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The Big 50…

Two weeks ago, I turned fifty. 

I have never feared aging. I consider it a privilege and the alternative really sucks.  As I have gotten older, I find that I have become more content with what I have and who I am.  I have finally gotten to the point where I am pretty comfortable in my “not so elastic” skin. Getting older has freed me from societal norms and enslaved me with others. 

I love books. I have recently completed a book by Elizabeth Gilbert where she talks about living a more creative life.  She comments, “living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than fear.”  This statement really resonated with me.  It had me thinking.  I live a wonderful life.  But I worry that I have not been brave.  I have made safe choices and with those choices came very little risk.  beach-book-coffee-mug

Life is short so I try to live my life with few regrets.  I fill each day with as many things as a twenty-four hour period can hold.  I LOVE to be busy.  I do worry that I have spent too much of my precious time on tasks and chores and not enough on dreaming and daring to imagine my life in a different way.

My kids are almost grown and my full days are about to change.  Change is scary and a chance for growth.  I guess you could call this a preemptive strike against irrelevance.

As I embrace turning 50 and the next phase of my life, I would like you to join me on my journey.  I have been compiling a list things that I would like to encounter or change in my life.  I have been adding and subtracting and rewriting my list for some time.  I have been stockpiling vacation time and some extra funds to fund this special adventure that I am calling “50 at 50”.  This list will seem geriatric to some and crazy to others.  This is my list and I am excited about some items, nervous about others and wondering if I can get it all done.  Make your own list…

A few days ago, I shared my list with my three teenage daughters. As with most things, each reaction was unique.  One daughter was interested in joining me on some of my adventures, another was unsure if I would have time for the family and the third daughter wondered if this was one of the mid-life crisis and should she be concerned. 

So with fingers crossed, I begin the journey. 

The List… 

  • Write a monthly thank you to someone who has had a big impact on my life
  • Give blood
  • Spend an entire day completing random acts of kindness
  • Grant a wish from my mom’s bucket list
  • Get real with money
  • Say no and mean it and feel no guilt
  • Ask for help with no guilt or delay
  • Allow myself to be photographed more often
  • Spend a weekend at the monastery
  • Learn about other religions
  • Join my church as a member
  • Lose 20 pounds
  • Belly Dancing Class
  • Pole Dancing Class
  • Body Cleanse and Detox
  • Reflexology
  • Acupuncture
  • Tai Chi
  • Learn to Bartend
  • Learn to Grill
  • Take an improv class
  • Ziplining
  • Rock Climbing
  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • Disc Golf
  • Laser Tag
  • Paint Ball
  • Big Repairs on the house this year
  • Get a tattoo
  • Have a reading by psychic
  • Go to the rodeo
  • Grape Stomping–yes like the time Lucy and Ethel made wine
  • Tandem biking
  • Compete in an event at the State Fair
  • Drive a convertible
  • Work for a flower shop and deliver flowers for a day
  • Write a blog
  • Read a new book each week
  • Read all the books that my book club selects
  • Film Festival
  • Music Festival
  • Get a passport–the plan to travel out of the country begins..
  • Road Trip alone…Thelma and Louise with no Louise…
  • Train Trip
  • Stephen Colbert Show
  • Independent Bookstore Tour around the Midwest
  • Facial
  • Visit with a cosmetologist for a makeup makeover
  • Join AARP
  • Have a colonoscopy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capture the moment

A happy thing happened to me last week.  A young man asked to see my ID before he would allow me to purchase alcohol.  I almost climbed over the counter and kissed him right in the face.  I suppressed the feeling but it made me smile all the same.

I do realize that this same young gentleman requested ID from everyone so this was not a testament to my youthful appearance.   As I grow older, things tend to go away.  Some of life’s possibility goes with it.  For instance, I can no longer do the splits.  And I was sure I could still do a handspring, tried, failed.  This almost led to an emergency room visit.    Needless to say, losing your spring and split is not the end of the world.  But, I use to be able and now I cannot.  Change happens for the better and the worse.

My appearance is a change that has taken some getting use to.  In my youth, I considered myself attractive.  I liked how I looked then.  And, if I would have known what I know now, I would have looked longer with appreciation instead of seeing the flaws.   

I am trying each and every day to appreciate how I look in the mirror now because it is constantly changing.  I am ignoring the flaws and appreciating new gray hairs and laugh lines that were not present a short time ago. I am working hard at taking care of me.  After nearly two decades of “kid-focused” choices, I have started to transition my attention back to me.  My focus has become diet, exercise, timely doctor appointments and enjoying those moments in life that pass so quickly.  Some times instead of photographing every moment, I leave my camera at home and I simply listen to my girls in the band or I watch them sleep in the car after a long drive.

I am really enjoying my journey this year.  I am promising myself future adventures and I am learning all kinds of new things as I capture moments alone, with the girls, Ben and my circle of friends. 

The List

  • Write a monthly thank you to someone who has had a big impact on my life
  • Give blood
  • Spend an entire day completing random acts of kindness
  • Grant a wish from my mom’s bucket list
  • Get real with money
  • Say no and mean it and feel no guilt
  • Ask for help with no guilt or delay
  • Allow myself to be photographed more often
  • Spend a weekend at the monastery
  • Learn about other religions
  • Join my church as a member
  • Lose 20 pounds
  • Belly Dancing Class
  • Pole Dancing Class
  • Body Cleanse and Detox
  • Reflexology
  • Acupuncture
  • Tai Chi
  • Learn to Bartend
  • Learn to Grill
  • Take an Improv Class
  • Ziplining
  • Rock Climbing
  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • Disc Golf
  • Laser Tag
  • Paint Ball
  • Big Repairs on the house this year
  • Get a tattoo
  • Have a reading by psychic
  • Go to the rodeo
  • Grape Stomping–yes like the time Lucy and Ethel made wine
  • Tandem biking
  • Compete in an event at the State Fair
  • Drive a convertible
  • Work for a flower shop and deliver flowers for a day
  • Write a blog
  • Read a new book each week
  • Read all the books that my book club selects
  • Film Festival
  • Music Festival
  • Get a passport–the plan to travel out of the country begins..
  • Road Trip alone…Thelma and Louise with no Louise…
  • Train Trip
  • Stephen Colbert Show
  • Independent Bookstore Tour around the Midwest
  • Facial
  • Visit with a cosmetologist for a makeup makeover
  • Join AARP
  • Have a colonoscopy

The items that have been marked through are completed items.

cameras

Just me…

My entire life I have been surrounded by people.  I have four siblings, hundreds of cousins and many friends.  I am very social and I really enjoy companionship.  My husband, Ben is many times forced to go on errands he would rather avoid so I can have someone else in the car.   I even invite him into the room while I am reading.  I like him around.

In recent years, I have gradually found that I enjoy time alone.  I am so much more comfortable with me-spending time all by myself now that I am older.  I use to think being alone meant I was lonely or unpopular.  I don’t fear being alone anymore.  I am unsure why the transition but I am going to credit it to learning to love myself.  I think age and life experience have played a role in this change also.

Doing things that makes me happy lights me up inside and out.  And, solitude is one of those things.  I am not rejecting family or friends.  I am just taking time to think deeply and disconnect from my very busy and noisy life.

Capturing time to be alone was not easy with my very active life.  I started adding solitude to my “To Do List” in the form of a bubble bath or yoga.   It really felt liberating to add something for me to my long list of laundry, grocery shopping, PTA meetings and all the other things I needed to accomplish before my head and pillow were able to reunite.

So it started, time for me. My love affair with solitude.  At first it might have been 20-30 minutes.  Then it expanded to more time for me and some times, I take an entire day. I have taken more than a couple of vacation days and not told my children.  I have spent the better part of my youth, being wracked with guilt. Not this time.  I am a better mom, friend, employee, wife when I take time for me.  I appreciate my life more.

As I was building my “50 at 50 list”.  Solitude and quiet time was included.  I am planning a road trip alone and some time at the monastery for deep thought and meditation.

The List

  • Write a monthly thank you to someone who has had a big impact on my life
  • Give blood
  • Spend an entire day completing random acts of kindness
  • Grant a wish from my mom’s bucket list
  • Get real with money
  • Say no and mean it and feel no guilt
  • Ask for help with no guilt or delay
  • Allow myself to be photographed more often
  • Spend a weekend at the monastery
  • Learn about other religions
  • Join my church as a member
  • Lose 20 pounds
  • Belly Dancing Class
  • Pole Dancing Class
  • Body Cleanse and Detox
  • Reflexology
  • Acupuncture
  • Tai Chi
  • Learn to Bartend
  • Learn to Grill
  • Take an Improv Class
  • Ziplining
  • Rock Climbing
  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • Disc Golf
  • Laser Tag
  • Paint Ball
  • Big Repairs on the house this year
  • Get a tattoo
  • Have a reading by psychic
  • Go to the rodeo
  • Grape Stomping–yes like the time Lucy and Ethel made wine
  • Tandem biking
  • Compete in an event at the State Fair
  • Drive a convertible
  • Work for a flower shop and deliver flowers for a day
  • Write a blog
  • Read a new book each week
  • Read all the books that my book club selects
  • Film Festival
  • Music Festival
  • Get a passport–the plan to travel out of the country begins..
  • Road Trip alone…Thelma and Louise with no Louise…
  • Train Trip
  • Stephen Colbert Show
  • Independent Bookstore Tour around the Midwest
  • Facial
  • Visit with a cosmetologist for a makeup makeover
  • Join AARP
  • Have a colonoscopy

The items that have been marked through are completed items.

Juice Cleanse

As I was researching my latest adventure, I became overwhelmed by the number of ways I could cleanse myself and the number of products I could use to do so.  I read articles, books and talked to healthy living gurus.  I know myself pretty well and I know that a month cleanse was not for me.  I do not like to experiment with food and I do not enjoy hunger pangs.

I arrived at a juice cleanse thinking that I liked juice better than I actually do.  A local business in the Roosevelt Shops offers a  three or five day juice cleanse.  They make the juice for you.  I visited the store and selected the Green Hornet and I was on my way.  My oldest daughter, Elena joined me on the cleanse.  Misery loves company.

My hopes for the cleanse was to give up diet soda and help me to start some healthier eating habits.  I think that a few days without sugar and salt will help me adjust to a diet with fewer sweets and chips.

Day number one of the cleanse came and went without too much notice.  The juice diet kept me satisfied for the most part.  I did not suffer headaches and I did not spend my day in the restroom.  Lunch time at work was pretty hard.  Someone in the office had Chinese food for lunch.  And, if that was not bad enough, another person had fried chicken.  The smells were killing me.  So I grabbed my keys and headed out to the parking lot.  I had to get away.  Before I knew it, I was driving to Jimmy John’s for a quick sandwich.  I left the parking lot and before I reached the first turn, it occurred to me, “you cannot have a sandwich, you are on a juice cleanse.”  So I circled the block and returned to work.

Day number two was about the same.  I am actually enjoying some of the juice mixtures that The Juice Company made for me.  I do miss chewing.  I woke up at five and got to work before six.  I definitely am feeling a boost of energy.

Day number three happens tomorrow and I have no doubt that I can finish the cleanse.  It  has been far easier than I thought it would.  I think I could do a five-day cleanse next time.  This is something that I will definitely do again.

Thumbs Up for juice cleansing.

The List

  • Write a monthly thank you to someone who has had a big impact on my life
  • Give blood
  • Spend an entire day completing random acts of kindness
  • Grant a wish from my mom’s bucket list
  • Get real with money
  • Say no and mean it and feel no guilt
  • Ask for help with no guilt or delay
  • Allow myself to be photographed more often
  • Spend a weekend at the monastery
  • Learn about other religions
  • Join my church as a member
  • Lose 20 pounds
  • Belly Dancing Class
  • Pole Dancing Class
  • Body Cleanse and Detox
  • Reflexology
  • Acupuncture
  • Tai Chi
  • Learn to Bartend
  • Learn to Grill
  • Take an Improv Class
  • Ziplining
  • Rock Climbing
  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • Disc Golf
  • Laser Tag
  • Paint Ball
  • Big Repairs on the house this year
  • Get a tattoo
  • Have a reading by psychic
  • Go to the rodeo
  • Grape Stomping–yes like the time Lucy and Ethel made wine
  • Tandem biking
  • Compete in an event at the State Fair
  • Drive a convertible
  • Work for a flower shop and deliver flowers for a day
  • Write a blog
  • Read a new book each week
  • Read all the books that my book club selects
  • Film Festival
  • Music Festival
  • Get a passport–the plan to travel out of the country begins..
  • Road Trip alone…Thelma and Louise with no Louise…
  • Train Trip
  • Stephen Colbert Show
  • Independent Bookstore Tour around the Midwest
  • Facial
  • Visit with a cosmetologist for a makeup makeover
  • Join AARP
  • Have a colonoscopy

The items that have been marked through are completed items.

SMART Goals

Goal setting is something we read about and hear about on a regular basis. For some, goal setting is a stressor. For others, a goal is a stress reliever.   I fall into the second group. I make lists, set goals, and complete New Year’s Resolutions. In fact, my lists some time have their own lists.  I have a list for each season of things to do with the kids. I have a lifelong love of list making and goal setting.

Life is short and hectic and I use goal setting as a way to be organized, as a way to make sure I remember what needs to be done and a way not to lose my sense of self in the hectic world of family life. If it is on the list, it must be done.

I use goal setting mostly for self-improvement such as relationship improvement or being healthier. Other times, I use goal setting as a bucket list.   The making of the list or selecting goals is very therapeutic for me. I often go to a quiet, favorite place like a coffee shop, library or park. I ask myself a few questions: What do I want to improve? What do I hope to accomplish? What makes me unhappy?   Each of these questions open up a world of brainstorming for me.

With Sharpie in hand and a full legal pad, I just write. After several minutes, I am ready to devise the list and the plan to accomplish my goals. This process is so freeing for me. It allows my creative juices to flow and to travel back to childhood and remember dreams I have left behind. It is a wonderful process. I use the SMART goal setting plan to assist me with the process.

        S    Specific

        M   Measureable

        A   Action Oriented

        R   Realistic

        T   Time Bound

My action plan varies from goal to goal. Long-term goals tend to get lost with me, but I have been working to complete more of these types of goals. Journaling has been an effective tool and timelines have worked wonders.   It has been so much fun for me to work through my 50 at 50 List.

I have almost half complete. There are items that I have loved completing and will absolutely do again – such as giving blood and writing monthly letters to people who have impacted my life in a special way. There are ones that I am glad I tried but will probably not try again like Tai Chi and Zip Lining. There are list items that took very little effort like signing up for AARP and others that were very time consuming such as learning about other religions-still in progress goal.

The list kind of forces my hand. I would never have attended a rodeo if not for the list. Life is so busy and little thoughts about trying something may get lost. Last weekend, I trotted Ben out to Adel County and we attended the rodeo. To our chagrin, we liked it a lot. Ben tried something new that night also besides the rodeo. He tried and LOVED home-made ice cream. It certainly beat the heck out of sitting on the couch watching a movie.

The List

  • Write a monthly thank you to someone who has had a big impact on my life
  • Give blood
  • Spend an entire day completing random acts of kindness
  • Grant a wish from my mom’s bucket list
  • Get real with money
  • Say no and mean it and feel no guilt
  • Ask for help with no guilt or delay
  • Allow myself to be photographed more often
  • Spend a weekend at the monastery
  • Learn about other religions
  • Join my church as a member
  • Lose 20 pounds
  • Belly Dancing Class
  • Pole Dancing Class
  • Body Cleanse and Detox
  • Reflexology
  • Acupuncture
  • Tai Chi
  • Learn to Bartend
  • Learn to Grill
  • Take an Improv Class
  • Ziplining
  • Rock Climbing
  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • Disc Golf
  • Laser Tag
  • Paint Ball
  • Big Repairs on the house this year
  • Get a tattoo
  • Have a reading by psychic
  • Go to the rodeo
  • Grape Stomping–yes like the time Lucy and Ethel made wine
  • Tandem biking
  • Compete in an event at the State Fair
  • Drive a convertible
  • Work for a flower shop and deliver flowers for a day
  • Write a blog
  • Read a new book each week
  • Read all the books that my book club selects
  • Film Festival
  • Music Festival
  • Get a passport–the plan to travel out of the country begins..
  • Road Trip alone…Thelma and Louise with no Louise…
  • Train Trip
  • Stephen Colbert Show
  • Independent Bookstore Tour around the Midwest
  • Facial
  • Visit with a cosmetologist for a makeup makeover
  • Join AARP
  • Have a colonoscopy

The items that have been marked through are completed items.

 

Travel Abroad

As I was putting together my “50 at 50” list, I gave a great deal of thought to the things that I wanted to do.  I wanted the list to be adventurous and  realistic.  I knew this would be a big year for our family with the kids traveling abroad for the first time and Emma’s senior year of high school, therefore, I did not put on my list travel abroad.

But, the stars aligned and I was able to leave North America for the first time in my life.   Elena and I spent a week in Madrid, Spain and Paris France.  As we were planning our trip, my feelings were mixed with everything from anxiety to elation to eagerness.  We read travel books, visited travel websites and spoke with friends and relatives who were world travelers.  We received some very good advice because our trip was seamless.

Elena is a wonderful world traveler.  She is courageous, careful and resourceful.  She was by far the leader of our adventure.  She mastered the Metro systems in both countries with just a few minutes of study.  We were never lost and she was able to find all the locations on our wish lists for visiting.  Besides the above characteristics, Elena is young and at times forgot that I was 30 years older than her.  We tracked about 10+ miles each and every day.  I may be the only person to visit Europe and in a week lose ten pounds.  I am referring to it as the “Elena weight loss plan.”  You will walk fast, escalators and moving sidewalks are not for standing and you will carry your own bags all the time.  Stopping for food is allowed at most twice per day and drink lots of water because you will need it.

The most frightening portion of the trip was the zip lining  over the width of Tagus River in Toledo, Spain.  It took me two hours to work up the nerve to pay my money and sail across the river.  Elena took her turn over right away and then I sat and watched dozens of people in different shapes and sizes cross the river before I felt brave enough to put on my helmet and fly.  When I arrived to the jumping point, I had a few questions for the gentleman.  I started to explain to him that I was still a bit unsure if I should jump, he said you will be fine and pushed me out.  The rest is history.  I can mark that off my list.

Getting older has made me less brave.  I really do not mind the aging process but this has to be one of the side effects of aging that I enjoy the least.  As we planned for our trip, I think we talked as much about safety as we did the places we wanted to explore.  We planned for situations that might happen and we went over the details of our trip multiple times.

First and most importantly, I felt very safe the entire time we were in Europe.  Crime does happen and we were careful and conscience about our settings.  We stayed out of alleys and poorly lit areas.  We kept our money and passports in a pouch under our clothing.  We stayed with large groups of people so it did not appear we were  traveling alone.  We made colored copies of our passports and left one at home, left one if our suitcase at the hotel and took a picture on our phones.  In addition, before we left, we contacted our bank, credit card company and our medical insurance company.  We also packed a very small first aid kit for our bag that carried items such as Pepto Bismo, motion sick tables, ibuprofen, band aids and antibiotic cream.  We used each and every item while on our trip. 

Our trip can best be described as Lucy and Ethel meet the Girl Scouts.   It was such a wonderful adventure and I was so blessed to share it with my oldest daughter.  The best part of the trip for me was seeing the world through her eyes.  It also helped me to see her as the beautiful, responsible adult that she is. 

The List

  • Write a monthly thank you to someone who has had a big impact on my life
  • Give blood
  • Spend an entire day completing random acts of kindness
  • Grant a wish from my mom’s bucket list
  • Get real with money
  • Say no and mean it and feel no guilt
  • Ask for help with no guilt or delay
  • Allow myself to be photographed more often
  • Spend a weekend at the monastery
  • Learn about other religions
  • Join my church as a member
  • Lose 20 pounds
  • Belly Dancing Class
  • Pole Dancing Class
  • Body Cleanse and Detox
  • Reflexology
  • Acupuncture
  • Tai Chi
  • Learn to Bartend
  • Learn to Grill
  • Take an Improv Class
  • Ziplining
  • Rock Climbing
  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • Disc Golf
  • Laser Tag
  • Paint Ball
  • Big Repairs on the house this year
  • Get a tattoo
  • Have a reading by psychic
  • Go to the rodeo
  • Grape Stomping–yes like the time Lucy and Ethel made wine
  • Tandem biking
  • Compete in an event at the State Fair
  • Drive a convertible
  • Work for a flower shop and deliver flowers for a day
  • Write a blog
  • Read a new book each week
  • Read all the books that my book club selects
  • Film Festival
  • Music Festival
  • Get a passport–the plan to travel out of the country begins..
  • Road Trip alone…Thelma and Louise with no Louise…
  • Train Trip
  • Stephen Colbert Show
  • Independent Bookstore Tour around the Midwest
  • Facial
  • Visit with a cosmetologist for a makeup makeover
  • Join AARP
  • Have a colonoscopy

The items that have been marked through are completed items.

Day of Kindness

Yesterday, I spent the day completing random acts of kindness.  It was a wonderful day and with each act of kindness I felt empowered and confident. 

I started the day with my dear friend, Jamie Seitz.  Our love for books has bound us together as lifetime friends.  We both cleaned out bookshelves and shared some of our favorite reads with patrons of the Little Free Libraries.   If you would like to locate a Little Free Library near you, please visit their website  https://littlefreelibrary.org .   We filled 13 libraries with nearly 170 books in the pouring rain. 

I continued the days with more random acts.  I wrote anonymous letters of kindness to people who have touched my life or the lives of my children to just say thank you. 

I sat at the public library and paid a few small fines for patrons.  It was a slow day at the library and I left a note at the librarians desk with cash and asked her to please put the money toward patrons who could not use the library because of their fines.  The library is such a wonderful gift and I wanted to share it with someone who might be blocked from using the many resources that the Des Moines Public Library has to offer.

I have been saving cans and bottles for the last three months to donate to an individual who supplements their income by can collection.  I found just the person.  I drove thru the Hy-Vee parking lot.  I helped him with his cans and bottles.  He had a couple of large bags and headed toward the recycling center.  After he got inside, I went back to my car and filled up a shopping cart, moved it inside and told him to have a nice day.  He followed me out and asked, “Hey, what is this all about?”  I told him they were for him.  He smiled and thanked me. 

There are few things that I hate more than receiving a parking ticket.  My next stop was downtown.  I drove around for about twenty minutes looking for the Parking Enforcement Officers.  It was raining very hard and I never located them.  So, I walked down Locust Street filling meters for those that expired meters and ones that were close to expiring. 

My last random act of the day was to stop along the roadside and give cash to those individuals who were standing there hoping someone would stop and help.  As I handed one gentleman the money, he thanked me with tears in his eyes. 

I enjoyed this day so much.  When I retire, I am going to spend a day each month like this.  But for now, I am going to try to be kinder all the time.  There is no need to honk because the guy in front of you did not move instantly when the light changed.  There is no need to dart into a parking spot ahead of someone.  Do you really think the three minutes you saved by cutting in front of the frazzled mom of three at the grocery store is going to make a difference to you?   

It just takes such a little amount of time or money or kindness to really impact someone. Kindness matters.

The List

  • Write a monthly thank you to someone who has had a big impact on my life
  • Give blood
  • Spend an entire day completing random acts of kindness
  • Grant a wish from my mom’s bucket list
  • Get real with money
  • Say no and mean it and feel no guilt
  • Ask for help with no guilt or delay
  • Allow myself to be photographed more often
  • Spend a weekend at the monastery
  • Learn about other religions
  • Join my church as a member
  • Lose 20 pounds
  • Belly Dancing Class
  • Pole Dancing Class
  • Body Cleanse and Detox
  • Reflexology
  • Acupuncture
  • Tai Chi
  • Learn to Bartend
  • Learn to Grill
  • Take an Improv Class
  • Ziplining
  • Rock Climbing
  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • Disc Golf
  • Laser Tag
  • Paint Ball
  • Big Repairs on the house this year
  • Get a tattoo
  • Have a reading by psychic
  • Go to the rodeo
  • Grape Stomping–yes like the time Lucy and Ethel made wine
  • Tandem biking
  • Compete in an event at the State Fair
  • Drive a convertible
  • Work for a flower shop and deliver flowers for a day
  • Write a blog
  • Read a new book each week
  • Read all the books that my book club selects
  • Film Festival
  • Music Festival
  • Get a passport–the plan to travel out of the country begins..
  • Road Trip alone…Thelma and Louise with no Louise…
  • Train Trip
  • Stephen Colbert Show
  • Independent Bookstore Tour around the Midwest
  • Facial
  • Visit with a cosmetologist for a makeup makeover
  • Join AARP
  • Have a colonoscopy

The items that have been marked through are completed items.

What Scares Me?

Getting older scares me.  I would guess most people have a fear or two connected with aging.  I asked a few friends about getting older and their responses varied about as much as their personalities.  One friend feared being a burden to relatives because she has no children to care for her.  Another friend worried about her financial situation and whether she had saved enough money to allow her to live comfortably in her retirement years.  A third friend was worried about being unattractive and a fourth was concerned about the loss of possibility. 

As I listened to these smart, articulate and intelligent women, I really took a long, close look at my fears.  I share all the concerns above but I fear the loss of possibility the most.  I believe if you don’t like something, make a change.  Hate your job, go back to school.  Husband is abusive, show him the door.  Don’t like the weather in Iowa, move someplace warmer.  You see my philosophy.  Life is short, find ways to be happy.  Possibility has always led me down the path of life. Recently, I have let my age stop me from thinking about what the future holds. 

In our youth we are filled with the hopes and dreams “growing up” into adulthood. The experience of aging in our formative years is stimulated by our sense of broadening and expanding into self reliance.  Youthful exuberance gives us an illusion of boundless and unlimited future.   Does my future have a limit now?  Is my shelf life shortened now that I am 50? 

I mentioned to a co-worker that I was thinking about going back to college for my Master’s Degree after my girls were finished with high school.  Her response was—“Why would you?”  She followed up with “Won’t your retire soon?”   I followed up with some comments about personal development and such.  But she had me thinking.  Aging comes with boundaries and obstacles that we did not have or recognize in our youth.

Regardless of age, we all deal with the same  impermanence of life.   Your life can change and expand at any age. It can also end at any age with an unexpected accident or illness.  Many famous, successful people have found satisfying careers in middle age.  Joy Behar was a school teacher and launched her comedy career after the age of 40.   Charles Darwin was 50 years old before he published On the Origin of the Species in 1859, the book that espoused the theory for which he best known today. Colonel Harland Sanders founded the Kentucky Fried Chicken company at age 65.

  1. Answer to my own question–“Yes, Barb, you can still can go back to college and finish your Master’s degree or learn to paint or run a marathon.  The possibility is still alive as long as you are.”

The List…

  • Write a monthly thank you to someone who has had a big impact on my life
  • Give blood
  • Spend an entire day completing random acts of kindness
  • Grant a wish from my mom’s bucket list
  • Get real with money
  • Say no and mean it and feel no guilt
  • Ask for help with no guilt or delay
  • Allow myself to be photographed more often
  • Spend a weekend at the monastery
  • Learn about other religions
  • Join my church as a member
  • Lose 20 pounds
  • Belly Dancing Class
  • Pole Dancing Class
  • Body Cleanse and Detox
  • Reflexology
  • Acupuncture
  • Tai Chi
  • Learn to Bartend
  • Learn to Grill
  • Take an Improv Class
  • Ziplining
  • Rock Climbing
  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • Disc Golf
  • Laser Tag
  • Paint Ball
  • Big Repairs on the house this year
  • Get a tattoo
  • Have a reading by psychic
  • Go to the rodeo
  • Grape Stomping–yes like the time Lucy and Ethel made wine
  • Tandem biking
  • Compete in an event at the State Fair
  • Drive a convertible
  • Work for a flower shop and deliver flowers for a day
  • Write a blog
  • Read a new book each week
  • Read all the books that my book club selects
  • Film Festival
  • Music Festival
  • Get a passport–the plan to travel out of the country begins..
  • Road Trip alone…Thelma and Louise with no Louise…
  • Train Trip
  • Stephen Colbert Show
  • Independent Bookstore Tour around the Midwest
  • Facial
  • Visit with a cosmetologist for a makeup makeover
  • Join AARP
  • Have a colonoscopy

The items that have been marked through are completed items.