“Just ’cause there’s snow on the roof doesn’t mean there’s not a fire inside.” – Bonnie Hunt
I recently passed the third anniversary of my husband’s death…the third “angelversary.” It’s so hard to believe. The first year was “The Year of the Great Fog”. There was no way I could adequately function beyond the basics. I spent a good portion of that year camping alone in the Colorado High Country. The second year was worse. It was the “Year of Awareness.” I was awake and quite aware that I was alone. The third year was somewhat better. It was the year of “Self-Discovery and Personal Growth”. By the end of the third year, I realized my grief wasn’t going to kill me and I’d better darned well start getting on with my life. And here I am at the beginning of the fourth year.
I always get introspective a couple weeks before the Angelversary. I look at where I’ve been, where I am currently, and where I want to be. While I embrace every last bit of myself…wrinkles, folds, and fluff…one look in the mirror and no jeans that fit prompted me to relinquish the title of “Poptart Queen” and stop going to bed with my two favorite men…Ben & Jerry! I immediately gave up sugar, bread, gluten, and my beloved Diet Pepsi and prayed for a miracle. Since it didn’t come, I started walking and biking. Oh. Em. Geeee. I HATE to exercise! It makes me grumpy. So I decided to change my attitude. I decided to look at it as going outside to play. Everyone likes to go outside and play, right? Now I look forward to opportunities to get outside and stretch my muscles and make them stronger so I can continue to tow my camper around and have more fun than anyone!
Aging has certain preconceived notions surrounding it. As we enter adulthood, we are on the upward curve. We are building careers and perhaps raising families. Buying houses and cars. Getting braces for the kids. Having neighborhood parties. Getting established. At the top of the curve is when we are earning the most money, having a bit more time to enjoy life, perhaps a bit more expendable income. The kids are heading off to college. We’re thinking about retirement. Tradition has it that the bell curve starts heading down and we stop being as productive, stop making as much money, and health deteriorates till we finally give up the ghost. There is an entire movement geared towards changing the bell curve and creating a positive, productive life long after our parents and grandparents slowed down. That has become my focus for this coming year.
We all want to THRIVE. How that looks to each of us is a varied as our little campers. Some of us are out there hiking mountains and roping cattle. Others are satisfied sitting around the campfire eating s’mores. There’s no judgment here. That’s the beauty of the Sisters. We love each other just as we are. We’ve come a long way, baby…it’s time we are comfortable in our own skin. And, we do have to pay the piper someday. I sure don’t want my tab to be insurmountable because I want to emulate our beloved Miss Mazie and camp till the cows come home!
I am working with a personal trainer for the first time in my life. We are focusing on tuning up my diet. He pushes me to drink more water. And we work out together five times a week. It isn’t easy, but I already feel better and that’s the main impetus. This is a transition that I get to control. There are so many changes we have no control over in life. I was talking with a friend over dinner the other night and she was saying how overwhelming the whole “losing weight” thing is…it’s hard to get motivated. I say that if you can change one thing in your diet and take one short walk every day, that’s a positive thing. And when you feel better, you are automatically given positive feedback that helps you make the next change. Change. That is the one thing we are guaranteed about life. It will change. How we change with it is what makes the difference. This is my year. This is my year to THRIVE!
Ginny McKinney, Sister #3537
Follow Ginny, Author, Blogger, and Speaker at Marshmallow Ranch
Stay tuned to this spot as we explore the transitions that we encounter in this march through life. I’ll be featuring some amazing women as we discover the myriad ways we Sisters adjust to the changes thrust upon us. I hope you’ll grab a cup of coffee and sit a spell by the fire with me.