know whether we have real dating potential with someone after only a few hours.  I do enjoy conversing with him.  He has a great phone voice as well.  Easy on the eyes, yes.  Who knows….

So as much as I didn’t get that instant overwhelming attraction to him, we still got along.  Time will tell I guess.

Remaining positive … with hope in my heart and grace in my step … learning how to sashay.


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