I have been thinking a lot lately about things I have done as I reached this ripe old age. These things are different for many reasons. I waited too long to do some things. I waited until I felt I would not be judged. Some things I waited for consciously. Others were not in my frame of reference earlier. And of course, there are some things I wish never happened.
The decision to retire obviously had to occur at a ripe old age. It was predicated on the fact that I had the number of years and columns to reach a livable wage. I planned and executed my removal from my career. I highly recommend retirement. I have nothing but good things to say about not needing to be up at all hours of the night planning lessons, grading papers, and worrying about school stuff.
I got two tattoos this year. They are extremely meaningful and bring me joy. I never thought I was a “tattoo person.” I think I had an image of what type of woman gets a tattoo and I didn’t fit that image. Getting my first one for my 65th birthday brought me joy. It connected my outside body with my internal emotions. It speaks to me in a beautiful way. Then a month later I got my second one. It too symbolizes who I am and what is important to me. I am proud of my ink. I am grateful I stepped out of my comfort zone and embellished my body with art.
I bought myself a new car on my birthday. I saved for years to get a car. I was ready for an upgrade from my wonderful 2008 vehicle. I thought I was just in the beginning stages of looking and ended up getting just what I wanted. I had done the background research for the type of car I wanted. I went to test drive the car and ended up buying it. It was a good decision. I am grateful for the vehicle that lets me take my grandkids on outings.
I went to a wonderful retreat this month. The idea of spending money on myself for a non-necessity is foreign to me. I knew however, that I wanted to go as soon as it was presented to me. The gathering of women for a goal of emotional growth was amazing. It was a difficult path to maneuver because of medical issues. I wasn’t sure until days before if I would be able to make it. I am working on my new physical challenges. I am grateful I opened my heart to do something I had never done before. I am grateful for the growth and the opportunity to meet dear friends. I am grateful for my body cooperating with me.
For the first time in my life I lost a pair of glasses. After a red-eye flight with little sleep I boarded a bus for a two-hour ride to the retreat. I thought I put my glasses in my bag as I was dozing off. Evidently, they never made it to my bag. In the past I think I would have been stressed out and panicked about the loss. I decided I need them now and went for an exam this week. There are consequences for losing them, but nothing I can’t take care of. I am grateful I should be getting a new pair this week.
I am consistently practicing healthy eating habits. It took years and years of unhealthy eating to get my body to where it is. Yo-yo dieting and reckless eating has been my pattern. While I am not dieting to lose weight, I am following a strict diet to help my body toward remission. I examine all the ingredients on every label and exclude things that might cause me harm. I am shopping the perimeter of the grocery store. A happy side effect is that I am losing weight. I am grateful that I finally am helping my body to function at its best.
I colored my hair purple last week. I thought about doing it for years. I am happy with the outcome. I wonder why I never felt safe doing it before. Now I can do whatever I want. I am not working so there is no reason to not just do what I want. I am grateful my purple hair makes me happy.
I have been thinking about going to the local community college to take some courses that interest me. I am however concerned with the time and the challenges to my body. I believe in being a life-long learner. It is just not a saying to me. Maggie told me about a variety of courses online. So today I looked in to learning about a variety of my interests. I want to learn to use my Insta-pot. It is still sitting in a box, unopened. I want to learn to make healthier meals in my crockpot. I want to learn Tai-Chi. I would like to pursue my dream of writing a children’s book. Thanks to the internet, and Maggie, I am starting on my learning journey. I am anxious to take time exploring the vast opportunities available. I am grateful for having the time and energy to learn new things.
I have the wonderful gift of a life without the constraints of a job. I get to learn new things, experience new things, take new chances, and enjoy the years ahead to the best of my ability. I am grateful for the ways I plan on being a more authentic me.