Today is my 60th birthday. I am astounded to have lasted this long. Actually I've been pretty cautious in life. There were those fifteen years of smoking, the early motorcycling, and a few years where I let the weight get a bit out of control. All in all, though, I've taken better care of the "vehicle" than many.
Lately a lot of thought has gone into what my goals will be for this new future. They've certainly had to change. Staying home with the kids was hard work and a great pleasure. As it turns out, there is some very real negative payback for having children a bit later in life, leaving a good number of years between each one, and staying home to home school them. Despite two new degrees after getting the last child into high school, no good jobs have turned up. My plan WAS to get a fairly decent job for fifteen or twenty years doing something interesting and paying off the college loans. If I got really lucky in the salary department, I might have gotten enough money to bring in the Merry Maids service! Reality: with the economy, my lack of work experience, and--lets face it--my age, I've gotten offered a couple of minimum wage jobs I could have had with just my high school degree.
So now, I volunteer. My first goal for turning sixty was to get a volunteer position that would use the brain a bit more than my work as cashier/maintenance worker/heavy lifter at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Yesterday, I found that I had succeeded at that. Starting Thursday, I'll be volunteering part-time to help develop the volunteer base for an elder care center. Kind of funny volunteering to get volunteers, don't you think? It is a year-long experiment really for the organization. I'm looking forward to the challenge.
My second goal is to develop more outside interests. I've tended to focus on family which has been great. As the kids are moving on with their own lives now, I want them to see parents who are well capable of having a good life on their own. So my first goal in this area is to spend more time on my sewing. While "thirty days of sock creatures" may seem frivolous and wasteful to many, it actually is giving me a good bit of sewing experience on fabrics I've tended to avoid. Also, while I joined a quilt guild last year, I need to really get more involved by taking classes and joining in more than the monthly meetings.
Last, I am going to get in better shape. I do some exercise--elliptical trainer. I've found, though, that a sixty year old body gets pretty stiff. It needs more than twenty minutes on the elliptical a day. I'm going to experiment with this goal. Yoga and pilates are first on the list.
So, happy birthday to me! I'm feeling good about this new part of my life.