Thursday, March 27, 2008

When One Door Closes...

A light heart lives long. ~ Shakespeare

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...


Kathy said...

Awesome! One day at a time! And it sounds like you are at peace with yourself and that is such a gift!

HappyBlogChick said...

(My goodness those cupcakes look good. Let's not dwell on that.)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY (tomorrow)!

It does sound like you're in a good place emotionally. I'm so glad you're not beating yourself up. We're definitely not all meant to be business owneres - I'm not sure it's for me, either. And the weight that came back is coming off. You learned so much through that journey that now you're truly prepared to make this a lifetime thing.

I have all my fingers and toes crossed for you that the library job works out.

And again, happy day! Heck, happy YEAR!

Scale Junkie said...

Pattie you are truly an amazing woman. I feel so blessed to have crossed paths with you on this journey. Its most certainly brighter because of you!

Exuberant Color said...

Happy birthday tomorrow. I remember my 50th birthday, and the realization that I was at the top of the mountain, and that every day from then on had to count, because like you, I realized I was past the half way point, not at it. I'm 67 now and each year since 50 I appreciate everything so much more. Live each day to the fullest.

Hanlie said...

Happy Birthday, Pattie! May this be a marvelous year for you! You are always a ray of sunshine to the rest of us!

Skinny Inside said...

Happy Birthday! I'm staring down the barrel of my 40th...and sometimes I can start to dwell on thoughts like, "why didn't I take care of these issues and weight earlier-I've wasted so much time!" But, we really need to keep moving forward, and that is just what you're doing!:-)

Lora said...

Happy Birthday, Patti! I'll be celebrating my 51st in June. It is kind of a strange feeling isn't it? Knowing that we've already lived more than hlf our lives? I was going to be 50 and fabulous too....didn't happen. But we'll hng in there and make it this year, Right?

And hey! You were re the featured blogger on the HYC page! It WAS a great post!

sybil said...

Happy Birthday! I celebrate my 49th this next week.

I relate to much of what you write. I, too, have started a business (about 2 years ago) and I'm pretty sure it's not going to last the year. It's difficult when something you've put your heart and soul into doesn't turn out the way you'd hoped and dreamed.

Keeping my fingers crossed on the job front for you.

I enjoy your blog.

Ready Maid said...

If you lived in Hot Springs, I can tell we would be big buddies. Your spirit is developing into such a place of wisdom! What a blessing to have learned so many valuable lessons by the time you're only 51. You're amazing, Pattie. I'm honored to know you.

P.S. I feel your gym experiences coming back!

Marci Rae said...

My dear sister, you ARE 50 and fabulous, by any definition of the word. You are talented beyond measure, you make the world a better place just because you take time to reach out and touch the lives of many, you have helped to heal an entire family with your tireless love and compassion and encouragement, you are the very example of being a life-long learner who isn't afraid to try myriads of new things. You're just overweight. So your clothes are a little bigger than they were a couple of years ago. What in the world does that have to do with being the absolutely drop dead gorgeous and accomplished woman you are? Selah, dear Pattie! Happy Birthday and SELAH!

Erin said...

Happy Birthday Pattie, sorry I am a day late.

I think you are awesome