So in earth shattering world news, I turned 51 on Saturday. You know what that means ? I survived a year of being 50 and am now officially “50something” 😉
I can tell you…. being 50 was pretty darn ok so I’m kinda geared towards 51 being rockin’ too.
Last year saw me hitting some of the biggest goals and challenges of my life.
Athletically, I ran my second marathon knocking 33 minutes off my previous years time. I attribute that to harder training and getting my nutrition even tighter.
I moved from that, into training for a 50K (31.7 miles) in March, doing that a little over 6 hours. I also did two half marathons in March.
By that time I had reached a point of being in the best physical condition of my life… at 50.
I had also increased time on my bike for cross training as well as challenging myself more with weights to build more muscle and make me an overall stronger runner.
Getting older ( I’ve learned) also means just getting down right comfy in your own skin and embracing who you are. I’ve allowed myself to pursue and do what I want to and not be hampered by the rules of others or the secret unwritten code of society that seeks to put women to sleep after they reach a certain age.
Shhh… and ladies… it’s ok to keep your edge… really 😉
And the other thing I’ve learned (really in the past couple years) if you wanna do something…do it. What are you waiting for ? It’s your life…live it…do those things you think about… do something that’s been hanging out in your mind… dare to be different.
And in saying that…. I just got my second tattoo on Thursday and I’m totally in love with it. I’ve had the idea cooking for awhile in my head. When I contacted my artist and told him what I wanted I sat back to eagerly await what his rendition would look like. So when he contacted me for a Thursday appt and shot me the design to approve, it seemed like a perfect birthday present for me (there’s a good way to kick off birthday weekend )
I’ve had a few people tell me that it fits me perfectly…like it belongs there….and it does. …
My explanation? It’s like an inner piece of me revealed. It’s been a part of me for awhile… now it’s just visible.
I’ll share with you what’s behind it…. life… has been teaching me.
In the past year or so I’ve learned it takes a lot of courage to live… not just exist…but to live. To stand when you don’t think you can stand… to see beauty in life when the storms are crashing in. To have courage when you feel like hiding or running away.
The rose represents the beauty and fragility of life. The sword piercing the rose is a reminder that although life is beautiful, it’s often harsh and not always a bed of roses.
The sword is a powerful weapon, one that is taken up to stand and fight, to stand against the trials and difficulties that come. The sword represents a warrior spirit, courage, and a never say die attitude towards life. It represents the strength to endure. Spiritually it’s a reminder of the One who’s strength, courage and power rest in me.
Together, it all tells such a beautiful story.
You see, even though I had some amazing personal triumphs in my 50th year, I had some painful losses and life things that brought grief and struggle. Life takes courage to live.
I lost my mom in April and had to face my first birthday without her… a milestone birthday she should’ve been here to share with me. This year… as loved and surrounded as I have been by family and friends I’m aware of her presence not with me. Losing her meant taking over with my dad who has Alzheimers and maintaining his home and trying to make the best choices for him. His condition has rapidly declined with mom’s passing.
My husband parted ways from his company after 23 years to take a new job that involved traveling and being gone from home all week, and sometimes two weeks at a time. I learned to step up even more handling and dealing with everything on the home front and then.. there’s just all the life stuff in general.
And of course, let’s not forget, our most recent adventure with his thyroid cancer.
I don’t tell you these things to whine. Or to feel sorry for me.
I won’t negate my feelings though… it has been hard at various times… sometimes… crushing.
that’s when I started thinking about how life demands so much courage for us to keep living and finding beauty and laughter and joy in the dark places.
Courage demands I take a stand and fight back to live and appreciate life, even in the hard times.
So it was with an overflowing heart and fresh awareness through out my birthday weekend at how blessed I am.
To have an evening celebrating with all my kids, niece and nephew and their kids and other family… was wonderful. On the day of my birthday, just time being home and later dinner out with hubby for some one on one time was nice. I wrapped up the weekend on Sunday by picking up my gift I had asked for….. a new little road bike. Nothing fancy at all, but I’ve almost worn the wheels off the mountain bike I got a couple years ago. ( I’m slowly creeping along to becoming a cyclist… eek… THAT is a pricey hobby) but you know what? My body doesn’t know if it’s on a pricey bike or not… it’s just out there working hard 😉
So yeah, I’m grateful. Another year. New challenges and goals to tackle. New opportunities for growth.
Who wouldn’t be excited?