on turning 50 and feeling good about it

Friday was my fiftieth birthday, and I made it! I said I would do it, and I did it! The people in my office gave me a party with a strawberry cake and pink roses. I love them!

Yikes! I'm 50!

Yikes! I’m 50!

Last February, we had a big blizzard in Texas, and I was out of town. I was in Florida. At Disneyland. And I wanted to be home. I wanted to be sewing and drinking hot chocolate and checking on my collection of cats. I wanted to be with my husband and smell baking bread and brown sugar. I wanted to put on my snuggy and watch movies all day. And I couldn’t get home. I was traveling with a co-worker (the one who forced me to go to see Mickey, and it really is magical, but I just wanted to be home), and we spent hours trying to figure out how to fly home. We couldn’t get to Dallas or Oklahoma City or Houston or Albuquerque.

And I realized something that was kind of important: I was going to have a stroke if I didn’t do something. I don’t handle stress, I don’t like stress, but I have stress. A. Whole. Lot. Of. Stress. And I realized I was almost fifty and miserable. Then I decided I didn’t have to be. I made a vow to myself that, on my 50th birthday, I would swim a mile.

The pool where I swim

The pool where I swim – notice how dark it is at 5:00 in the morning.

So I started swimming. Every morning. At 5:30. And I hate mornings. I can’t tell you how much I hate mornings. But I kept going. I started out at 8 laps, and then it was 10, then 16, then 24. Over the summer, I reached a mile. It took me an hour and a half, so when the fall semester started back, I started getting up at 4:45 so that I could swim my mile and still run home to get ready. And on Friday, I turned 50, and I got up at 4:45 and swam my mile. That’s 32 laps. That’s up and back 64 times. That’s pretty good for someone who hates mornings.

My lane!

My lane!

Next week, I am going to start biking and lifting weights twice a week. I want to bike 25 miles on my 51st birthday. I’ll let you know how that goes!