Tomorrow is my 51st birthday, and I can't wait!
Don't get me wrong: there's no huge celebration planned. In fact, I'll be doing my usual Friday grand jury duty in Los Angeles tomorrow. Listening to tax evasion, bank robbery and child pornography cases for one's birthday... quite the party, eh?
No, the celebration this time is more symbolic: I am ready to close the door on my 50th year. It fell short of everything I was hoping for, and was a year of two steps forward, five steps back --and then some.
First, the weight gain. After working so darn hard for two years to get those 45 pounds off, I let them come back with a vengeance. So rather than looking '50 and Fabulous,' which had been my plan, it was more like '50 and Frumpy.' Not quite what I had in mind.
Then there was the fact that I came face to face with my life-long dream of being in business for myself, and I couldn't do it. Maybe I was scared; maybe I was not driven enough. I've analyzed it to death and the only thing I know for sure is that it wasn't for me.
And finally, just the act of turning 50. Egad - I'm middle-age... more years behind me than in front of me... if not now, when? On and on and on.
So 50 was not a fun year, in many ways. But it's over as of tomorrow, and I've already begin making positive moves.
Since I wasn't cut out to be in business for myself, I decided to stop beating myself up about it. I applied for a wonderful position at our local library, one that I'd dearly love to have. I was one of seventy applicants and made it into the final nine. I'll know in the next few weeks if I got the job. Even if I don't get it, it's a positive step forward.
I've started walking on a pretty regular basis, which feels terrific on so many levels. It increases my self-confidence and lifts the blue moods when they attack. Now, I'm no fool: if I want to lose the weight I've gained, I'm going to have to exercise a heckuva lot more than I am now. My head is not at that place quite yet, although I am actually thinking of going back to the gym. I'm not there yet, but even contemplating it is a big step for me!
I've done some clothes shopping recently and have bought some new outfits in bright summer colors. Cute tops and capris that make me feel part of the world instead of hiding from it in sweats and a t-shirt. Yes, the clothes are in a much bigger size than I was wearing two years ago, but they are an investment in my self-confidence - and that's critical for any of us who are in the process of moving forward.
Finally, I'm feeling at peace with the idea that I'm middle-aged (actually, way past it since it's unlikely that I'll live to be 100!) I've stopped pushing so hard in all areas of my life and am cutting back so I can enjoy the activities I choose to do. If I want to live a long, healthy life, I need to lighten my heart, which means acknowledging that I do enough and that I am enough. It's time to enjoy my life.
So all in all, I think I'm giving myself some pretty terrific birthday presents including shutting the door on my 50th year. I'm going to take what I learned from these past twelve months and move into the rest of my life with a lighter heart, my stomach sticking out waaaay too far, and my head held high!
Until next time...