I am turning fifty this year. That means I am old in the eyes of the young. I don’t want to be old, but I am too worn to be young. I am in the middle. I’ll say it; I am mid-life. That sounds awful, but it doesn’t have to be anything but spectacular.
To be clear, I am not dying. I am not thinking of dying. I am living. These are the words I say every week as I work on my mid-life bucket list.
It started almost three years ago. It began forty-nine years ago, but most of that is a bore. Three years ago, I came to a moment in my life where depression was playing games with my head and telling me I wasn’t worth much. You know, I was taking up too much oxygen and with all the clearcutting and shrinking of the icecaps, I was a burden.
To truncate three years: I got a doctor, I got medicated, I got therapy, and I got well.
It wasn’t until I was facing the next milestone of my healthy adult life, turning fifty, that I recognized my life had become living for others. We have teenagers, and I have been home with them since they were born working to make their lives amazing. That was alright with everyone until I looked ahead and discovered I am missing out. Between driving the kids to dance, guitar, social events, and making their lives full, I am a shell of my former self. It is time to put the nut back in!
When I turned forty-nine, I developed a list of activities I want to try before I turn fifty. The list includes going to a batting cage, trying snowboarding, taking a salsa class and forty-seven other items. They seem like fun things to do written down, until I got in the cage, on the board, and in the class. What I didn’t anticipate is how much I would learn about myself. You wonder what you’ll learn from going into a batting cage until you get home and figure out it is an analogy for so much of your life. Ditto for juggling, teaching your teenager to drive, and the flying trapeze.
I am learning patience, adaptability, fluidity, and finding my inner child. I have also learned that breaking does not have to mean broken.
Join me each week as I prepare myself to turn fifty and maybe you can learn how to be thirty, forty, or eighty in the process. It is never too late to master how to be the best version of yourself. And it is never a wrong time for a mid-life challenge.