In two days, on May 12th, I will celebrate turning 54 years old. I have to laugh. I never thought I would ever be this old. Can you relate?!!!
Officially, I am middle aged. Or a Crone. As many people my age declare, I don’t feel this old! After all, aging is simply the turning of the earth around the sun. Granted, this aging process also has thankfully resulted in getting wiser, and I notice that my body doesn’t recover as quickly as it used to. I’m less thankful for the second one of those two.
There are many ways to evaluate success at arriving to age 54. I feel accomplished in many regards and in other ways I feel like I haven’t accomplished many of the typical things people age 54 have accomplished. Namely, I don’t own a house. I am not married. I don’t have any children.
Thankfully, those three things are not things I hold as critical for life success, for me anyway. Of note, I do still hope that one day I will find someone I love and enjoy spending lots of time with and I want to marry him. I haven’t given up on that idea.
I have had a good career trajectory. I’ve been a high school teacher, then a high school administrator. Along the way I was also a high school activities director and I coached high school principals. I have coached hundreds of teachers. I also helped create the Link Crew high school orientation program. Then I ran a small business, TeamWILD Athletics, LLC for six years, that trained people with diabetes to be endurance athletes.
I was a professional trainer and speaker. I started the Red Rider program used at Tour de Cure bicycling events all over the United States by the American Diabetes Association for eleven years. I also coached small non-profit leaders in organization management, social media and leadership development. Then I started teaching at the University of Minnesota and now I am an Internship Coordinator. Yes, my career has been filled with creativity, variety, leadership, innovation and service. I’ve had a lot of fun along the way.
Another thing I’ve spent a lot of time doing over my adult life is attempting to sort out the internal pain and confusion I carry with me from growing up in a dysfunctional family. I’ve gone to regular therapy for more than 25 years. Regular meaning at least three times a month. I’ve participated in Holotropic Breathwork, even becoming a certified facilitator. I attended the Hoffman Process program. And I’ve gone to a few extended meditation retreats with Jack Kornfield.
I’ve journaled boxes full of reflection and self analysis notebooks. I studied astrology and tarot cards with wise teachers for many years.
I’ve sought to understand myself for most of my adult life. Toward that desire to understand myself, I’ve written a few Manifestos. I’m grateful that the one I wrote three years ago, in January 2016. It still rings true and deeply reflects who I am, what I value, and how I seek to show up in the world.
This birthday I am going to start the day off with a bike ride with my triathlon group. Then I will likely take my dear pup Sam to his favorite place, the off leash dog park, where we will walk and walk and he will also swim in the gorgeous Mississippi River.
Then I will come home and do some writing and some more journaling. I am figuring out some simple, healthy dinner plans!
With love and joy that I’m alive and well and turning 54! Thank you for celebrating you and for being in my life. For that I am profoundly grateful.
If you feel so inclined, I’d be ever thankful for donations to my Tour de Cure Twin Cities bike ride that will be on June 1st!
And for all the mom’s out there, Happy Mother’s Day!