I turned 50 just last month! A couple of my friends turned 30 this year, and were happily listing all that came to pass during their last decade of life. I kept thinking, oh, you have no idea! My 40’s were pretty amazing. I saw both my kids graduate from high school, and then from college.
I had a pretty major life change when I tore up my knee skiing, which put me out of work for awhile, but started me on a new career trajectory: taking GRE’s, applying to grad school, getting my Masters Degree in Nursing, and now working as a Family Nurse Practitioner.
And along that way, I spent an amazing 6 weeks in Tanzania, working in the local health clinics, meeting health care professionals from around the world, and climbing Kilimanjaro.
I decided the ombre (and ridiculously humidity-sensitive) hair wasn’t a good look for me, and got it professionally done.
Chris and I celebrated our 25th (and 26th and 27th and counting) anniversary.
I visited Dublin, Paris, Florence, and Seville.
Chris and I moved from Fayetteville NC to Virginia Beach.
I learned to make fried chicken. And use an iPhone.
I ran my first marathon. And 6 more. And 2 ultras.
I swam/biked/ran my first triathlon. And 8 more, and counting. Speaking of which, I closed out my 40s with an age-group trophy for the Virginia Triathlon Series! And the awesome thing about getting older: I get a new age bracket for races, and won an age-group award at my first 50+ race!
SO, what does this next decade hold? I think it’s time to review the question I posed in my last blog entry, “Why am I here?”
Back in my first round through nursing school, we learned about Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development. At that time, I was in the Intimacy vs. Isolation stage, learning about adult love. In my second round, I was (and still am) in the Generativity vs. Stagnation stage, working on how to make my life count.
One thing I’ve learned is that you should never stop learning. And I’ve learned that it’s easier when you have a coach, and when you’re with people on that same journey. So in the month before I hit this 50year milestone, I committed to two things: I’ve got a triathlon coach, and I’ve joined the Bible Study Fellowship. This is all great for helping me, but the task set before me is to make it count, to bring what I’ve learned to the table. My work, and my vocation, is all about teaching what I’ve learned. To my patients, if I don’t communicate why I’m prescribing something, or not prescribing something, all my school larnin’ isn’t going to help them. With running and triathlon, I want to be able to encourage others, to be a positive influence among a bunch of extremely opinionated people, to make it safer, and to make it fun. My BSF weekly questions always end with “and now what?” meaning “how am I going to bear fruit, be part of the Kingdom of Heaven, and bring others into the Kingdom?”