Many of my friends have been having 50th birthdays lately. It’s like a polar bear swim or something; all of a sudden, one friend seemed to have just decided, “hey, why not?” and they jumped in and made a big splash. Then one by one, everybody else just started jumping in after them. I’ve been on the side watching it all, and there’s something actually appealing about this 50’s thing. What the heck, I guess I’ll jump in, too...in a couple of months, that is.
Obviously I'm a little anxious about this upcoming birthday. I don’t know if turning 50 feels more like a milestone, or a speed limit.
Either way, I suppose having birthdays beats the alternative.
And to keep the birthdays coming for a good while longer, I’ll have to stay more active, keep the weight off, and love life. So, I’ve decided to put five goals out there to keep me accountable to live well.
1. “50 by 50:” Almost a year ago I was 45 pounds heavier than I am now. I hope to shed just five more pounds, and then level off there.
2. “Do a du,” then “try a tri.” I’m going to find a duathlon (bike+run), and then a triathlon (swim+bike+run). This feels like something between manageable and crazy...sure I can ride a bike, but I’ve all but forgotten how to do the freestyle stroke. My running’s not much better. Maybe I can find a triathlon that has a century ride, a 100-yard jog, and a kiddie swim pool...
3. Go see the doctor. After my birthday I'll be due for my “50,000 mile checkup.” From what my friends tell me, this will be more than just a tire rotation. I think they put you up on a lift and take out your transmission. Apparently these checkups will be more frequent now. Oh joy.
4. Enjoy the people around me. Maybe it’s age, or just the accumulation of life experiences, but I’ve learned that a rich and full life is really about staying connected and happy with my beautiful spouse, my kids, my relatives, and co-workers. This can be harder than it sounds sometimes. It takes work to manage relationships. But the rewards are tremendous and life-giving.
5. Keep the faith. I am so thankful that my parents raised me to believe that there’s a God who loves me, who looks past my failures and sees value in me. This, above all things, keeps me grounded, thankful, and growing in my life. It's something that Mrs. C and I have passed along to our children. That said, since our move to Salem, finding a faith community that fits us continues to be a big challenge. We're working on it.
Well, there's no time like the present to go and get after it.