Wednesday, July 6, 2022

And Just Like That, I'm 50


Last month I celebrated my 50th birthday. 50 ... a half century. The big 5-0. I would be lying if I said the day didn't affect me and that 50 feels like 49. Sure, I'm still the same person. But something changed. I know I wrote about this in my last post, but this feeling is quite tangible and took me by surprise.

New siding, windows, doors, and roof

Maybe it's because we spent the last 6 months in a state of disarray? We moved into our beautiful home in January and have been spending almost all of our time -- and money -- renovating it. We still have a bunch of boxes to unpack and the yard is a mess, but BOY! the outside looks gorgeous and the inside ... well, that's coming along nicely.

The living room. Painted and furniture in place. 

All of the rooms and closets have been cleaned, and almost all of the rooms have been painted. We still need to paint the kitchen and the bathrooms and to organize basement.

The dining room. 

As you can see from these photos, we still haven't unpacked our collectables and china cabinet. We're so close ... but so far away! I love waking up in my own home. I love the feeling of being secure and not worrying about a landlord raising my rent or some obnoxious jerk moving in next door. Our neighbors are quite lovely and the neighborhood is wonderful. 

One of our favorite summer spots.

Maybe it's because we're living here in Salem? We've been dreaming and scheming a way to move back since we left in 2000. Turning 50 in Salem is a dream come true. We are surrounded by gorgeous historic homes and ocean views, delicious seafood, and wonderful people who are quickly becoming friends. I currently work part-time at the Salem Athenaeum with extraordinarily nice people and an active -- and fun -- Board that's truly invested in the organization. I will be teaching an intro class at Salem State in the Fall (HOORAY!) and I just applied for another adjunct gig at Monserrat College of Art. I'm finishing my MSLIS in Cultural Heritage Informatics this Fall. It feels like a big year, probably because it is.

Roses in the Ropes Mansion Garden.

Yes, something feels different this year. Maybe it's because I've done some serious soul-searching and mental/emotional work this past year? I've meditated on where I've been, where I am now, and where I want to be in my career and personal life. I've had some major disappointments in my career this year, but things are becoming much clearer and my job search is much more focused. I don't really want to publicly discuss this, at least not yet. The results might surprise you, or maybe not. If you've followed me for a long time you'd probably laugh and say, "HA! It's about time you get back on your Path!"

Birthday presents from Ed.

Yes, things feel very different. I've been thinking about what works for me and what doesn't, the people I want in my life, the material objects in my life, my habits, and "process." I realized that I've been in a chaotic state since leaving my gig at Texas A&M. There's so much to say about this. My ADHD probably has a lot to do with this. Knowing that I have this challenge helps me figure out the best processes that will help me stay organized and get things done. These processes work for me and that's all that counts. 

My delicious birthday cake!

Yes, everything feels different because it is different. It's good different. Fun different. Fulfilling different. And I'm ok with that because I worked very hard to make it so. 

Here's to being -- and feeling -- different! It's going to be a wild "second act"!