Monday, March 30, 2015

Up to 50+

As I reread yesterday's middle of the night blog post listing things I want to experience before I turn 50 I realized it might appear quite unrealistic and unattainable.

That's fair. 

I'm very aware that some of those things - like seeing penguins in their natural habitat - may not happen (or at least may be extremely difficult to pull off). But I'm completely confident that others - like dog sledding or swimming with the dolphins - will absolutely occur. 

As I read the list I also thought about more experiences I'd like to have. I'm now to over 50 on the list but I figure that will give me some wiggle room in case some can't be arranged. My new additions: 
46. Ride a bike
47. Hike Diamond Head
48. Watch a bear catch a salmon 
49. See the Grand Canyon
50. Go to the ballet
51. Learn karate
52. Ride in a pedicab
53. Jump on a trampoline 

Even started looking at bikes, just in case. Isn't she pretty? If I ever own a bike  I want it to look like this. 

Anxiety or Adrenaline?

When I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t return to sleep it is usually because thoughts race through my head. Typically they are either anxiety-producing irrational thoughts or adrenaline-producing suck-the-marrow thoughts.

Tonight my brain is torn between the two.

The other day I read about someone trying to do 50 things before their 50th birthday. Being I will be turning 50 this year the article led me to start my own list. Things I want to accomplish before turning 50. The great thing about the list is I've already knocked some things off the list over the last few months. The bad thing (actually, a good thing) is that I have a long way to go. In no particular order:

1. Swim in the ocean
2. Walk the Golden Gate Bridge
3. Ride in a helicopter
4. Go dog sledding
5. Visit Iceland
6. Ride a Segway
7. Learn to snorkel
8. Ride a zip line
9. Overcome fear of lizards
10. Go salmon fishing
11. See the Cabo arch
12. Learn to stand up paddle board
13. Swim with the dolphins
14. Walk a half marathon
15. Fly in a seaplane
16. Ride in an outrigger canoe in Hawaii
17. Visit Norway
18. Ride in a race car
19. Walk on a glacier
20. Take a hot air balloon ride
21. Go para sailing
22. Take a long distance train trip
23. Ride a mule
24. Take an air boat ride
25. See the Hollywood sign
26. Shoot a gun
27. Cross the Arctic circle
28. Visit Machu Picchu
29. See penguins in their natural habitat
30. Ride in a zodiac raft
31. Take a Hobie Cat ride
32. Visit Greenland
33. Publish another book
34. Lose 25 pounds
35. Go inside a wind turbine
36. Tackle another suspension bridge
37. Ride a Ferris wheel
38. Take a water aerobics class
39. Learn yoga
40. See the Northern Lights
41. Lie in a hammock on the beach
42. Ride an ATV
43. Tent camp in the woods
44. Live on a cruise ship for a month
45.   Learn to dance

As much as I tried I couldn't get to 50, at least not yet. (Does that mean I’m 45 at heart?) Either way it’s an adrenaline-producing suck-the-marrow somewhat-rational list.

Now for the anxiety-producing thoughts.

Sucking the marrow over these last few months has been expensive and I’m running out of money. Our Marsing house hasn't sold. Hubby isn't working and hasn't yet had a determination about disability. I've quit my job only have a few months left of income.

The two hour commute to work is killing me. The energy left for self-care is limited. My eating habits suffer. I drink too much caffeine, have been eating some carbs and sugar, and am not keeping true to my plan. My exercise habits suffer. I am too pooped to do anything once I get home. I start a great plan of daily walking at work and on weekends, but one day of overdoing it and my joints scream out to stop.

My pillowcase sewing project has netted 45 pillowcases for a local children’s home. Another dozen for a foster home organization. Another 20 to be hand-delivered next month to an orphanage in Honduras. I’m passionate about the project. But my family cut me off. Stopped me from doing more. Arthritis in the neck and looking down to sew isn't working out so well. While I was on the infusions and chemotherapy I could sew longer without an issue. But off the treatments? Not working so well.

Then the suck the marrow adventures make the arthritis flare up big time. A great day of adventure equals a few days of being down and having to take it easy. Life shouldn't be this hard.

My family wants me to cut back. They tell me on a regular basis:
Work from home. 
Cut back on sewing. 
Don’t be so adventurous. 
Take it easy. 
Stop walking. The doctor told you so.
Calm down.
Go back on your arthritis treatments. You need to be able to play with grand kids.

I am so torn. I know in my heart everything will work out. I don’t know how it’ll all work out, but it will. The money will come when it needs to. I may need to go back on my medications (I SO don’t want to) if I want to continue sewing and adventuring.

One single day spent snorkeling in Cabo last week may have made me rethink my life. Maybe it's time to swallow my pride and listen to them. But I can’t give this up. Could you?