It happened: Yesterday on Halloween, I turned 45. Dressed as a sparkly unicorn and nursing sore legs from the half marathon I ran the day before, I spent some time thinking about being 45 is good, and what I’ve learned now that I am officially in the middle of my life. (Technically I plan to live to be 108, but that’s not entirely my call, so….)
These are in no particular order, by the way.
Do you see yourself in here? Anything to add?
45 REASONS I’M GRATEFUL TO BE 45
11. I know the difference between love and lust. I appreciate them both.
12. I can afford nice shoes (yet still feel guilty for buying them for myself)
13. I am a mother of neither an infant nor a teenager. Our son is 9. Thank you!!
14. Both of my parents are still alive and well and living nearby.
15. I am happily married to my first husband. Which has nothing to do with being 45 but it’s rare and awesome so I’m throwing it in here.
16. I still feel like a teenager when I hear Jane’s Addiction.
17. I know how to ask for what I need.
19. I don’t wait. I don’t mean that I am impatient, but that I no longer wait for things to come to me, or for someone to say something first. Life is too short and by most calculations, I’m already half way done with a long, healthy life. Now is now is now.
20. The bar for celebration has gotten MUCH lower. You woke up this morning? Party on!
22. The pain of high school is a distant memory. I hear childbirth is like that too. Some things are worth forgetting.
23. No one expects me to still have a bikini body. (It is still on the nice-to-have list though.)
24. Saying what’s on my mind is far more liberating than being mysterious. Finally got that one.
25. I’m quicker to apologize and slower to point fingers. Who has time for grudges anyway?
26. I’m trusting my gut more and my cravings less. I listen to my intuition, but now I actually question when my body says it cannot live without a truckload full cotton candy.
27. You don’t have to choose between your face or your ass if you have a great esthetician
28. I no longer have to try and look cool. Either I am or I’m not, there is no try.
29. A good night’s sleep is better than almost any after party.
30. Giving a compliment is more rewarding than receiving one. By the way, that shirt really brings out your eyes.
31. Being called ma’am. I used to want to punch people when they called me that. Now it kind of feels like respect.
32. Life is neither fair or unfair.
33. No matter what the question, I realize now that love is usually the answer.
34. The alternative is much worse.
35. I can stop making lists whenever I feel like it
It’s October 15th, the deadline for Lauries to participate in my 45 Project, and I wanted to share the results. (Please see previous post for set up). Of the 45 Lauries to whom I had mailed $5 and a letter explaining my project:
4 were returned to me by the post office (9%)
3 returned the letters and the money on their own (7%)
4 participated and responded (9%)
Which leaves 75% and a big question mark. I’ll come back to that.
Of the Lauries who participated, 100% of them were surprised and delighted by this random idea. Hooray for kindred spirits, and THANK YOU, ladies, for being game! The first to respond was Laurie in Utah, who used the $5 as part the entry fee for an event that benefits Habitat for Humanity. Laurie was excited to attend the event, which was a way to give back while also getting a fun day out of it. Here’s where she went: http://outletsattraversemountain.com/event/4th-annual-shopping-extravaganza/2145476946/
Another Laurie, a trail runner, used the money to keep her local trails clean, and then wrote about it in her blog, here:
Laurie M., who was at breakfast at The Delectable Egg with a friend who had been through a lot recently, used the money to help with the bill and give props to the second waitress who was in training. Turns out in addition to being a good friend and tipper, Laurie is a also really talented artist: http://lauriemavesart.com/
Finally, Laurie on Merritt Island was nice to enough to email me to let me know that she also participated, but had to evacuate because of Hurricane Matthew (yikes!) so details are forthcoming. Just glad you are safe, Sister!
So, was this little social experiment a success? My best answer is yes and no. My original hypothesis was that people are naturally creative, resourceful and kind and the four Lauries who responded certainly embodied those traits. But my worry—that people will be creeped out that I found out their name, address and age—may have overridden any Lauries desire to participate. One Laurie sent her money back with a note saying she’d love to participate but it wasn’t a good time. The other two just came back, practically untouched. In today’s climate of Russian hackers, conspiracy theories, and anthrax, I can’t say I blame them.
I hoped this idea would catch on a little more, so I’m thinking about what I could have done differently. I would LOVE to find out what went on in the heads of the other 75%, but there’s no way to do that. So, I’m curious about a few things and I hope you can help:
Many thanks and love,
Wonder what happens when a beach-loving runner breaks her toe at the beginning of summer?
Laurie Shiers | Brainchild Coaching 310.936.0464 firstname.lastname@example.org