Some days, I divide the world into people who go to a favorite restaurant and order the same dish each visit and those who listen to the waiter recite the chef's nightly specials and then actually try one of them. There is, of course, the group in-between: those who listen to the specials but knew from the time they made the reservation what they would be eating. At least they go through the motions of considering change.
A few weeks ago, my teenage daughter was going through some old boxes stored in the garage and came upon a journal I wrote in 1989. The part my daughter focused on was the last page. It wasn't so much a bucket list as a promise to myself to get over some fears, stop making excuses, and prioritize not just my time but my values. Here are five things from that list that I did after I turned 50.
I sleep like a baby, which is to say I sleep in short spurts throughout the night and wake up abruptly at inconvenient hours feeling kind of cranky. For years now, I have fallen asleep easily but rarely am able to stay asleep. I wake up at the slightest noise or light. I wake up when my husband moves the top sheet a millimeter.
Everyone has had their moments of courage, when they stood up for what they knew was right or when they bucked the tide. Sometimes being brave is just a matter of overcoming long-held positions; it can take guts to do or say something you know won't be popular. Sometimes it takes courage to say things when you fear the repercussions. Here's my list of the eight bravest things I ever said:
Tattoos went mainstream long after I started putting orthotics in my comfort shoes, and I sit firmly entrenched in the generation who think they can create a bad first impression -- with us and with citizens of other nations who they encounter. Sure styles have changed and you can deface your body however you see fit. But for our soldiers representing our country, I'd rather you proclaim that you were 'born to be wild' under your shirt sleeves.
For the record, I'm not an online slammer. I think being able to stay in touch with kids in college via texting and Skype has saved many an empty nester from going insane. I think Grandma loves getting photos from your phone, taken and sent in the moment. It's just that sometimes, a simple eraser board and hot pink tape says things more clearly.