It’s official – I hit the five-oh this year! What a bizarre year to turn 50.
One of the best things about living half a century is that you really do accrue wisdom and come into your power as you go. All these decades of life experiences add up to the point where you feel like you have a pretty good sense of who you are, what life is all about and how to make a positive impact with your gifts.
That said, it has taken me several months to figure out how I wanted to commemorate my 50th birthday on this blog. I enjoyed reading other bloggers’ odes to their 50th, and ultimately I decided to keep it simple.
I considered doing one of those 50 things about me posts, but instead I’m going to write about 5 gifts, or things I am naturally good at, and 5 things I still have to work at. Because let’s face it, these are time-proven at this point.
I’m not saying I can’t still make changes in my life or myself, because of course anyone can change. That said, for the most part, I am who I am. So here are 10 things I know about myself: 5 things I’m naturally good at, and 5 that I have to work at.
5 things I’m naturally good at:
- Putting my all into something new. Part of the reason I love blogging because each post is like a new beginning. I get to research, learn all about a topic and then pour my heart out on the subject. And then move on to the next! This has also made me good at my chosen career field of public relations; each time I got a new client, I would immerse myself in their business and industry, learn everything I could and then put that knowledge to work for the client’s good. It’s been a great fit for me because I love to be continually curious and learning.
- Being positive and making others feel good. I love it when people tell me this. These are characteristics I got from my Mommers, who has always been the queen of being positive, helping others feel good and lifting up those around her. Anytime someone tells me that I do this too, I glow inside because I know it’s Mommers’ forever gift to me. I always want to be the sunshine or bright spot in someone else’s day. It makes me feel so good to do this for others.
- Telling a story. Anyone who knows me knows that I love telling stories – and this is another reason why I’m good at blogging and at my job. Whether I’m sharing something funny from my own life, a great experience at a travel destination or an anecdote about how my client’s products can solve business problems, I’m all about the storytelling! It’s truly my special purpose.
- Being my wacky self. As a kid, I had a big, 80s-style back pocket comb that said “Why Be Normal” – and this has pretty much been my unspoken motto ever since. I have no interest in being like everyone else, following the status quo or doing something the way it’s always been done. I’m a rebel personality type and happiest when paving my own path. And the best news of all is that the older I get, the easier it is to be my crazy, tattooed, rainbow-infused, skull-loving, quirky self without fear of being judged.
- Sleeping and getting up early. I often joke that sleeping is my superpower because I can do it in almost any conditions. I’ve literally fallen asleep at super loud rock concerts, standing up on a train, and in many other uncomfortable or unlikely scenarios. Past a certain point in the evening (typically 9 pm or soon thereafter), I’m a goner – and no amount of caffeine seems to help. I’ve also always been good at getting back to sleep once woken up – which helped a lot as a new mom. And, because I get to bed so early, hopping out of bed at 5 am to work out is easy breezy for me. Being an early bird just comes naturally.
5 things I have to work at:
- Moderation. I have a fair amount of distorted “all or nothing” thinking. I’ve always been this way. I go all in on something – a job, an interest, an idea – and give it my all. Or, conversely, I begin to neglect it because I’ve moved on to the next thought. All my life I’ve struggled with this tendency, but there’s some strength in it as well (see #1 above). I continue to work on the moderation thing – especially as it comes to eating – but I also constantly seek out ways to make my all or nothing tendency work for me. One example is Whole 30 and Optifast – these relatively difficult, restrictive eating plans have both been pretty easy for me because they tap into that “all or nothing” mentality. Set me loose and tell me I can eat whatever I want, but only in moderation, and I’ll have a much harder time. Bizarre, right?
- Following through. This is an ENFP personality trait – we have many strengths, but one of our downfalls is a natural inclination to not stick with things or follow them through to completion. We can do it, we just have to focus really hard and stay mindful of the importance of following through. Fortunately, my ISTJ hubby is great at helpfully reminding me to do just that. I continue to work at this at 50.
- Confrontations or facing negative things/situations. Ughh. Does anyone else hate these as much as me? I like to keep it positive and focus on good things – I hate having to bring up negative topics or situations. I’d much rather sweep it under the rug, let it go or leave it alone… but often, the right thing is to address the elephant in the room. This is something I continue to work on – and I have gotten better at it over the years.
- “Traditional” friend activities. Most of the people I know enjoy wine in the evening, coffee in the morning, going out at night with friends and even girlfriend getaways for entire nights or weekends. But not me! I don’t drink wine or coffee. I am an extravert and love to socialize, but I’m the opposite of a night owl. I enjoy seeing friends during the day or for dinner at the latest. My body and mind literally start to shut down around 9 pm and if I’m “out” then I’m fighting to stay awake, which makes it a lot less fun for me. My best time to spend with friends is actually pre-dawn, which is when my #SunriseRunCrew friends and I like to get together to walk or run! The early morning route is way better, for me, than trying to be social after dark. I like to be home with my hubby and daughter in the evenings, all night long and on weekends. Does this limit my social life? Sure – but it’s worth it.
- Staying up late! See above. This has limited my night life but I really don’t mind. Once or twice a year, I’m up for rallying all my energy resources and forcing myself to stay up late – usually to go dancing, which I love and which energizes me to a point where I can push past the strong drive to fall asleep. So if any of my friends are reading this, YES I still want to go dancing once in a while! I’m just not good at sitting around at bars or restaurants late into the evening – there, you’ll find me dozing off, regardless of the awesome company I’m in.
I am proud to be 50 – it is a magical age. I have a good grasp of both my natural gifts, as well as areas I continue to work on. I have been celebrating my birthday on and off all year long – even though it was an odd year, to be sure.
I really loved the idea of doing 50 special things to celebrate the year – but honestly, I try to do special things with my daughter and hubby all year long, every year. That’s just how I like to live my life.
Tell me how you celebrated 50, if you have – or how you plan to if you haven’t yet! I’d love to hear in the comments below or over on Facebook. Here’s to another great half century!