Life was so crazy last year! I don't know how to describe it except for full, busy, big celebrations, changes, lots of family gatherings, and loss. A lot of loss. I was so ready for the new year and a fresh start. One of my biggest hopes was for everyone to stay healthy and that we would see no more loss in my family for a long time.
I lost three uncles and a cousin in about a year. That was too much. Then, my uncle Jim went into the hospital just after Thanksgiving. It was such a roller coaster of almost losing him several times and improvement and then back downhill. I spent many hours on the phone trying to keep relatives informed of his progress and changes that were taking place on a daily basis. Christmas came and went and then we entered the new year. He seemed to be doing better. In fact, he had moved to a nursing home and was sitting up, eating and even had a haircut just hours before his body shut down and he passed away.
So much sadness. But, in sadness there are always blessings and I've been trying to keep my mind on those. Like, the opportunity to spend more time with cousins I so rarely saw for many years while we raised our families. Getting to know them and their kids more has been wonderful. We're hoping that the next time we all get together it will be under MUCH happier circumstances.
Christmas was squeezed in there somehow and we made it through. Whew! Weirdest one yet! We never even decorated the Christmas tree. My husband and daughter put it up. Hubby put the lights on it. One strand of lights went out and my daughter fixed it. But, it never got decorated. Well...until a day or so before Christmas when I decided to set the Christmas cards in the branches. Not bad! It actually looked kind of nice. Few decorations sure made for easy clean up!
Then, my birthday was coming up. And, not any birthday. It was the big 50! Yikes! I've been emotional and grumpy and feeling the need to make lots of changes. Maybe it's that mid life crisis thing I've heard about. I've been thinking of things I've done, things I haven't, things I want to do or should do, changes I want to make, and where I want to go from here.
My husband and I talked for many months about doing something big for my birthday. We had thought about going to Utah, Mammoth, Tahoe, Wyoming...somewhere new, far and fun for a ski vacation. But, we never decided on anything. It's a good thing because many ski resorts don't have much snow right now. So, we went to our local mountains to ski at Snow Summit in Big Bear. It turned out to be a great day! Snow Summit actually has some of the better conditions of many resorts right now and the day couldn't have been more perfect. The weather was clear, sunny and in the 40's. The snow was great! And, there was hardly anyone there that day. We had a great time. It was not only thrilling to be skiing at 50 (gee, that sounds weird!) but, also, to be skiing better than ever. Yee Haa! My hope is that I'll still be doing this at 80...and beyond!
Even though skiing on my birthday was great and I spent it with my two favorite people in the world, hubby and daughter, I was teary eyed at the end of the day. I think I had built up my expectations of this big day to something that I'm not even sure what it would have looked like. I just know that a normal ski day and the lousy restaurant we ate at wasn't it.
Maybe I was just emotional over the number. I still feel so young and even though I want to grow old, very old, I'm not ready for these bigger numbers. I wasn't prepared to see the wrinkles on my face the day before my birthday that I'd never seen before. I keep reminding myself of all the people I've seen on Oprah over the years who said life just keeps getting better and better. They're right, it does. It's just so much that comes with it that I want to do without. Seeing my aging relatives and what they're going through is hard. Losing them is hard. Knowing that someday this amazing life will end is hard. It brings tears to my eyes to think about the little girl I was is now 50. I'm hoping I'll start feeling better about this number and soon!
Maybe I'll just tell myself that 50 is the new 30...is that how it would go? I won't stand too close to the mirror...that way I won't see the wrinkles. I'll keep a smile on my face, my feet moving, my mind dreaming, and keep moving forward. Everyone seems to be healthy right now and we'll hope it stays that way for a long time. Because....I'm ready for a fabulous 2012!!!
I've been cleaning out cupboards and closets, rearranging, getting ready to redecorate parts of the house, and planning new projects. Trying to look at things from different angles and in different ways. I've even applied to go back to school! Yikes! I'm not even totally sure what I want to be when I grow up! I've been so many things but haven't found "it". But, I'll keep looking and trying new things. I just don't want to get to the end of my life and regret anything. I want to live my life to the fullest!
Here's to life, a great year, great health, dreams and moving forward!
P.S. Ok...everyone's entitled to a little wine now and then...mine's just spelled a little different in this post..."whine". If you made it through the whole post...thanks for stopping by, staying a while, and for your support. Everyone needs friends...even in blogland. Cheers! :-) I promise that the next post will be a LOT more fun!