Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ch Ch Ch Ch Changes...

School started this week for me (hence I was "off the grid" for the past few days). The first week of "back to work" for teachers includes LOTS of meetings (one of which I completely forgot to go to...sigh), sending emails, getting syllabi and copies ready for the first week. The actual TEACHING of classes doesn't start until Monday.

One of the things I noticed this week as I was talking to my colleagues is that, for the most part, we fell into two camps...those who felt that "they weren't ready" for school to start. Most of those people taught summer school, so they hadn't had much of a break. The rest were rested, and eager, and mostly said that they were ready to go back to teaching.

I certainly fell into the latter camp. For the first time, maybe ever, I felt like I had enough vacation. I'm rested and am ready to get back at it. It was a great summer. I got to run two half-marathons, I got to travel with friends and family. I certainly had a fair amount of "down time" and way more than enough wine!

It's kinda a nice feeling.

Going back to school is one way that I know that the summer is (or is almost) over. Another signal that my summer is coming to a close is my mid-August birthday, which I quietly celebrated about a week ago.

When I was younger, I made a pretty big deal out of Birthday Week. Heck for a while in my 20's, I considered the whole month of August my "Birthday Month!" (As in, "Hey bartender...It's BIRTHDAY MONTH...shouldn't this round of drinks be "on the house?" You might be surprised at how well this worked!)

Now that I'm (ahem) older, I am decidedly more low key about my birthday. Until this year, I kept my birthday private on Facebook. This year, I made it non-private because some people, when they learned it was my birthday a week after the fact, chastised me for keeping it private.

I'll be honest...the birthday wishes from FB were really nice.

So was my birthday (not a week...but a couple of days of celebrating). On Wednesday, I met up with Mik, Elsie, and Betty at Mik's house. It was the first time we'd been together since the Napa to Sonoma half. We got to hear about Elsie's adventures in Guatemala. (Her dad is a doctor and she participates in an annual trek to South America where her father and other surgeons provide health care services to the people there. She is a translator and always comes back with good stories...and this year, a good luck doll...for the dolls!)

Cute! No? Thanks Elsie!
Mik served the birthday cookies on her family birthday cool is THAT?
On my actual birthday (Friday). I went for a run at Lake BP. For the past year or so, the road around the lake had been closed about 2 miles in for repair. It's now open all the way, so I got a 5.5 mile run in.
Locals will recognize the target at Lake BP...the lap doesn't count unless you tag the sign!!!
That night Walter and I took our kids to the track so that they could learn the important life skill of betting on ponies.
I bet on the 8 horse in the 6th race in honor of Mona. Damn mule came in last...
Actually, I've had really good luck betting horses this season, but only in the first two races I see. The first time I went to the track, in the first two races, I correctly picked a quinella (where you bet on two horses that you think will come in first and second, but in no particular order). 

I had my friends thinking I was a betting goddess, but then I didn't bet on another winner for the rest of the day.

Then on my birthday, I correctly picked another quinella in the third race, which was the second race I saw...and then not another winner, or even close, for the rest of the day.

So, in the future, I think I will not bet on any races past the 3rd.
Turbo likes betting longshots thinking that if one of 'em hits, he'll win loads of money. Sadly, one of his first memories of being at the track is choosing on a 50:1 longshot to win, so he thinks that this is a common occurrence now.
DramaGirl made this gorgeous thing! Consumed at home later that evening (and for the next couple of days) It was a lime-berry pie that was super rich and yummy!
So...this year, I turned 49. Wow. One year away from 50. I'm in my 50th year of life.

I'm not sure what 50 is supposed to feel like. I've read that 50 is the new 40, whatever that means. I'll also be honest that the prospect of turning 50 has me a bit wigged out. I know that some will say that "age doesn't matter. It's how you feel that counts" and while a huge amount of that adage is certainly true, age does matter in how you feel.

Doesn't matter how you slice it. 50 sorta sounds...well you know...old.

40 has been a great decade so far. I earned a doctorate. I started running and have had some absolutely wonderful adventures with some great women as a result of "being a runner." I've raised two great kids out of toddler-hood and into teenage-hood. I continue to be happily married to a great man. I have nothing but good to say about my 40s.

But there's a nagging voice in the back of my head that wonders how long can this continue? Certainly, life is going to change. It always does. It, of course, already has. If someone had told me when I was 39 that I would earn a degree, change jobs, start running, change jobs AGAIN, run a marathon, many halves, and even do a few long bike rides, I'd have probably been a bit incredulous.

That really wasn't me then. It is me now. I've changed.

So while I shouldn't be wigged out about change, I am. The changes that I went through in my 40s were very positive, yes, but I know that it won't always be so. I know that my body will, eventually, not allow me to run any longer (I may be 90 when this happens, but it will happen). Even now some of "the herd" complain, suggest that not ALL of our adventures need to culminate in a 13.1 mile run. Maybe we could look for some 10Ks instead? Maybe we could go somewhere and not run at all? Maybe we could ride Segways (that was for Mik who is morally opposed to such things).

I know my body is changing, some of it for the good (I may be in the best shape of my life...definitely the best shape of my adult life...and by adult life, I mean the part of my life that started in my 30s. I dont' really consider my 20s was more an extended adolescence.)

But some other aspects of a changing/aging body?  Not. So. Good. This became clear to me when I went to the gym last night. I didn't actually go the gym to workout. I had signed Turbo up for a gym membership so that he could go there after school with a couple of his friends. It is definitely the least expensive after school program I've ever paid for. Anyway, as the membership director walked us around the gym and was (of course) trying to get me to purchase some personal training sessions (I also belong to the same gym, so personal training isn't an entirely outlandish idea), he also asked me what my training goals were. Whenever I'm asked this question, I always mention running and how any strength training that I do is generally focused on increasing endurance in long runs and/or riding.

He took one look at me and talked to me about improving my posture because "as we grow older, our shoulders tend to start hunching over..."

HUH? Grow older? Hunching over? WTF????

But I can look at myself in the mirror and I see the hunch. I see the difference between a young person's posture and mine.

GAH! GROWING OLD SUCKS!!!!...I'm just saying...and there. I've said it.


So, I will fight these NOT. SO. FRIGGIN' POSTIVE changes as best I can, but getting older really pisses me off.


  1. I wouldn't have guessed you were 49 at all.
    I thought you were maybe 41 or 42 (about the age of most of my RL friends).

  2. Happy Belated Birthday.

    The membership director can suck it!

  3. All right, this is gonna be a long comment.
    First, and most important, 49 is not old. ISN'T!! Cause I'm almost exactly mumblety years older. I don't list my birthday on FB, and even if they reveal it, it still wouldn't be right. Yes, I lied to FB. Several times.
    So, like I said, 49 isn't old, it keeps getting better. After all, I did Ironman when I was past 50.
    I never tried the birthday month thing to get free drinks. I think that only works for girls. Besides, when you're as old as I am, the birthdays go past pretty quick.
    What do you mean, enough vacation? Je ne compredez pas.
    The important skill I learned about betting on horses, is that the horses know more about racing, and don't care about your money.
    Has drama girl ever considered going to post secondary school in Calgary? Does she do other kinds of pies?
    Like I said, 49 is not old. Most days I think of myself as mid to late 30's, cause that's how old lots of the people I hang out with are.
    I think you should take the herd through an Ironman, ok, a half ironman, then they won't be complaining about a measly 13.1 mile run when you get to start fresh.
    My posture is better now than ever in my life as is my physical condition, so if that's getting old, bring it on!
    Now, where do I live, and just exactly who are you again? Isn't today Tuesday? Are you sure?

  4. I hear ya, sister!! I'm just a few months behind you and all I can hear is the "50" bell ringing. Bleh! My PT also brought up the personal trainer thingie to me because, afterall Jill, you are not getting younger. I had a personal trainer for 3 years (and for that matter, I do have a personal training certification!), fired his ass (long story) and have missed him since. Sigh.

    Those were just rambling thoughts...just how my brain works these days, but I have to say HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY - and if we were FB friends I'd have said it to you there (well, if your bday happened to fall on the one day/week I get on FB!).

  5. Did I tell you that you and my Mom have the same birthday? Two pretty cool people :)

  6. Belated birthday wishes to you! I'm glad you can reflect fondly on your 40s. I'm personally ready for mine to end. Hope you have a great school year.

  7. I've been quietly freekin' out about turning 40 this year. Especially turning 40 and having a soon-to-be 1 year old. But after this post, i'm kinda excited. :) You rock!

    btw- keep 11/12 open. you now have plans.

  8. Did I miss your birthday??? I'm confused ~ because I'M SO MUCH OLDER THAN YOU!! LOL

    Happy, Happy if I did.

    I would has definitely bet on "shesabigbroad".....

  9. My birthday was last week too... You're right, 50 does sound kind of "old"... but it's also all in your actions. I remember that I was shocked to learn my grandma 50 at a certain point in my childhood because of how OLD she acted in comparison to my own mother a that age. You definitely don't act old, so there's that perk!

    I'm feeling the busy-ness right now too, I've also been kind of off-the-grid this week. I don't get summers off, but when the faculty came back to campus this week and when the students come back next week... my workload grows monumentally!

  10. The 50's are sahweeeet! Young enough to do everything, old enough to know better and wise enough to be able to goad the young'uns into doing stupid things for a laugh! Happy birthday Alice!

  11. By the way - if you're hitting Quinelas - I need some of your luck to rub off on me. Is there an akaAlice voodoo doll you can send me?

  12. Well, you can always see how I fall apart as I zip into my 6-0 year, and do avoidance moves AND as you know I am also totally freaked out about not being able to keep up. But as long as we share life, laughter and escapades, it's not so bad- look at it this way, Life is either a daring adventure or nothing (Helen Keller). Now I think I'd best go run a few miles, just to stay in the game!

  13. Sheesh! I missed this post until just now! Yeah, I'm not buying the 50 is the new 40 or 30. I just think there's a new standard. 50 isn't what it used to be. We're not ready to sit still. By the way, I liked 50 much more than 49. :)

    It's still birthday month. Happy Birthmonth!