Tomorrow will be a big April Fool’s joke on me. I’ll wake up, look in the mirror and wonder how the heck 50 years has passed.
Me, 50 years old. Really?
Shouldn’t I be grown up by now?
Shouldn’t I be able to cook yet?
When will I ever acquire that coveted culinary skill?
I’m starting to think that this will just be one of those elusive things since it appears I have no aptitude for it. I’m just like my Mom: never trust a skinny cook. (I was looking through photo albums and saw a high school report card of my mom’s, she had stellar marks, and a ‘D’ in home-ec ;)) In my Mom’s defense, she has plenty of other skills to make up for her cooking and I never need to worry about being overweight thanks to her…
In any case, I suppose I’ve managed to acquire other ‘skills’ in my half century on the planet. Not sure the human flag will serve me well in my old age, but I’ll be strong enough to haul a ton of grocery bags to anyone willing to cook for me.
On the precipice of such a milestone, I figure it would be fitting to take stock of my life and, if you’ll indulge me, I’ll share a few lessons I’ve learned along the way.
Don’t expect anything profound, by setting the bar super low I’m less likely to disappoint.
Over time, I think one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned, one that has served me well, is that I need to be my own best friend.
I’ve struggled with confidence at different stages of my life, still from time to time, but I’m trying to offer the same kindness to myself that I would to a friend. I’m not perfect, I have plenty of room to improve in all areas, but it doesn’t serve me, or the people I love well to beat myself up.
I live by the rule that I’ll do my best, and if that’s not enough, well, I can’t do anymore.
I only need to look at how amazing the people are around me to know that I’m truly blessed with family and friends. I must be ‘okay’ to be run in my circles.
The cool thing about friendships, whether it’s developed within family relationships, biz or otherwise, is that I find the more I give, the more I get back. I’m learning to give all I’ve got and I see that it comes back to me tenfold. I’m very fortunate with the people around me and I’m super thankful for everyone.
My latest lesson (in the last two years) is that I don’t ever want to ‘wait to be happy’. I have the choice to ‘be happy’ today in whatever circumstance I find myself. Of course I may not ‘feel’ happy all the time, that’s just impossible. But if I look at all the things I’m grateful for it goes a long way to helping me be appreciative.
Being grateful ups the happiness factor.
Gratitude is a daily practice, it doesn’t come easy in stressful or difficult times, but it’s the best way of coping. There’s always something to be thankful for, and by finding that thread, it usually leads to an entire fabric of other things to be thankful for.
Of course, as you may expect, setting personal and specific challenges is imperative for me. It prevents me from getting stuck in a rut, whether it’s in the gym, with my family, in my business, everywhere.
I usually only share the physical challenges I do on my blog with you.
Like the muscle up…
I’ve really wanted to be able to master the muscle up. While I’m not quite there, I’m getting closer. As with all things, it takes time and practice.
With age, I feel like I can do it all, I just need more recovery time. (My elbows remind me of this on occasion when too many pull ups or flags are on my plan.)
My nutrition and sleep are a lot more important now and go a long way to helping me feel great.
Being consistent with training and nutrition is key for maintaining strength and how my jeans fit. I only workout about 35 minutes daily, but it’s been 35 minutes for almost 50 years, it’s the consistency over time that really counts. Along with the consistency is the intensity, 35 minutes of hard work is much different than 60 minutes with 5 minute rests between sets.
There’s a lot more to write, but I think I’ll crack open my journal (omgosh, I have journals from when I was 10 years old now…). Writing helps me clear my head and I highly recommend journaling as a means to mental clarity and personal growth.
Here’s to another 50 years….Happy Birthday to me!
Ps. Stay tuned for an April Fool’s Day surprise…take a guess, how long to do 50 pull ups?