Earlier this week I noticed that it was 10 weeks til I turn 50. I'm a sucker for this kind of marker, and started to think about My Life with Capital Letters. The main impetus for me to do the Never Done year (the real Never Done year, not this joy-seeking year) was the approach to 50. I felt like my life was becoming less expansive, and I wanted it to become more so. I was afraid of the diminution that can accompany women into their later years.
So I set out to expand and
discover. And now, two years later, I can say that the year was
incredibly valuable for a host of reasons, but that my day-to-day life
does not feel more expansive. It feels less so, due in part to having
stopped freelancing and started commuting daily to a job job. A good job
job, but still a job job.
So when I notices that
there's 10 weeks til I'm 50 (let's call it 10-50) I started to think
about what I want going into the next half of my life. And then I went
to the gym. I ran on the treadmill, I lifted weights, and I stretched.
Strength and flexibility. That's what I want to gain—physically and
So I went again. But this
time I tried to make it joyful, so I figured out how to turn on the TV,
and I tuned into a real guilty pleasure while I ran my three miles: Who
Wants To Be A Millionaire.
And I was enjoying myself, for
about 6 minutes, until Governor Cuomo cut in with a State of the State
address. Not as frivolous as Millionaire, but certainly valuable to
watch. The numbers he spoke about were staggering. Sandy cost $50
billion to the mid-Atlantic region, and $33 billion in New York. $33
billion. The woman I had been watching was heading towards winning
$25,000 when she got cut off for the Governor's message. (15 minutes
later, when his press conference was over, and I was still running, she was no longer the contestant.)
kept running, I had a good stretch afterwards, and I thought about how
much strength and flexibility it takes to live in this world.