Today I turn 49 (I’ve already updated my blog profile to reflect the new age).
I don’t mind birthdays. In fact, I like them. I like turning a new age. It’s like turning over a new leaf for me.
I think I’m wiser today than I ever was at 19 or 29 or 39. I wouldn’t want to go back. I’m happy with where I am now at 49.
As I face turning 50 next year, I see it as an opportunity to get some parts of my life in better order. So I have been writing down some goals over the last several days, some things I want to get better at and some things I want to accomplish by the time I turn a half-century old.
|Me as I begin my 50th year.|
In doing this, however, I don’t want to look forward to turning 50 so much that I forget about now. I just want to begin a process of mindfully trying to improve my health in all areas.
So here are some things that I’m going to be working on over the next year and will continue to work on even after I turn the big 5-0.
I will be more specific about these as time goes on, so bear with me if what I write seems to be too general.
My physical health
I’m in pretty good health. I have asthma and high blood pressure, but I handle those pretty easily.
A special concern of mine is that I have a family history of stroke. My father had a major, disabling stroke when he was just 54, and my mother has had several strokes.
I know I need to take better care of my health now for better outcomes in the future.
Exercise, nutrition and stress relief will be part of my ongoing plan of action.
My mental health
I haven’t yet discussed a specific timeline with my therapist, and I know it’s hard to predict how quickly therapy will move forward, but I hope to be done with the CBASP therapy for the chronic depression and the CBT for the OCD in a year.
I’m talking about formal therapy here. I know I’ll continue to work with the techniques I’m learning for the rest of my life.
I want to focus on taking my medications properly, participating in therapy and studying and reading on my own.
I also want to add more fun and joy to my life. Or perhaps I should reword that. I want to recognize the things around me to be joyful about.
My spiritual health
I want to further develop my meditation practice and incorporate mindfulness more deeply into my everyday life.
I also want to be more in service to others. I want to more clearly understand my faith tradition while honoring other faith traditions.
I want to be at peace and be a source of peace.
I also want to be confident about my purpose, my work and my vocation.
My intellectual life
I want to keep learning until the day I die. I want to die with a book in my hands.
Who is this person?
Have I just described a perfect person? It sounds like it, doesn’t it? I fully realize that I probably will never reach the ultimate in any of these areas of health. My goal is to move forward, though. Keep moving forward and changing for the better.
The next year will also be a time for my husband and I to consider how we want to spend the rest of our lives. Larry is 15 years older than me. He’s already retired. We would like to have plenty of time to spend together as we get older. Figuring out how that would play out with me working or not working a formal job is an ongoing discussion.
Thus I begin my 50th year. I am thankful that I’ve made it this far, and I’m looking forward to the future.
What is your attitude towards birthdays—love them, hate them, somewhere in between? Do you have goals and plans for improving your health? Do you see your health as more than just physical health? If so, how?