Preparing for my 50th Birthday Speech PART 2

Last post, I was talking about how my goal to be in better shape at 50 than I was at 40 is pretty much a done deal – in spite of not having lost the amount of weight necessary to be at the ideal by the beginning of April (when I become half a century old.) The idea is that the way my (your?) mind works is kind of literal. It seems to enjoy being literal and then leaping into a pun. In this case, the better shape spans all aspects of my life.

How about career? At 40 I had been working at my dream job for 5 months. Still am. How is that in better shape? Well, I’ve never worked anywhere longer than 5 years and this is 10 years of amassing pension credits and moving up the pay scale. I make double what I did 10 years ago. I’m also better at what I do. And, I do it in far fewer hours per week. As far as I can tell, my credibility in the school district is at least medium, maybe even medium high. In some offices definitely high. That takes time. Ironically, I have cycled through every classroom in our small school and am back to the one I started in. This time around there are 8 computers in the room instead of none. Although there has been staff turnover and I started out working with an awesome staff, the current staff complement is also awesome.

Just a little photo from a day at work. October I think it was.

Given the general state of better, I also have energy that is not going into my paid employment, financial anxiety, or faltering relationships.

Which, brings me to the next better shape stat: my own marriage. At the age of 40 I was dating someone who really didn’t want to be with me, but didn’t really know how to get out of it – I think. There were subtle clues like the frequent fights, disappointments, arguments, neglects. My 40th birthday passed with an expensive dinner out and tickets to the Montreal Jazz Ballet. Definitely, a quality evening, but quite certainly not the 40th birthday bash I had explicitly wished for….. Out loud. This, from a man who knew how to organize himself into political office, who was often the life of a party, and who shared my social circle! Still, I stayed??!!? And, I didn’t organize my own party??!!?

Finally, we figured out not to be together and my husband and I found each other. I know I can’t write too much about him, or us, without embarrassing him a little, so I will say that in spite of some early “figuring-it-outs”, there is rarely a fight, argument, or disappointment. In the course of a $150,000 renovation, we had ONE five minute fight which stopped as soon as we both realized that it was the stress of another day of living in only two rooms cordoned off with ineffective dust barriers.

The Dancing Fools

He is wonderful and loves me and I love him. He is rarely the life of the party (not that you can tell that from the photo) even though he is definitely a good time, and planning a party would clearly stress him out – so I have planned my birthday bash, which MUST include dancing. With all my friends and a good dose of friendly strangers we are going to The Rogue Folk Club for Contra Dancing to the live band, The Sybarites.

If you’ll be around Vancouver on April 3rd, you’re invited. Check out the details http://www.roguefolk.bc.ca/rfshows.html The party/dance is at St. James Hall which is a beautiful, de-sanctified church with great acoustics & a dance floor. Maybe we’ll see you there? Maybe you’ll tell me you (& your significant other, and your kids, and your grandma) are coming – leave a comment below. It will be a blast.