Fifty was a great year, even with the craziness of government control and mass psychosis.
We went on several road trips! We often fly when we vacation, but with the mandates, we really wanted nothing to do with it. Instead, we went to Ohio and visited Cedar Point (a bucket list item for my hubby) where the kids and hubby rode a bunch of roller coasters (my vertigo had just finally resolved completely and I wasn’t taking the chance of recurrence by riding). We visited Civil War battlefields in Kansas and Missouri, fun parks in South Dakota, the Mansfield State Reformatory (where they filmed Shawshank Redemption), the National Museum of the Air Force….more “field trips” than I can mention. We saw many extended family members we normally do not get to see, and that was a blessing, even though the gatherings were sad events of passing.
Even with mask mandates and cancelled races, we still managed to get in a total of nine races since my 49th birthday. I completed my 50th overall race on October 31, 2021, just a week after my 50th birthday. I only managed one half marathon this year (and it’s now one of my favorites!) and had my second fastest finish of all of my half marathons. That half marathon was on Mickelson Trail, now one of my bucket-list items to finish the entire trail one day (109 miles).
That was in June. In August, to celebrate Shane’s 50th birthday, we decided to add a 14er to our list. Shane has been working long overtime hours, and sneaking it in was a bit difficult. It was a crazy long climb! And what a rush to be at the absolute HIGHEST point in Colorado. Mt. Elbert was an amazing experience (though Shane will tell you how many times I told him “never again!” LOL).
My 50th race was supposed to be the Crazy Horse Half marathon, but about 10 days before the race, Shane and I both came down with “the virus.” We were mostly recovered, but still tired and weak, so we didn’t make that race, but we did take the trip up to South Dakota since our hotel was pre-paid. It was my very FIRST DNS (Did Not Start) for a race. I then ran the Kooky Spooky 5K as my 50th Race, instead.
“Silver Sisters” is a term for women who choose to stop hiding from their true hair color when there are grays/silvers emerging. I stopped dyeing my hair in November of 2020. I would have liked to grow out all of the silver hair by my 50th birthday, but I started far too late. I regret not starting earlier in the year (I have been considering it for years). I am honestly looking forward to seeing the end result, after all of the brown dye is gone from my hair, and being truly silver. I thought I would hate the in between period, but it’s been interesting to see the variation of color, the silver streaks, and even the darker hair that still exists. My girls get a kick out of how my hair looks when braided, and I’ve gotten many compliments on the natural color that is emerging.
Speaking of change, I lost my cousin to colon cancer this year (he was 5 years older). It’s strange to be 50 years old and realize I’ve lost so many cousins; I lost my cousin Michelle and her brother Michael before I was 40 (they were both so young). Now I’ve lost another. One cousin had a heart attack a few years ago. Another had a stroke. One has diabetes now. Did I mention I have a total of 13 cousins? The youngest is 35, and the oldest is 55.
The number 40 didn’t hit me nearly as hard as 50. In fact, I finally felt mature, strong, and willing to fight for sanity when I turned 40. I divorced at 40, finally ready to stand up for myself. I started running to get fit, knowing that my days of running after toddlers and constantly carrying 20-30 pounds was coming to an end after 10 years. I started to recognize certain broken cycles in my life, and wanted to fix them. With my oldest only 9, it felt like I had so much life in front of me.
A decade later, and 50 feels old. I no longer feel so much life in front of me (the death of my cousin reminding me of that), and I don’t feel as if I have so much time left to accomplish the things that I have wanted to accomplish.
Old or not, my 40s have prepared me for today. My husband and I didn’t want to have to stand up against people that accept lies as truth, but we were thrust into it by people who once proclaimed to love us. We learned in our 40s that most people don’t want to live in truth and sacrifice, only in easy security and pleasure. Selfish desires to feel pleasure (and even “safety”) are far more important today than character and truth (which often requires sacrifice and personal responsibility). Having lived this way for a decade prior, it has made it easier for us to see the current lies, gaslighting, and the destruction of people’s health and mental well-being. Standing up is far easier when you’ve been doing it already for a decade.
I am healthy. I am drug-free. I feel love fiercely every day from Jesus, my husband, and my children who still hug me daily. We have found a church that feels like family–not the kind of family that pretends everything is okay even when the house is burning down, but rather the family that speaks truth in LOVE, proclaims boldly, and makes you feel strong enough to live in truth and love. God has provided for us and blesses us, and we know that with the trials to come, we will still stand for Him.
Happy 50th to me.