The Journey of Total Knee Replacement

I realized this past Friday, April 15th, marked one year since I had a total knee replacement (TKR). The weekend was kinda busy and whatnot….hello Easter…..so I thought I’d take some time now to reflect on my journey this past year. This may be more of a “story”  than a blog post.  My hope is that maybe my journey may help or encourage someone facing this surgery.

How did I get to the point of TKR?

A good question.  I was in the final weeks of training for a duathlon in 2018. As I was in the last few miles of a training run my knee started bothering me. Of course my thought was “nooooo nothing better get in my way for the race “.  It settled down and weeks later, I did my second duathlon coming in again first in my age group. That didn’t impress me as much as seeing my finish time against some of the 20something guys. That was satisfying 😜

The finish line of a race listed as the toughest in Texas. A 5k hilly run, 16 miles of nothing but lots of big hills on the bike, and then a 2 mile run. The photo doesn’t show how cold and sweaty I am or reflect a quad and hip that cramped up coming in on the bike ride as I finish the final run.
That finish line never felt sweeter.

I wish I knew it was potentially my last duathlon or I would’ve savored every aspect of it more.

The final piece after months of training,  standing on that podium.

As things go, after I finished a race, I dialed back my training for a few weeks. On my first run back out ( weeks later) I felt almost crippled afterwards. I cut out running and focused on cycling but my knee continued to bother me.  I finally gave in and headed to my sports doctor ( ahem…. months later) fully expecting to hear I had torn something and would need surgery. After the x ray he came back in and announced,  ” you’ve got a good old fashioned case of arthritis going on” this was certainly not what I expected to hear.

He said listen “You’re out there kicking ass and taking names.  You are certainly not my usual middle age woman patient. Between life, genetics, and all you’ve been doing, that’s what we’re dealing with. ” We discussed some options, one of which was eventually getting a shot in my knee that could help.

Essentially a band aid, a costly one, only prolonging the inevitable, knee replacement surgery.

I left his office and pretty much dealt with it over the next couple years. The pain in my knee got progressively worse as it was bone on bone. I did go in for the set of two shots ( 600.00 my part with insurance) in the summer of 2020. Unfortunately, I never noticed any change. He told me  “ok we’ve tried all the options and the next step is total knee replacement”

Yeah ok…obviously I wasn’t super excited at this prospect.  I had never had any surgeries and this one sounded a bit, intense,  to put it mildly.

He handed me a referral for an ortho dr, one he assured me, would be focused on getting me back at my athletic endeavors and sent me off.

The next few months involved meeting with the doctor, getting an MRI, another appointment with the surgeon and then finally at that January visit we scheduled the surgery for April 15.

Gosh. I tried several times to work myself out of it as it got closer.   But on the other hand I had a knee that hurt enough to keep me awake at night so I was kinda hoping to ditch that problem, among others.

As it got closer there were the usual pre surgical things to do, like labs, a chest x ray and meeting with the surgical nurse who went over all the details for before, during and after surgery.

Over and over I heard “you’ve picked a rough first surgery but you’ll get through it”

Eek.

I requested to be his first surgery.  It was out patient and I would go home that day so I figured being first in meant I’d get out sooner.

My surgery would also be robotic assisted surgery which is super high tech. It allows the surgeon to operate and make cuts and incisions with exact precise cuts in the bone and tissue. This is done in real time with a computer and a very recent CT of my knee. You can learn more reading about Mako Robotic Knee surgery.

Show time

This is what it looks like when your surgeon signs off on your knee 😅 that big line? The slice and dice line.

I arrived at 5 a.m. trying to act cool but I had to laugh when the nurse asked if I ever had anxiety….I was like…. I mean right now, kinda yeah….she assured me they expected that and not to worry.

Whew! I was normal! 😅

All the final things were done, the surgeon last to appear asking if I was ready for the show.  I asked him if he had enough of whatever he needed to be on his A game. He assured me he was good and he was ready to fix my knee up, and then it was off to the OR.

Listen, as I mentioned earlier,  this was my first surgery so I was really calculating everything that was going on. I was struck by how bright the OR was, how alert, busy and full on active everyone was greeting me. I asked them if they wanted me to hop over to the other table, and after I got settled a mask was immediately placed over my nose and mouth that felt a little to snug. The guy lifted to adjust it and said ” we’re just giving you some pure oxygen “

And that my friends, was it till I heard two girls talking close to me saying what pretty pink hair I had ( which I did) and did I want a cracker?

Say what?

Me…. mumbling….are we done?! They assured me we were and if I woke up I could have a cracker.  In my head, I was giggling thinking how you offer parrots crackers… 🤣 in reality I was trying to peel my eyes open.

Seriously.  Y’all that sleep after surgery is the bomb. I was so cozy. I was hearing the convo in room, the nurses talking to my husband, how things went etc but gosh, I was sooooo good where I was at….like my eyes just didn’t want to be open.  I got prompted again…. whyyy are they making me talk??

After accepting ( rather blindly) the crackers and Sprite given to me, I was asked if I wanted to get up and walk.

Me….you know I’m still asleep right? And my leg feels like….nothing…..

Them…. you get to go home if you walk. Ah yes,  I remembered now. I got to head home if I did the “required things”.

Eat.  Go to bathroom.  Walk.

I got up on edge of bed, grabbed the walker and hustled myself out to the hallway when they called me back.  One thing my surgeon does is to make sure his patients have a nerve block ” we want you to wake up comfortable”.  I thought of it as an epidural in my knee. I had a full leg brace on immobilizing my leg. My foot felt like a thick foam block. Think how your face feels after a dentist visit and novocain.

With a numb leg, a foggy head ( those are good drugs) and zero pain,  I crawled into the athletic clothes I had worn. My surgery had been at 7 a.m. and by 1 p.m.  I was loaded up heading home 😳

Ya know what’s really trippy? Being in a car sailing down the highway while you’re still looped out from anesthesia. 

I kept my eyes closed the ride home ’cause the world was really spinny.

Home and recovery

This was how my leg was neatly packaged after surgery. Thankfully that came off next day. This was to protect my leg till all the meds had worn off and I could feel again

My surgeon ordered PT ( physical therapy) for 2 weeks at home that started the day after I got home. I was ready to work and do what was needed to get back to doing life. I faithfully did exercises  they left for me making them my “job”. I did them 3 times a day and walked as much as I could. I made my leg bend and flex just like I would have before surgery. 

More nice packaging
This is where the satellite went.

A look inside at my fancy new joints the top gadget is a satellite that communicates with computer that didn’t stay 😜
My surgeon grabbed his handy fake joint model to show me what mine looked like, except as he said, yours is metal, this is plastic
The silver and gray parts are the new joints

Days after….

It was so amazing to have that awful pain gone in my knee that walking felt great even if I had major surgery two days prior. By day 3 I tossed the walker cause I was walking fine without it and my PT guy said it was more of a hazard to use it if I was walking ok.

Physically, I hadn’t been sure what to expect but I had minimal swelling and no bruising. Of course I lived with my ice pack so I’m sure that helped quite a bit. My PT guy was encouraging telling me I was far ahead of what they expected patients to do a few days out so that built my confidence. And not to mention I was horribly motivated to make things happen. I had goals.

This gadget was a nice lazy form of exercise 😅 you set machine and it bends your leg for you. I’d get it set and take a nap.

Pain

Ok I’m almost embarrassed to say this but I really had minimal pain, and at that I didn’t consider it bad. One thing I paid attention to were all the people who told me to be diligent about staying on track with my pain meds. I’m stubborn but not dumb and certainly wasn’t interested in hurting if it could be avoided. I took them every 6 hours as prescribed even setting a 4 a.m. alarm to stay on track. My goal was to get off of them as soon as possible. Within the week I started spacing them out farther testing it. Gradually I was down to just a night one ( cause I like my sleep 😅) listen to what they tell you about pain meds!

2 weeks post op

2 weeks out I checked in with surgeon and had bandage removed. His stitching skills were impressive

It honestly didn’t look as bad as I was expecting. As you can see there was minimal after surgery bleeding.

After assessing all of my bending and flexing he cleared me to drive since I wasn’t on the pain meds.

Freedom! My first drive out, 16 days post op. This is when I realized how much you really use your leg to drive! A short trip, my leg was tired.

Another thing we discussed was exercise. He knew my goals were to get back on road cycling and at least walking again. I told him I wanted to do a bike race that was 10 weeks post op. What did he think? He said let’s do it! All he asked was that I ride not clipped in so if I had to get off bike fast I wouldn’t wrench my knee.

2 1/2 weeks out on my first walk….a half mile. It was a start
The road under my feet again

Of course, I focused a lot on my upper body since I could work that how I wanted

Nothing like some metal on my hand

Meanwhile

The leg is healing up well. The stitching will flatten out hopefully leaving a slim scar

As my leg healed I had moved over to 6 weeks of PT at a place in town. As my therapist told me a lot I wasn’t their “normal” patient. Being fairly strong and fit going into this surgery had definitely given me an advantage. Since I exercised before surgery the moves were work but doable work. He would put me on bike at the end of our sessions.

My first time on was my first slap in the face with my surgery.

I couldn’t do a full spin rotation.

How could this be? Riding a bike was well, riding a bike. I gingerly tried to press forward when my foot slipped causing it to go farther than planned.

That was the first genuine pain I had felt. I saw stars. Not cool.

I was in tears, literally crying thankful my back was to the room so no one would see a grown woman crying.

I felt all my goals shifting. How could I do a race in 7 weeks if I couldn’t pedal fully? I was crushed when I left PT that day.

I came home and started reading and there was a suggestion of pedaling backwards first. Then gradually ease into going forward. Next time I went I tried that. And I did it the following time…each time pressing into it a bit more…..then finally a full spin. I held my breath easing into another round and another. Tears came again this time but they were of joy. It was all I could do not to whoop out loud 😅

As I kept practicing on the bike at PT and on my trainer at home, race day loomed closer and I was pressed deciding if I’d be ready to do a 18 mile race in a few weeks. Being on the bike I still hadn’t gotten any serious miles on me. I finally felt confident enough to hit the road, this was about 8 weeks post op. I did 9 miles for my first ride.

Unfortunately by the time I felt I could do the race, no matter what my speed, the race had sold out. I was a bit crushed and then decided I would simply do my own “race”. Really it was about me and my goals anyway, right? I determined I would get up the same day as race, leave out in the morning and do that 18 mile ride making it a celebration of my body and what it could do.

And I did it.

The morning was gorgeous and I had never felt more alive. Although riding not clipped in felt awkward, I managed to get it done. And not just 18 miles, but a little more with gravy on top 😉

It turned into a nearly 20 mile ride. 😊

My speed certainly wasn’t what I was used to but gosh it felt amazing.

Needless to say when I saw my surgeon a couple weeks later he immediately asked if I did it. Ha he was honestly like a proud parent.

Lots of activities after my knee surgery. Rowing was great for continuing bending and flexing. Those weights don’t hurt either.

Where am I now?

The knee healed up pretty nice…..and I really don’t mind my battle wound.

A tidy scar 🖤

I make jokes that I may be the old person who tells the weather by my knee 🤣 it does feel tighter when the weather changes. My surgeon said its the barometric pressure.

Other things: when I’m on my feet all day or it’s hot my leg can feel like it’s ” fuller” or tight. My bending, and straightening of my leg is as good as it was before surgery. I’m able to do things I could prior. My knee itself can still feel tight around the surgical area but my surgeon said it can be a solid year or longer for things to settle down. A small area is still numb. That may or may not go away. Being on my hands and knees is doable, but I have to position my weight right as it can be uncomfortable, like in the surgical area.

Strength wise I think my right leg is lots stronger now than my left. My legs are strong but I find myself doing a little extra with the left to make it keep up. I am always mindful that I can and should always be pushing my new knee a little more to continue to get the maximum from it.

Final thoughts

Since I had this surgery at least 6 people I know have had it. They have reached out and asked questions. I have answered based on my experience and journey but they will be different for all of us. Our experience will be based on many factors from our overall health, fitness, physical limitations and our mental determination (which I believe is the biggest factor for success) ask questions and make sure you educate yourself on all things associated with it. Oh yeah, and do everything you’re told, including managing your pain meds.

Tell me, have you had a TKR or are you seeing one in your future?

Saturday Snippets

Let’s chat briefly about getting on an exercise program. I know with the start of a new year it is often the marker for many to either start one or if they’ve been side tracked, get back on it again.

Regardless of what camp you are in, it’s not easy to get into that disciplined routine.

We have good intentions but often those can be pushed aside because we’re tired, feel we don’t have the time, or we simply lack the initial drive to prepare ourselves to go.

Short and Sweet

When we think of getting into our chosen exercise, there is often the idea that it has to be all or nothing or an hour long session to count. This simply isn’t true. In fact, if you haven’t worked out in awhile you should aim for shorter workouts to let your body ease back into it, mentally and physically.

Where to start?

Honestly, getting into my workout clothes immediately centers me for what I’m going to do. Have certain clothes or shoes you use for your activities.

Start small. Certainly you could take 15 -20 minutes to go for a walk or run, do a bike ride or lift some weights.

Determine the best time of day. I know if I don’t get my workouts done in the morning, it won’t happen later in the day. It sets a tone for my day and gives me an immediate sense of accomplishment after my workout. For you, evening may be better. Whichever it is, find the time best for you that you can stick to.

All movement counts I’ve been guilty of thinking that because my workout was shorter that somehow it may not count as much. It crossed my mind coming in from “only” 2.25 miles yesterday morning ( in the 25 degree morning!) I reminded myself it far beat staying inside doing nothing!

Same for you. Whatever purposeful movement you choose trumps doing absolutely nothing. Start small and make it your goal to increase your time and days. Before long you will have built your own disciplined exercise regimen. 😊

Cold but satisfying miles!

Monday Musings

As I write this post I wonder if I’m the only one aware that the seasons are doing that sneaky, yet subtle, shift. Darkness has fallen earlier stealing the long lazy evenings with lingering daylight that I fully embrace.

Long evenings allowing me to go out and do work on my projects or just enjoy the cooler air as the sun has dropped over the horizon. Long evenings where the breeze caresses my skin and I can watch light gradually fade and the moon begin to rise.

But that has changed. The long evenings have been replaced by earlier darkness forcing me to wrap up outside work. As much as I embrace fall, I miss aspects of the summer season. 

Anyone else relate?

Not my backyard, but somewhere in the world…..

Right now though in south Texas we will enjoy a variety of weather as we get crisp fall mornings yet still have afternoons that are definitely comfortable short weather.  This can go on for months. It’s always a toss up to what we get.

Hey after all, only earlier this year we got snowed in not only once, but twice, in the same week.

Surreal. Absolutely surreal. For all of us it was a weird, most likely, once in a lifetime thing.

A few of the many pics from that epic week

Ok and I get it. If you’re up north or in parts of the world you see this all the time, don’t send me hate mail over my snow pics. 😉 you are not impressed with this stuff. I get it. Hopefully,  we won’t see that kind of winter this year!

Ok…on to other topics….

We did have a nice chilly morning this week which had me digging out a bit more clothing for my outdoor activities. I had recently gotten new shoes so I wanted to start logging some miles on them ( Did a little over 4)

Black. What all cool kids wear. My new Asics are too.

As I’ve shared briefly in previous posts, I had a total knee replacement in April. I just hit my 6 month out. I figure I’ll be doing a post on my experience fairly soon. I have chronicled things from the start and have tried to use my voice to encourage or help others in this process.

Meanwhile….I’ve not exactly been doing nothing…

On the bike….
Strength training

I’ve got goals ya’ll. But we will chat more about that later.

In things that make me laugh….

My granddaughters critters watching the football game

We arrived at my grandsons football game Saturday and my granddaughter has positioned her critters with a front row seat for the game. In a crazy world, I constantly embrace the beauty of my grandkids and the simplicity of childhood.

And listen, if you don’t have any of these yet, they are totally worth it. You love them in such a special different way. ❤ I feel beyond, and I mean, beyond blessed and fortunate that my kids grew up, started their families and wanted to have their homes on family property ( cool when you have space for them to do that) I mean, they liked us enough to stick around 😜

In other news….

I’ve shared before about my vintage business and love for old things. I got this pink stool earlier in the week. If there’s a time period that fascinates me, it is the short lived 50s pink kitchen era. So to find a pink stool, even if it was dirty and needed a cleaning, was impossible to pass up. Now the question remains, will it go to my shop? 🤔

Original ad for the common kitchen stool

Before I leave you…

I’ve gotta share a few recipes I’ve used lately. Having a big family that likes to hang out and eat, I’m always testing new foods.

Here’s one of my favorite “one pan ” recipes that’s always popular.

https://pin.it/1KUIqvy

Tasty, and fast to assemble.

https://pin.it/9JLma9B

And another popular dinner. I cannot tell you how delicious this is…try it!

And of course I need to leave you with a dessert. And what’s better than a fall inspired one called Fresh Apple cake. I’ve made this like 3 times this month. The beauty of this recipe? Stir it all into one bowl, pour in pan and bake. The frosting is cooked in one pan on stove that you pour on top.

https://pin.it/1v8I0cU

Ok, your turn! How’s life? What’s new? Who is ready for upcoming holidays?

Birthday Reflections

Hello my faithful readers!

Am I the only one who wakes up lately wondering what day it is, what month or some days, what planet we’re on?

Like a surreal time warp lately.

Therefore, it kinda caught me off guard when hubby mentioned a week or two back,” hey you’ve got a birthday coming, what do you want?”

( My birthday was on Saturday)

Ah! Christmas in July 😁

Like wow, where did the year go?

If you will, allow me to wax poetic in this post on some reflections of another year around the sun .

Age is definitely a number

I giggle when my young friends lament that they are on the door step of 30, like it’s the end of life.

Age is no excuse

Although 30 is a ways back in my rearview mirror now, I love where I am in life. I want to tell them that getting older isn’t awful and it’s something many will never know. That getting older means wisdom gained, compassion deepened, love expanded, and a broader understanding of things you didn’t really grasp years before.

Getting older means knowing yourself, really. The good and bad and knowing how to manage both of those areas. It means knowing how to use to your voice and being comfortable doing so.

It means gained confidence in ways you have not have known in your younger self.

It can be developing new skills or talents you find along the way you didn’t know you had earlier in life.

Age also challenges you to press into hard things you may never have dealt with. It can either forge strength in you, or leave you weak or fearful.

You also learn to be true to yourself and who you are….or you don’t. Being true to yourself might not always float everyone’s boat but that is really their issue, not yours.

Be authentically you, there is no one who can fill your shoes.

Getting older doesn’t need to define life as “less”.

That’s how it’s often observed right? Getting older means you can’t or shouldn’t do certain things cause ya know, age right?

Don’t do this, don’t do that.

Nonsense.

I jokingly tell my kids I will forever be the mom/grandmother/aunt in little shorts at the family picnic 🤣

I will be on the dance floor if there’s music and not observing life on the side.

I will continue to push my limits and challenge myself to new things.

I want to learn and grow and be better with each year marked.

Age is no excuse

Honestly, I do not even let myself allow that idea into my head. I refuse to be guided by a thought that would cripple me from living a life of more .

As I reflect back on this year, it is not without looking at some hard times I’ve walked through that have strengthened me in ways I had never previously known. Walking paths of illness with loved ones builds unknown strengths in you that you don’t know you possess until you go through fire.

Getting older is often looked at as getting weak with the thought older people should step aside so the stronger young ones can handle it.

Physically, my body is stronger and more capable than it has ever been.

I love that! I love that my sons call on me at times to help move something because they know I can deliver.

Pushing myself to lift heavier or ride farther on my bike, whatever, it may be is empowering! And training my body prepares it for those daily life tasks we can be called on to do.

I guess really, if anything, I don’t ever put limits on myself. That has allowed me to grow and tackle such big goals that if I had put mental limits on myself I would spend my life wondering if I could do it, instead of getting it done.

A friend tagged me in this post yesterday telling me it reminded her of me, of how I am and the fact she felt I’d say the same thing to my followers, and she’s right.

No matter where we are in life, choices are to be made. What we do determines who we will continue to grow into.

I will, no matter my age always be pressing into where I want to continue to be, and that is driven by what I do.

How I think, the goals I set and how I challenge myself.

Chronologically, age happens to all of us. We have no control over that.

How we approach aging, the choices we make, our behaviors and attitudes, our mental thinking, well we have a ton of control over that.

And with those ideas firmly in mind my mantra will forever be, age is no excuse.

Cheers to another year celebrating #50ish!

Birthday Reflections

And just like that, it’s time to celebrate another birthday.

Is it me, or does time really ( seem) to move faster as you get older?

Gone are the days where the only concern was how much play time you had or which friends were available to hang out. Lazy summers and no cares in the world.

Those times in our lives seem rather fleeting don’t they?

But wait. Hang with me.

This isn’t a sappy post, but one I more enjoy doing as a way of reflection on the year gone by.

It gives me opportunity to see areas of growth and areas I need to shape up more.

I’m smack in the mid 50s now.

#50ish

Go me.

I get Aarp fliers in the mail and am close to qualifying for discounts in some places.

Yes.

Yes I will shamelessly work my age to save a few bucks 🤣

I go for my yearly doctor visits and the little 20 something girl checking me in acts surprised I don’t have a bag of meds with me.

Ah well. Whatever.

Age is merely a number that I’ve never allowed to define me.

Have you ever noticed though, how people do? And boy, do some people get bent out of shape when you don’t stay in the box and play by all the same old and tired “rules”.

**yawn** what’s a box?

Like at certain ages there are expected normal behaviors because you’re “that age.”

Listen, I have no problem diving onto a swing and flying through the air when I’m with the grand babies at the park or any other unadultish shenanigans.

The expectation of society is as you get older you should lay things aside, and uh, “act your age”.

Whatever that means.

Just be quiet and fade away…not likely.

So here I am grateful for another year to live, move, and breathe in this beautiful gift we have called life.

Wisdom

I have to laugh as I hear so many of my young friends bemoaning the fact that they are only a couple years from….30.

It does amuse me ’cause I’m well to the other side of that and I know that life is still good, better even, and really it’s ok.

I enjoyed all the decades behind me but I long for none of them. Each one was a season in my life. A season to learn and grow. To gain wisdom and a wee bit of maturity 😉

It is now, sitting in the middle of another decade, that I can reflect how each one was a working out of the woman I am.

Good times, bad times, hard and easy, frustrations and joys, light and dark, every single season was shaping me.

Wisdom is a gift I greatly appreciate and I can see it more clearly now that ever.

Comfortable in the skin I live in

I have always been comfortable in my existence. But getting older has only solidified that.

I’m good with myself.

I don’t say that in an egotistical way, just a fact. To be comfortable with who you are, the very essence of who you are, is freedom.

It means being ok with your good stuff and not so good stuff. It’s knowing I’m not perfect but strive to be the best I can be. I try to remain open and teachable.

It’s also accepting every part of my physical self and never, ever comparing myself to someone else. To do so only would breed dissatisfaction and be an affront to my Maker.

There is only one of me. I will appreciate the gift of that.

No approval needed.

I don’t need approval to be me….and same goes for you. By that I mean at this stage of my life, I know who I am.

I know what I like and what I don’t like. I know what makes my heart sing and what weighs it down. I know how to speak up when I need to in being able to express myself, how I think or feel,or to nicely say no thank you to something.

I know how to stand up and own who I am ( and I don’t mean in a rude or disrespectful way) I know who I am.

It’s not worrying about others or their personal opinions. It’s not being concerned if someone approves or disapproves based on what they would or wouldn’t do.

This past year I’ve…….

Experienced alot of things. Lots of ordinary life stuff, but also bigger events that have challenged me.

I started my fifth year with this blog. It’s been an outlet in writing but my main goal is to keep offering sensible, sane, realistic lifestyle and fitness encouragement and help. I’m blessed by all of you who take the time to read, comment, and offer words of encouragement back to me. I’ve slowly built my own brand as Sassyfitnesschick and plan to keep offering my own flavor of health and fitness tips, all with a side dish of sass 😉

I trained for, and finished my second duathlon. I also again, took first in my age group. I cannot tell you what a challenging yet fulfilling event this was for me. The training as much as the cold,rainy, miserable race day all shaped me in a different way.

I learned more about resilience,tenacity and a whole lotta stubbornness in me.

Ok…well.. the stubbornness is nothing new 😉

I recently was talking to hubby about something and I said ” I don’t quit” to which from behind his glasses and iPad I get a snort followed by “realllyy??”

And then…”Well that’s not a bad thing”

And I don’t. I jump into the deep end with anything I do and I give it my all.

This month marks my one year anniversary since I started my little vintage business last year. When I jumped in I thought I’d try a few months and see how it went. Before I knew it I had hit the 6 month mark. Spring time I moved into a bigger space ( and bigger rent) yet somehow each month it seemed I was to keep going.

Last month when I was notified the lease on building wasnt being renewed and I’d have to either uproot and move elsewhere or just fold it all up and…quit…well that just wasn’t an option. And then there was a perfect space just waiting for me…and now I’m in and settled and can hardly wait to see how this year unfolds.

As a writer, who has a blog, it’s hard for me to not observe people. As a very social creature it’s quite easy for me to interact with just about anyone. This year I’ve met some interesting people, and not always people who look “normal”. By that I mean they are colorful in their clothing choices,word choices,art work on their bodies or offbeat fashion style, not to mention colorful personalities. I find that refreshing. I love how they are good at pushing back against the norm. Long ago, when my oldest was in a rock band, I learned not to judge books by their covers.

My home could often be filled with big men in all black, wearing tons of makeup, plenty of piercings and other non- main stream looks. Yet under it all were sweet guys who loved raiding my cookie jar. Being reminded of those truths makes it quite easy for me to appreciate those who march to the beat of their own drum.

That’s how life works right?

Day by day it unfolds full of the daily norm, the unexpected, the high’s and low’s and if we look for it, plenty of joys too.

The unfolding of this last year has shown me ( more than ever) that I really can do anything. I’ve learned so much more about mental discipline. It’s the strength and unwillingness to quit which spills out into everything I do.

New challenges can be hard and I strive too let them to do the work of making me stronger. I’m facing some now and am trying to remind myself of this.

Getting older isn’t some horrible thing.

Some will never have the chance to experience it.

What’s horrible is remaining unchanged, unyielding, holding onto grudges, judging, poor behaviors, or personal slights, refusing to see different view points or being unwilling to listen to how another person sees something. It’s horrible to age and still hold onto things that should’ve been let go of a long time ago. In my opinion those things are far worse than getting older.

I think age really, is a huge state of mind. I believe how we view it impacts how out loud we live all our days.

My goal is to do it gracefully, to love well, to continue to be open and teachable, to learn and grow from this ride called life, and most of all, never, ever quit.

Cheers to a new year!

Another #50ish Birthday

So today is my birthday, the day I came crashing into history.   Another chance to spin around the sun once more.  The older I get the less I view that as something I’m entitled to. It’s a gift pure and simple and one worthy of celebrating, appreciating, and giving thanks for.

Before I get going on this I do wanna give a shout out to Chunky Tribe Creations for working with me on creating this fun birthday tank using one of my signature hash tags. She was super sweet and went out of her way to be helpful with my…uh… unusual request.  Find them on Facebook and check out their page.  Black is one of my favorite colors and I love how the pink and white compliment it and pull it all together.

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A special birthday shirt because, why not?

 

I “technically” won’t roll to my new age until the evening of my birthday, according to my mothers meticulous record of my birth day.

I love how vintage, old and cool my baby book looks now.

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I’m vintage. Nifty.

You can see I came into this world longer and bigger than most of my petite 6 or 7 lb counterparts.

I kinda never slowed down and grew into all of my 6’0 height by middle school… awkward at best and not knowing what to do with all of me.

Fast forward a very good number of years and I am more than comfortable in my skin and taking up all my space on this planet.

I don’t shrink back, try to be small, or less than anything I am.

I guess that’s one thing about getting older, right?  Getting to where you know who you are and owning it. Making no apologies for anything or to anyone for being yourself.

It’s a matter of simply being comfortable in your skin and embracing and loving yourself.

And yeah, it’s really ok to love yourself. If you don’t, how do you expect others to?

Age brings wisdom… or so they say….but there won’t be grey hair to prove it

I guess you don’t get to this point in life where you haven’t learned a thing or two… or at least you should have. I have a lot of younger friends and I enjoy their enthusiasm, energy and zest for life. It sometimes doesn’t take long though for me to realize in chatting with them that I do have words of wisdom and advice that I can offer. Sometimes I relate to situations, other times it’s a matter of just being able to see things in a more clear, objective way.

Hey, I guess age does have it’s benefits, right?

My daughter in laws often tell me the same thing, that they appreciate my wisdom. I love that they come to me when they need advice, counsel, or to just talk.

I think being older often lets you see things in a more objective manner, to discern them differently or a little more rationally.

I’m not afraid to use my voice

I think when you’re younger, you may hold back or not feel comfortable speaking your thoughts, ideas, objections or view points.

Being older I’m not afraid to let go, or to hold back. I’ve learned silence can be powerful but I’m not afraid to speak my mind and call it like I see it either.

I can see black and white, but I also know there is a grey ground too when it comes to topics or thoughts and ideas.

Having a blog and being active on social media has certainly given me a broader platform to use my voice and to speak out loud, to live out loud, and that feels powerful.

Speaking of power….

getting older means you know yourself better, what you can do and accomplish and you’ve learned what you’re made of by now and that’s pretty empowering.  The more struggles, trials, life learning events and other fun stuff you go through only builds and strengthens you in a deeper way.

My first tattoo ( ha and supposedly, “only” tattoo) was a wrist bracelet that says “strength”. It is one of my life words. When I see it, it’s a constant reminder of what I’m made of, what I’ve been forged by, and that I have strength for all things I deal with in life.

I have earned this in these years of my life, this deep strength.

Don’t sweat the small stuff….

If there’s one thing I quietly observe in the world around me is how often people waste time on things that don’t matter. They waste time on unnecessary drama with people they love when they could be loving them or enjoying that time together instead of camping on stuff that just doesn’t matter.

Through social media I often observe people throwing dirty laundry and drama out for the world to view. It’s rather sad, but more sad is that they are wasting time that could be spent loving, laughing, and appreciating the lives they have together.

Remember, none of us are entitled to anything. Don’t squander it over the small stuff that doesn’t matter.

I’m older and I’m really ok with that….really.

I had to laugh the other day when my daughter asked my age and came in a number of years behind where I am.

She said” I’m sorry Mom, I just forget, I don’t think about your age!”

And I don’t either. It’s rather irrelevant to me. I do what I want and do what makes me feel good, alive and what’s fun.

I don’t ever plan to be hindered by some age card or held back in any way.

I have to roll my eyes when I see some copy and paste post going around about older women and how they look at 20 something aged women wishing they were still there or looked like them or whatever… hahaha… no.

Don’t get me wrong. My 20’s were great. I was happy, I was happy with life and all that stuff. I was starting my family and tending babies and running a household.  Life was good.

Life is still good.

But the reality is I’m in better physical shape now then I was then. I’m also way more confident, stronger, smarter and in touch with myself than I was then.  I know what I’m about, what I want, what I don’t want.

I don’t wish to be something I used to be, to do so only takes away from what I am now.

Reflecting back on this past year….

As I write this, I’m thinking back over this past year, ways I’ve grown, things I’ve accomplished and learned.

In the ways of my family, they’ve grown and some have married, started new households and new jobs. I’ve graduated my final one from high school last year and watched her start her second semester of college.  I celebrated another year with a man I’ve been with most of my life now.

I not only went out and trained for my first multi-sport event last year, the duathlon, I took first in my age group. Never would I have seen myself doing that, yet I did, and I’m going after it again this year.

I also stumbled into a new hobby/new business at the beginning of the year as I started flipping old antique furniture. I had zero experience with it but it turns out I’m pretty good at it and people like it so I’m gonna see where it continues to grow to.

Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks??

Unapologetically me.

I guess on the topic of getting old I can just say that I’m unapologetically me. I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, yet there are others who love every weird, funny, smart, quirky, sassy vibe about me.

And that’s cool in both directions.

I’ve learned other peoples problems or hang ups they may have are their own, not mine. It’s irrelevant to me and my life.

I will never march to the beat of someone else’s drummer. I will always go against the flow and I will never intentionally conform to someone else’s standards or thoughts.

Now on with the celebrations….

Ok so I’ve kinda been working the birthday thing all week, even though as I write this, the 11th is the “official” day.

I think birthdays are worth celebrating no matter how old you get.

Cake… heck yes. My daughter made me an amazing German Chocolate one that we all devoured. Toss some ice cream on it too.

I love presents and all those unexpected treats. No, I’m not to big for gifts.

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Metallic rose gold Converse 🙂

Speaking of gifts… my daughter knows of my Converse love and gifted me with these lovelies to sport around. How pretty are they ??

Of course I shared with you in my Monday Musings post this week, hubby totally surprised me with a Go Pro, to which I’m in the process of assembling and getting all put together.

You can read about that here…..https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/07/09/monday-musings-18/

Then it will be off for some adventures with it. 😉

Being older has some other advantages…..

Like… I have no idea what the most popular mini van, “sport” van, or SUV is no days… I traded mine in for a  Charger R/T Max almost 2 years ago and I’ve never looked back. I know more about it’s 0-60 abilities than I do features on new vans 😉 #nomoremomcars

I skim into the grocery store  peacefully getting what I need while I pass Moms with kids hanging off baskets or crying babies. Bless them but I’ve been there, done that, free now.

I can come in a total mess from a workout and get ready in record time. Although my mane of hair definitely takes the longest, I learned a long time ago less is more with makeup.  All the things young women go through  now days with makeup, I’ve got no time for that. You’ll just have to look at my awkward “un contoured, un bronzed, un highlighted” face 😉

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50ish and unfiltered. Hubby asked me one morning what I was doing… I was actually heavy into strength training… he got this little gem in his phone.  This might make him more cautious about asking in the future 😉

 

I’ve got more “me” time. All my kids are grown, self sufficient, get themselves up and off for work, tend to their own needs, or better yet they live in their own homes.  I can do things during the day I want to do.

I can stop for a coffee and read on the patio at my local coffee hangout…one of my fav leisure activities. Coffee, reading, and people watching.

Also, another birthday puts me closer to getting a Senior citizen discount on my breakfast… so there’s that 😉

In the year ahead….

I’m not gonna get all deep and introspective on you. My approach to my new year is simple….

Take no prisoners.

Take challenges, take risks, work hard, don’t be afraid to fail when attempting new things, seize new opportunities, live fearlessly, believe strongly in myself in what I can do, love with abandon, let go of what is useless, embrace the things that matter, be kind, accept some things are what they are, work hard, and never let age be an excuse to not accomplish something new.

I think that’s a crazy fine way to head into another year of being #50ish.