Monday, July 19, 2010

Beginning at 50, well okay, almost 50

On this, the 50th anniversary of the day before I was born, I am fighting the urge to curl up in the fetal position for a day of cocooning. It occurs to me that life is not what I expected it to be. Don't get me wrong, in some ways it is more and others, less. For instance, when I was five years old, I thought I would be a nurse when I grew up. And at seventeen, it was a psychologist. I have lived what seems a lifetime since then. Married at nineteen, two children by age twenty-four, I thought my life would progress at a natural pace, that I would fall into some sort of groove and find my "calling" while raising children and attending PTA meetings. Yeah, that didn't happen.

By age thirty-one, I was divorced and floundering, looking for that sign of "this is it!" The funny thing is, while you're looking for your life to become clear, it keeps coming. My life, though at times exciting and others depressing and full of fear, took a route that meandered through alcoholism and recovery, letting go and embracing, finding my pack and taking the less-traveled path, to finally (or should I say most recently) in a place that feels both focused and unsettled.

I live and work in a beautiful place, steps from the Pacific Ocean in sunny southern California. My work is challenging, incorporating many of the skills I have acquired along the way and some new ones too. My children have grown up and married, and are living their own lives. I recently married again and am embracing this partnership with open eyes and an open heart. We recently began dance lessons, which is fun and frustrating and beautiful.

Dreams I have accomplished include completing that graduate degree in Counseling. Seeing my children graduate college, get married and pursue their own dreams. Marry the man I love. Live authentically and with purpose (at times this is easy, at times not-so-easy). Pursue work that is meaningful and challenging. I have also completed a half marathon, a mountain triathlon and a 150 mile bike ride. Delivered two babies naturally. And sustained a live-within-my-means budget for over a year.

Yet there is more I have not accomplished. I have not seen Europe (don't even have a passport). Have not written a book. I have not completed a full marathon. I am fifty pounds overweight, out of shape, and still live most of the time waiting for the other shoe to fall. And almost twenty years ago, I had a vision of running a retreat center in the mountains. A place where creative folks came to embrace their work. This is still a dream of mine. And though my current work comes pretty close, the depth and freedom and healing is lacking.

So, today I am writing. I am starting something new. Something with heart and soul and reflection and depth, and hopefully humor to balance out the edges. At fifty, I am embracing the wisdom years and letting go of the seemingly endless pursuit of the elusive "it". I realize I am here now, in this place with a half century of living to share. I could keep chasing "it", or I can stand here today and know I am loved, I am accomplished, and I am not done.

So here goes!


  1. "LIKE" =0)!!!! and love you, Carol. You inspire me, always.

  2. I love you, Mom! You are wise beyond your years - your age is just now catching up!

    Also, I had an idea: "50 in 50". You can lose your 50 pounds in your 50th year. It sounds official and everything.

    Can't wait to read more!

  3. If your body and soul are telling you to cocoon, perhaps you could, at least for a little while. I did that for a while yesterday ... took the day off too. Enjoy your daze! (oh and I just booked my vacation ... to Park City Utah)

  4. Carol, I am soooo glad you are doing this blog! I always loved to read your writing, and I will look forward to reading this. You are going to be an awesome 50! Like Melanie said, you are wise beyond your years. But reaching that mark really does create a lot of thoughtful ponderings. I remember going through that too. I will be 52 next month and still haven't gotten off the 50 lbs I wanted to when I was 50, so don't feel bad. I bet you will accomplish it! I have lost 15 and still have about 35 to go. What's your schedule tomorrow? Would love to call and talk to you on your landmark day!


  5. Thanks everyone!

    Love you all!