Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Beginning my 50th year

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?


  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You have a list of very worthy goals. I love, "I want to die with a book in my hands." That's great (and witty)!

    I agree with you. Though I don't care for the changes my body is going through as I age, I sure wouldn't want to go back in age either. I like having a little wisdom from all that living.

    I definitely see my health as more than physical. In fact, my mental health is much more of a priority to me than my physical health. I guess I should pay more attention to my physical health too.

    1. Thank you, Sunny! I don't care for some of the physical changes, either. Already have some arthritis. But nothing that is bad. I like the extra wisdom that comes with age too!


    I have many of the same goals as you. It seems I'm always thinking about my health goals. I am actively working towards some and others I feel rather stuck on.

    Anyway, I had to laugh at your heading "Who is this person?" I often feel like that after I list out all my goals :-)

    1. Elizabeth, Thank you! I know--I realized I was describing a perfect person, and I know I'm not going to make that!

  3. Happy Birthday!

    I turn 40 next year and 39 in a few months. I want to do a few things before I turn 40. The big one is moving away but I look at 40 as a turning point. I am not sure what else to put but will think of things.

    1. Jen, that's the way I see 50--a turning point. But I want to enjoy being 49 too. Thank you!

  4. Happy birthday!

    Enjoy! The 50s are a lot of fun!

    1. Nadine, Thank you for the birthday wishes, and yes, I've heard the 50s are fun!

  5. Happy Birthday Tina!
    I am 53 and I feel like the years keep going by faster and faster so I'm in between. I hate how my skin is thinning out and changing..but I am physically pretty active and feel so strong so that's a plus and I want to be thankful for that. My husband is 54 and we are both retired, he has a military retirement and he does work from home part time with an engineering firm but it is pretty much his call how much he works. We saved up so when he got out of the military we could have this time together since he was gone so much while he was in the service. I have to feel blessed that we get this time together to travel while we are still relatively young, and be with our grown kids whenever we want because they all live far away.
    As you can probably suspect, my goals are more mentally based..but keeping up with walking and active sports really improves my mental condition aka OCD.
    I think the chances of me dying with a book in my hand is really high, I read all the time. lol
    I think Nadine is right, the 50's are fun. I think I am more aware now to enjoy "the present", more so than when I was in my 20's and 30's when I was always looking behind or ahead of me.
    Have a good day Tina.

    1. Thank you so much, Krystal! I think I am more aware of the present, too, and that life won't last forever, so I best enjoy it now. Thank you for your insight!

  6. Happy Birthday, Tina! To me there's nothing better to celebrate than another year of life and all the possibilities it brings. Your list is inspiring, as is your approach to it. If nothing else, our goals help keep us on track, and as you say, mindful of what is important.

    Hip, Hip Hooray that you were born today! Here's to another great year of being you!

    1. Thank you, Becky, for the good wishes! I still get excited about my birthday, even after having so many. :-)

  7. Happy Birthday, and well wishes in the years to come!

  8. Happy Birthday Tina! Dan's birthday is also today, May 30th (he's 23). I hope you have a great year and I'm sure you'll move forward with all your goals. Like Krystal Lynn, I'm 53, and I haven't minded getting older, as I try to stay active and don't focus on the number as much as how I feel.

    1. Janet, Happy birthday to Dan! I hope he's have a great day, too. Thank you for your well wishes. I agree--it's more important how I feel than the number that comes along with it.

  9. Happy Birthday Tina :)
    I love birthdays, and I wait for mine year after year, hoping it would be different and special. I count the weeks and the days that separate me from my birthday praying it would be a new beginning.
    My birthday is usually sad, but I love growing up and my age has never been a problem to me.
    I love all what you said, but my favorite sentence is "I want to be at peace and be a source of peace."
    Love you <3

    1. Nikky, Thank you! I hope your next birthday is a happy one, with many happy days before and after.

  10. Happy Birthday, Tina,
    One day late! I love your ideas and I love the photo, looking right into your eyes, eyes full of compassion and knowing. You have nothing to learn, only to remember.

    1. Thank you, Jodi, for your kind and compassionate words and attitude.

  11. Fabulous post! I hope you had a very happy birthday, and I love your inspiration to anyone! Beautiful picture - you don't look almost-fifty!


    1. Jean, thank you! Someone asked me if I felt almost-fifty, and I said, I don't know because I don't know how it's supposed to feel. I just feel like me! (Though I must say, my joints tell me I'm getting older. LOL)


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