My Spring Garden

Day 106 – Preparing for my 50th Birthday Speech – Part 1

As I wrestled with the fact that I won’t be at my ideal weight by my birthday (thank you Nanaimo for inventing bars that are irresistible… couldn’t be my fault alone!) I was gorbling* about what this said about my ability to commit, my ethic around being true to my word, etc. How does a chick who can blog for 100 days straight (and usually make sense) deride her ability to commit? I’m a good committer.

And, like a new teacher’s pet in my class so ably illustrated this week (oh, he identified as a teacher’s pet, not me – I think he wanted something) if I actually give my word, I keep it. In this instance the kid couldn’t seem to keep his cellphone out of his hands during class. I offered – in that teacher offering kind of “I think this is how we’re going to play it” kind of way – to keep it in my pocket if he didn’t keep it in his. Zoom! Into his pocket it went. Ten minutes later, pop, it’s out of the pocket taking up his time. I cruise over. Make my offer again. “No, no, I’ll keep it in my pocket for good.”

“I think I’ve heard that before.”

He makes full eye contact, “I didn’t say, for good last time.” And, this time, he is true to his word and it is for good.

So, I ask myself, did I give my word. And, I realize I did. I gave my word that, “At 50, I would be in better shape than I was at 40.” I was thinking I would do more push-ups (not hard, when you start from a base line of 2) and lose weight. What my be-careful-what-you-wish-for-brain heard was that my true self would be in better shape than I was. And, that, my friends is a done deal:

How am I in better shape as I come up to my 50th birthday than I was at 40?

My Vans with the skull butterfly pattern.

Check the shoe closet. When I was 40 I had running shoes, sturdy blue $12 rubber boots for gardening, Birkenstock look-alikes, an 8 year-old pair of patent flats for “good”, hiking boots, and a pair of everyday go to work shoes. Now? Well, I’m still an amateur compared to most women, but suffice it to say my expensive rubber boots have a psychedelic pattern, I have 4 pairs of “good” sandals for summer as well as a slopping around pair. The hiking boots are sidled up beside the 3 pairs of knee high leather boots with various cool lacing patterns, and choices of flats, walking shoes, going to work shoes and flip flops. I figure you can tell a lot about the state of the union with a quick peek into the shoe closet. After-all, our Minister of Finance always dons a new pair of shoes to present a new budget for the country – shoes and economic well-being go hand-in-hand.

Which brings us to the better shape personal economy of me. At 40, I went bankrupt. I was a renter; now, I’m an owner. I leased the cheapest car I could find; today, I drive my dream Volvo. Granted, I still have a 13 inch TV, but now, at least, we pay for basic cable. And, in the land of technology we are not poor. I am sitting (with my back to the sun streaming through the very nice French doors I was able to install between my beautifully renovated kitchen and the gorgeous spring garden) typing on a ridiculously expensive Mac laptop while the man-with-whom-I-shared-breakfast types on his ridiculously expensive Mac laptop.

There is more than my better shape economy to celebrate. At 40, I celebrated the graduation of my son from a prestigious private school. How does it get better in the proud momma department? Well, it gets better by having an independent son with an MBA, an accomplished & loving wife, a beautiful home, and the guts and self-esteem to make tough career decisions that show his commitment to his ongoing growth and development. As much pride as a momma can stuff into that, I have reason to believe that, long after his dependence on his mother is over, he still loves his momma and so does his talented wife. So my better shape? How do you get prouder than 100%?

I think in the intervening 10 years I have learned how to feel it through more of my body – fewer Nanaimo bars and Cheezies stuffing down the feelings, perhaps. And, the biggest plus on the 100%? I, now, have a daughter-in-law to love and be proud of too!

Stay tuned for Part 2 and Ian. Two days from now!

*Gorbling – to gorble (verb) The feeling you get in your stomach that burbles up your spine and into your shoulders, could be confused with the onset of shame before you are able to stuff it right down when it belongs in your subconscious … usually accomplished with the sledge hammer of a Nanaimo bar.