So....I turned 50 this past weekend. Five-Zero. It is funny about aging -- some people piss and moan about it "Oh-my 20's are almost over...Oh-I'll never see 35 again..." wah wah wah...and some people just go with the flow. I don't really have an issue with any age - as far as I can see it certainly beats the alternative.
I am one of those people who views a birthday as the start of a new year. My new year. Time for resolutions and such. Along with contemplating the year ahead, I usually look back and shake my head. No way last year could I have predicted how things would go I always think. I go through this pretty much every year. This year, though, with it being a milestone and all, I have been reflecting on the last decade. Want to hear about it?
My 40th birthday in 2003 was great fun. My mother & my dear friend Sandra planned a surprise party for me. I arrived at my folks house thinking it was just another Sunday at the pool. Except, the first people I saw were my friend Chris and his wife Donna. I remember stopping to stare for a second while Chris called across the yard "She's here and she saw me". It was a wonderful party. So many people I loved in one special place.
2004 would bring so much sadness. In May, my beloved Uncle Jim passed away. In August I was diagnosed with two different cancers. Surgery would resolve one but my dreams of ever having children would end. The other was also taken care of but the year was a nightmare. CTRL ALT Delete 2004
2005 started off sadly - my grandmother passed away in January. But I did experience positive changes at work. Family dramas and issues would plague us then, happily, my niece Shannon was born in May and brought so much sunshine.
2006 was good on the work front. On the relationship front it was not but whatever.
2007 was great. Through a chance conversation, one of my aunts found that she was working with the person who had been my best friend in high school. We reconnected and now live 1/2 mile apart. I love that.
2008 ~ Traveled a little. Did quite a bit of dating .. to read about that you'll need to visit the "Horror" section. Highest note -- I was the officiant of my cousin Laura's wedding to Kevin. That was just awesome.
2009 was the year things turned around. In January I met Brad. I knew on our first date he was a keeper. In October of that year we bought a house and set about creating a new life.
In August of 2010 we got engaged. In December I injured my back moving furniture around the house. Herniated Disk. Just seeing the words makes my want to cry. In the midst of trying to recover, I was trying to plan a wedding. Dress shopping was out...I used a cane for close to 3 months and could barely manage standing up without help. I tried to make the best of it. Getting married would be more important than the dress.
2011 would be another year full of highs and lows. We got married in a small, private ceremony on a pretty April day. The weekend before it had snowed & the weekend after it poured. Our wedding day was beautiful. In July we held a reception in a historic barn on a hot & sunny day. Perfect. The year would end on sad notes, though. In November my Aunt De passed away very suddenly. Two weeks later our cousin Annie would also pass away just as suddenly. The day after I learned of Annie's passing, I went to work to find out that the company I worked for was shifting it's business strategy and my job was likely to be eliminated. Merry Christmas. It was a crazy year.
2012 started out with me leaving the company where I had worked for almost 23 years. Bittersweet for sure but not bad. It was the right time. I spent the rest of the year looking for a job and really learning about myself. In June, my husband and my stepdaughter Jill were able to reconnect. Relationships can be very complicated and other people can complicate delicate situations, but he stayed the course and let her know we both wanted to be close to her. On Father's Day they reconnected. She and I would meet three weeks later and she has been a vital part of our family since then.
2013 started on high note. On January 1st we adopted a new cat, Winnie. She has mild cerebellar hypoplasia, which is a neurological condition (primarily) impacting her balance. More on sweet Winnie here. I took two paralegal courses, which I enjoyed. Still searching for the right job. Enjoyed visiting colleges with Brad and Jill. Went kayaking for the first time. Finally rounded out the decade with a little family party here at our home. Some folks could not be with us and others were very much with us in spirit. Over the weekend I was thinking of the party for my 40th. The friends who were there - those I am still in touch with and close to and those I am not. My friend Chris' wife Donna passed away in June 2011 after a valiant battle with breast cancer. She would have been 50 in February 2012 & I know she would have celebrated the stuffing out of it.
My friend Donna told me about something someone she knew did for her 50th. She celebrated for an entire year. I loved that idea. The Year of De. I want to do something every month for the entire year. Nothing big. Just something every month. I dislike the overuse of "bucket list" so I'm thinking of Year of De things I'd like to do/see. I'd like to drive a tractor. I'd like to go horseback riding...on a trail would be nice but on the beach would be super cool. I have never seen a newborn kitten ~ I would like to see one and maybe bottle feed it. That is all I have for right now, but I know other things will be added. I'll share each as they happen.
If you have issues with your age, zip your trap. No one wants to hear you whining about being alive. We all have unmet goals and unrealized dreams. No where is it written, though, that we have to give up when we hit a certain age or anything...Diana Nyad anyone? If you aren't sure about where you are in life or where you are going - I say to you - stay the course. Be the best you that you can be. Make every year the Year of YOU. Celebrate YOU. Because there are people who will never be so lucky to make it that far.
Special thanks & love to Bridget and Jannine of JannaBee's for creating my birthday cake. It was spectacular & spectacularly yummy. Love you both for sharing your gifts...I will miss JannaBee's but am lucky to have experienced the magic♥