I’m amazed, and frankly a little scared, at how fast time passes. A lot has happened since I last wrote and yet somehow I can’t believe it’s been over a year. 2018 was in most ways a year like any other. I worked, I ate, I laughed, I cried, I moved. Ah, yes, the ever presenting moving. It was also the year I turned 50. That birthday so dreaded by many but also rightly celebrated. A milestone. The combination of its approach, an additional major life change and an unassuming little yellow book are what initially led to this blog. I knew I wouldn’t complete the challenges by 50 but I’m ready to start again. I’ve missed this endeavor. The planning, the writing and the connection, not only to my faithful, supportive readers but to myself. Two of my new guiding principles for 2019 fit nicely with this: live deliberately and direction over speed. As I’ve written before, one of the benefits of this blog has been that it’s forced me to live more deliberately.
My subconscious has been busy trying to convince me that it’s been too long for me to pick up where I left off. The ship has sailed, no one cares, you (shockingly) failed to finish something again.
But, I’m in charge here and I want to pick up where I left off. I’m choosing direction over speed. As a military spouse I find this to be a difficult task. We don’t feel like we get to choose the direction and once we land somewhere we have to act with speed, ever aware that time is precious and finite. The truth is that whatever the outside forces or internal whispers WE get to set the speed and direction of our lives. Obstacles just make it more challenging and interesting. I’ve said all of this to say, I’m back! There are many challenges ahead and I hope you are still with me. Let’s do this.
Before you go…Facebook has been reminding me that all 69 of you that liked my Before You Grow Up page haven’t heard from me in a while…I’m not sure if that’s supposed to motivate me or depress me but either way it worked.
Ok, I just realized that I’m the 69th person (or probably, more accurately, the 1st) so to the other 68 of you, thanks for reading.
A couple of years ago my sister, Emilie, sent me a box of books at the library where I worked. This in itself was not unusual. She often donated boxes of books for us to use in our collection, give away as Summer Reading prizes or generally use as we best saw fit. In this particular box was a book published by National Geographic Kids called 100 THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU GROW UP by Lisa Gerry. It’s a fun book filled with colorful pictures and interesting graphics designed to encourage the reader to do just what the title suggests: enjoy life before you grow up. I put the book aside with the idea that it might be fun to utilize it somehow as a social media challenge for our young library patrons on the library’s Facebook or Instagram pages. It sat on the shelf behind my desk for a long time. Occasionally I would pick it up and look at it but back on the shelf it would go until I had “more” time to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with it.
One day I woke up and realized, with a little more clarity than usual, that I was quickly approaching my 48th birthday which meant that with a little luck I would soon be also approaching my 49th and then in a blink of an eye I would be 50. Fifty years old…would I feel like a grown up then? How often do we talk and laugh about looking for “the adult in the room”? I was at a time of transition in my life. My husband, Lee, would soon be moving to California without me as I would stay in NC to allow our son, Andrew, to graduate high school the following May. I would then quit my library job and move to the opposite coast into the foreign world of being an empty nester and apparently a soon-to-be grown up. At that point I had the idea that it might be fun to try and tackle the 100 THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU GROW UP. The intro to the book says “From the moment you are born, there are about 6,570 days before you’re legally considered an adult.” As I write this on January 1, 2017 I have 434 days until I turn 50 on March 10, 2018. I better get going.
Join me as I tackle the 100 challenges. I won’t be able to complete this project in 434 days but, in the end, that’s not really the goal. According to the book the goal “is to inspire you to make the most of every day and seize every opportunity.” Join in on the challenges if you want, watch from the sidelines, share the memories unearthed from your own life challenges. I only ask for your encouragement. I have come to realize that I am a strong starter and not such a strong finisher. Ready?