Milestone birthdays. We all have them. Sometimes we strive to make them meaningful by attempting something new.
When I was 10, I landed my first job. A paper route delivering the Wallaceburg News. My parents didn’t even know I’d applied for the job when the Circulation Director called for parental consent. My earnings purchased Barbie doll clothing. Fur stoles, party dresses and plastic high heels.
For my 20th milestone, I backpacked through South East Asia. I mentioned to my parents I was just heading to Australia. You can see I never wanted to worry my parents, right? When I called home on Boxing Day ( I couldn’t get through all Christmas day) from Bali, I told Dad my plans to go up to Thailand. Dad immediately asked, ”That’s next to Vietnam, isn’t it?” Can you imagine that phone call?
When I turned 35, I learned how to ride a motorcycle. Mom’s reaction? “You’re going to get yourself killed!” Well, after a hit and run by a pick-up truck totaled my bike, I was more in tune with Mom’s concerns. My excitement at being a rider remained but my confidence in the safety of it paled.
My 50th birthday saw me fulfill my dream of volunteering as a disaster relief nurse…twice! First, an opportunity to help out after a catastrophic earthquake hit Haiti. Then, nine months later, I found myself in Pakistan volunteering after a tragic flood . Incredibly rewarding times.
Just for kicks, in the time between traveling to Haiti and Pakistan, I spent a long week-end with three of my sisters in New York. Sight-seeing in Central Park, taking in a Broadway show, shopping along 5th Avenue, and eating NY cheesecake at midnight. Turning 50 made for one fantastic year!
55 saw me venture off in yet another direction. I followed a spiritual path, becoming a lay associate, to join a community of religious women. Surrounding yourself with positive people is a fantastic way to live. Knowing I have a community praying for my family keeps me going most days. With all those prayers, I’ll get through any hardship coming my way!
I don’t have a clue what I will do to celebrate the big 6-0. But, let me tell you what my brother-in-law, Mark Jacques, did for his 60th birthday. A half-Ironman in Niagara Falls. The Barrelman. A 2 km swim in a canal, not over the falls! Then, an 89 km bike ride. Followed by a 21.1 km run past both the Canadian and American Falls. Yup, Mark did it all! He’s in fine form as you can see.
60 is the new 40, right? Well, Mark is like a 40-year-old with 20 years of experience. He rocked that half-Ironman!
I asked my hubby, Guy what we should do to celebrate the year we both turn 60, in 2020. Guy says sky-diving. He says that we’ll jump out of the plane in tandem with another person, but not each other. I told Guy if one of us is in tandem with the pilot, let it be me first, please! Sky-diving was something I wanted to do when younger, but once I had children, I worried too much. I told Guy,” I’m not worried about jumping. It’s the hitting the ground part with a 60-year-old body.”
I’m trying to convince Guy it’s acceptable to dress up like the Michelin man for my free-fall. Padding my body a bit might protect it from the hard ground.
What will you do for your next milestone birthday? Maybe I’ll come up with a list of things. I’ve over three years to go. What I do know is life is great; celebrate and live it to the fullest!