My Letter on Turning 50
"It’s only a number” I hear from well meaning people, and I get it, it is just a number, but somehow to me, it is more than that, it is a milestone. I can’t believe that I am actually going to be in my 50’s because quite honestly, I still feel 30 if that, --heck, I still have the personality of a silly teenage girl at times, but I am reminded I am so much more than that. I am a grown woman and that feels incredibly powerful and empowering. While I am excited, ambivalent, and in denial to some degree that I am celebrating my 50th birthday, it is also with some sadness as this is the first birthday without the woman that deserves to celebrate right along side of me, my mom. I can hear my mom right now telling me to celebrate “baby girl” and be happy.
While it is a storm of emotions and some emptiness on this day.... happiness, gratitude, grace, hope, peace, and strength are words that adequately describe my emotions and disposition on this special day and this next decade.
A lot has happened in 50 years. I have had a lot of ups and some downs. Being the youngest of five siblings was at times a challenge, but mostly a gift. I love my brothers and sisters with all my heart, they are my foundation. My parents were the best and have taught me what unconditional love really is-- the love, lessons & leadership live on in my heart and have created who I am. Friendships over the years have and continue to be cherished. I am blessed with amazing and close friends--I am grateful for these special women from all stages in my life. My husband adores me and we have been such a team and best friends for so many years--he makes me laugh in the chaos of family life, I am blessed.
My children have been my greatest gifts. Becoming a mom changed who I am, and I have never felt so much love in my heart. Any mom knows this feeling. Getting to where I am was not just luck, it was decisions, goals, fate, and divine guidance. God truly is good, and I truly feel blessed and grateful. A time of reflection teaches me that life experiences and events are in no way an accident. They are a preview of what is to come.
I loved playing house as a child and now I love making a house a home. I was a cheerleader, now I love to cheer others on. I went to college to be a teacher. I now teach others how to live their best life. Education was a key to transformation and expanding my horizons. College was my opportunity to grow personally, make honor roll grades (finally) and as my Dad said, I went away as a girl and came home a woman. As for many people, it was a gateway to new opportunities as I began a career and stepped out of my comfort zone and humble beginnings. It was the first of many bold moves including putting myself through college, but most importantly, building confidence in my ability as a student and leader.
In my life I created some serious debt and got out of some serious debt. I worked really hard for many years and saved enough money for our first home. Setting goals and creating a plan became my road map for life--I was living what I now teach and of course live by. I have been a bride and a year later became a mom--I gave birth three times. I have breast fed, bottle fed, kissed babies, and rocked them to sleep.
I have been overwhelmed by motherhood, business, and trying to do it all. I have also come up with solutions to perhaps not do it all, but to have it all. I have bought and sold houses, designed, torn down, built up, renovated and created beautiful places and spaces. I have made four houses a home. I have been room mother, board member, PTO committee member and some years have said no to all of these roles. I have shown up with baked goods (store bought) and yes I have forgotten and shown up with nothing and have done the Mom Guilt or “Less Than” dance many times.
I have cooked more meals than I have wanted to and have called take out more times than I should have. I have partied like a rock star and have gone alcohol-free as well (by the way, the latter is far more bad ass than boring--who knew)! I have gained 20 pounds and have lost 20 pounds, and have been known to wear yoga pants only to go get pizza and ice cream--it’s all about balance.
I have laughed so much it hurts and have shed many tears. I have dreamed, I have taken risks, I have dared to be different, I have succeeded and have failed as well. My mistakes, challenge, and obstacles have been my greatest teachers. I have learned that perfection sucks and is a myth, progress is where it is at! In this life, I have been criticized, hurt, and have been treated poorly at times. I also have been appreciated, recognized, admired, loved, and treated incredibly well. I have loved and have been in love--I have known unconditional love, both giving it and receiving it. I have experienced great joy and I have experienced great loss, sadness, and sorrow. I have had a strong faith in God. I have also been mad at God. I have grown spiritually, and as I grow, I find my Christian beliefs merge with Buddhist tendencies--love is my religion and the world needs to practice more yoga.
I have had such passion and conviction, determination, and influence. I have also been intimidated and scared and in a position to pray for courage, strength, and wisdom. I have built successful businesses, written book(s), created a brand--in every step I have been encouraged by others and discouraged by critics--I warrior on.
I have discovered yoga which has allowed me to be more vulnerable and balance vitality with vulnerability--I am learning balance. I am learning letting go. I am learning to rest, re-set, and to combine that with hard work, commitment, and growth. I am embracing me, the beauty, the messy, the seeker, the girl that believes in her dreams but also encourages others with theirs. I am not done, in fact, I feel as though I am only beginning.
I do believe the best is yet to come. I have traveled to great places (both physically & spiritually) but have so many more places to go! It is no longer in achieving, I believe it is in being--and embracing the present moment. With age comes wisdom and with life experiences comes lessons. I have so many--so many from mistakes I have made and also opportunities I have seized.
I believe my calling is to teach and inspire others and to cheer on others including the underdog, the girl who doubts herself, procrastinates, compares or just needs to be reminded she is important and that she has a purpose too. I have been that girl, but more so I have been the girl that says “why not,” “why not you,” “you go girl,” and “lets crush it.”
It is my honor to be that girl for others and be their voice to help grow their vision and help them be the best version of themselves. I believe we are the co-creators of our life and while I look forward to the decade ahead, my most important priority is my family, living authentically, choosing joy, accepting what comes, and being committed to healthy living in mind, body, and spirit. Life is not a dress rehearsal, and we each have one precious life to live--let us not take it for granted, let us be grateful and choose to Live HIPP.
It is not so much what we achieve. It is more about the difference we make in the lives around us, beginning with ourselves. I am looking forward to that simple principle and to sharing my light and lessons with the world. Okay 50, I have my hands on HIPP and I am ready for you!!!! While you are only a number, I am coming for you, get ready, because here I am--lets do this!