Wasn’t it just January? This year seems to have flown by in the blink of an eye. It’s as if we’ve been bitten by Disney magic and time is a medium all its own. There are years that seem to last far more than their 12 months and others that feel lightning fast, this one was the latter. How has 2019 treated you?
While I don’t recall us putting a theme to this year, it was, once again, a year of learning, a year of adventure and a year of growing. Somehow it seems that that messy growth and often, difficult learning is a recurring theme for life after 40. It feels good to continue to be surprised by new things, delve into new projects and meet new, fascinating humans. Sure, there’s still the regular everyday, those who have known you forever and the constants of already garnered education, but that new stuff with the fuzzy edges, bumpy road and chaotic swirling of the brain eventually clears, soothes, and settles – making room for more to come.
It feels good to be here. After almost five years (which I still can’t believe), San Diego feels officially like home. Grief still sneaks up and rears its ugly head, but there are also good memories, honoring moments and peaceful spots where connection and peace take place, too. I don’t think I believed people when they told me that life shifts after 40 – now, I believe them. Something feels different, more at ease within oneself and more accepting of change (wow that’s a tough one to admit).
Almost 5 years ago we set out on a journey to ditch a winter – now that destination has become home. 11 years ago, the husband asked me to marry him and the adventure of a lifetime commenced. 14 years ago, this week, I flew around the globe to spend 8 days in New Zealand and came back with a story, a boyfriend and a continued thirst for more to life than work. The past 15 years have included more twists, turns, life shifts, passport stamps, joy, loss, love, laughter and adventures than I could have ever imagined. This decade has helped shape me, taught me to embrace the journey, learn to (begin) to feel comfortable in my own skin and has shown me that seeking joy, gaining strength and being happy within are unequivocally worthwhile pursuits.
I’ve seen the same memes you have. One year broke me, the other year changed me, the next year strengthened me and this one – ‘I’m coming for ya’. Somehow, I think we’ve all experienced parts of this experience and I’m no different. The past few years have seen professional shifts, job changes, coastal adjustments, new boundaries, new perspectives, tragedies, difficulties, growth, learning, and full on change. This year, felt a little less raw and even more authentic. 2019 has helped shape my focus, wipe my tears and reboot even more joy.
2019 brought travel back to the forefront of our story, helped us hit personal milestones and filled our calendar with adventure. These past 12 months reminded us of how our story began and how, ten years later, that thirst for adventure is still, very much, unquenchable. Our story is constantly growing and changing; yet today we look forward to those changes instead of pushing against them. Today, we find peace in the constant of where we are, who we are and what we love. Today, we take pride in the choices we have made and are still making even when they fall far from the status quo. Today, we look to the future, comfortable in the understanding that we don’t know everything and that the unknown is not as scary a place as we once thought.
This year allowed us to spread our travel wings, visit new spaces and return to well-loved ones. Hawaii showed us the beauty of her islands and satiated our taste buds with her epic malasadas. Las Vegas gave us the bright colours of Red Rock Canyon and the endless array of culture surrounding the Rugby Sevens Competition. Arizona provided heat, deliciousness and awe at giant Saguaros. Utah brought its brilliant hues and grand landscapes back into our lives allowing us to finally complete stepping our hiking shoes into her mighty five national parks. New York provided time with friends, family, our favourite boardwalk and of course, bagels. Alaska, that brilliant last frontier, introduced us to glaciers, puffins, otters, our coolest ride yet and allowed us to hit that 50 state milestone. Singapore added a passport stamp and glittered with lights and The Maldives – well, The Maldives is completely pure bliss. A year of travel adventures and those close to home made this year even sweeter.
Whether you use words like manifesting, growth, and perspective shifting or are more comfortable with fate, change and learning – as we age, all of it is possible. When you’re open to new ideas, believe in the impossible, put yourself on your ‘to do’ list and notice the pauses and peaceful moments – magic happens. I’ve been a Disney fan since I can first remember wearing pigtails and neither the braids nor the love of that magical mouse has waned. But, I too have learned, that when you can’t get to the land of the mouse – you have to create your own kind of magic. For me, it comes in the form of sandy beaches, ocean air, people who lift me up, time with those who make me smile, yoga, positive mindset books, dark chocolate, and Mother Nature. Whether your go to blissful brilliance comes in the same form or others, that self-care matters – you matter.
I never really wanted to grow up. I considered myself related to Peter Pan and Tinker Bell and knew that if I was lucky enough to grow older, I never wanted to lose that childlike wonder, joy and spirit of adventure. While life’s bumpy road (and mine has been far smoother than others) with twists and turns does its best to knock you out of alignment, kick you out of bounds and hurl you off balance – that pixie dust (be it the eco-friendly kind) is always available to help you believe happy thoughts and know that you too can fly.
Let’s soar into the next decade together – I’m right there beside you. What are your plans for 2020?