Last night a group of single women friends gathered on a nearby beach for appetizers, wine, and sunset. Wrapped in jackets and scarves against the salty breeze, they snapped selfies and watched the plump, glowing red yolk touch down at the horizon, flatten slightly, and then slowly melt into the sea. They laughed and chatted their way back inside and settled into the living room with my laptop. A project was to be revealed.
I told them how, with the passing of my fiftieth birthday, I’d become blazingly focused on fully experiencing my life. When we’re younger, it’s easy to haplessly become a part of things and find yourself in places you hadn’t planned and let come what may… You have less to lose, you’re more immune to risk and less aware of how quickly a lifetime goes by. And then. Somewhere along the way, often in midlife, you begin to look back. You’re divorced, or widowed, or fresh out of a relationship. Habit or a desire for security cause you to reach out to an old flame or make your online dating profile public again. Some time goes by, you start, and stall. You wonder why something feels off, not quite right with the old flame or the first dates. You puzzle, wait. This is where the beauty of 50 kicks in.
Before, you would have pushed through the discomfort and uncertainty and told yourself something was wrong with you – you just needed to give it a little time, proceed with letting him into your life and get past this limbo period until you become “attached”, and then it will feel normal and you’ll have yourself a regular ol’ relationship. But that’s not what you do now. You feel a hand on your shoulder, hear a voice that says “Stop. Let’s see what this is. There’s no rush. Let’s explore -have fun even.” Gradually, it dawns on you that what you’re feeling is freedom. Strength. Buoyancy, exuberance, possibility, freshness… fierceness. And you love it.
I shared with my friends that I’ve begun to see how fortunate I’ve been, to have had the experiences I’ve had. I feel this way about even the most difficult times. And I want more. More time, more experiences, more moments to cherish, more unexpected, more discovery, more adventure. I want to keep riding the wave, only now with more intention. And so I’ve made a plan for this to happen, and this blog is my plan.
I’m going to be sending myself on a weekly adventure. Tiny adventures, big adventures, risky and no-big-deal, indoor and outdoor, spendy and free… you get the idea. One of the problems with committing to do this was how to squeeze that much in. I mean, when you hold down a full-time job and have a single-person budget and are a responsible, bill-paying, lawn-mowing, mom-of-a-doggie, you have limitations. Time, finances, and trying to live a healthy, balanced life all conspire against me doing this. But I’m doing it anyway, and having a variety of adventure types to choose from will help. I think.
I brainstormed ideas and slapped them all onto a spreadsheet and shared the list with said friends, who came up with a few new ideas to add to the list and also got excited about participating in some of them with me. I’ll keep a calendar HERE with upcoming and past events to keep me on track.
So… Cheers! To riding the wave at 50, or any age, and seeing where it takes you!