Well it came and it went and I turned 50!. After what seemed like a year of much thought and planning and preparing myself for turning 50 by the time the day arrived I was more than comfortable and wondered why I had spent so much time thinking about it! Maybe that was the point though – the thinking, the planning and the preparing. It was the process that took me on the journey to arrive and then realise that all was well and much more. My comment for the day “I’m sure I look like and sound like I know way more than when I was 20!” However I came to realise that the reality and the freedom of this phase of life is that “it doesn’t matter anymore”. There are many things that don’t matter and there are many things that do matter. After the event of Happy 50th here’s a few thoughts about my priorities for the next phase of life.
- To be present more. Live fully – in the moment! Recently I heard a discussion on “The Glory of God is Man Fully Alive” and I’ve been pondering what this means and looks like. Here are some links that I’ve been reading and enjoying!
Sarah Rowan Dahl – live painter
The Glory of God is Man Fully Alive
John Eldridge: The Glory of God
And here are some thoughts that have taken a life of there own.
- To relish in the changes that life and children take me on. My children are growing up! Much of this year has been wrestling with the speed at which my kids are changing and growing up. It hasn’t been easy – not because of them – but because of my own expectations and ideals. I want my kids to be a part of my life always and because of that I must give them space and freedom to be the people that God intended them to be……even if I don’t agree or approve. There has been freedom in letting go and realising that as much as I want to protect my kids from so many things that life can dish out, at the end of the day, they have to learn to fend for themselves and work through issues on their own.
- To never say “never”! I first noticed my use of “never” about the time that I was in recovery mode from a major Candidiasis infection. A friend had asked me “will I ever be able to eat normally again?” My reply was “Oh I’ll never go back to a standard western diet, why would I, this is so much better for me.” Well guess what – not long after finishing 12 months of the BED (Body Ecology Diet) I found myself wondering back down the wheat flour, sugar and carb diet. It struck me then that I had said many times in my lifetime that I would never do this again or never go that way again. The reality is – that’s exactly what we do. We humans cannot be trusted. We are fickle. Realising that I decided I would not hang myself again by using strong words like “never”. It would be great to be that strong all the time and be so focused that nothing could sway you off the path, but I don’t think we were designed to be that way. Otherwise our lives would be so regimented, with no spontaneity and governed by rules and regulations that allow us no freedom. I want to have the freedom to say “maybe I will……”. Since applying the “maybe” I have found it’s not a big deal anymore whether I “do” or “don’t” but rather it just “is”.
- To drink more water, exercise harder and not be afraid to push myself out of my comfort zone. I discovered something this year – my body can actually move and work a lot harder than what I ever thought it could. A quick catch up on me and exercise. I started dance when I was 6 years old and continued until I was in my 20’s. While I stopped taking serious dance classes at about 21, I would always find a casual class to go to as well as gym workouts. Even though my life has been spatted with ill health I always found that exercise gave me something else to think about and a place to retreat to (especially with dance). After having my appendix out (that were wrapped around my intestines) at the age of 11 and 6 weeks off my grade 5 ballet exams I took extra tuition and private classes to bring me up to speed. I passed with a Highly Commended and than collapsed for a few weeks in order to recover! We do crazy things when we are young! Which is precisely my point. The craziness I’m experiencing now is fuelled with more understanding as to how my body works and what it responds to. They say that muscles have memory. I’ve put this to the test lately with working my legs much harder than I thought. While my levels of stamina are not quite what they used to be I have been pleasantly surprised that my legs are capable of doing much more work than I was giving them credit for. I’m about to embark on a 3 month boot camp using the technique called “muscle confusion”. Watch this space…….
- My last thought for the moment is to laugh and cry more. By that I mean to enjoy the emotions that God has given me. Watch movies, read books, ride bikes, have picnics, maybe even trek mountains and see the world from different views. Help and serve others who are in need and enjoy making memories with my friends and family. When life is lived fully, there will be more laughing and more crying and all the other crazy feelings in between.
- And finally……to allow myself the freedom to get it all wrong. As the saying goes, well laid plans can look good, but sometimes life gets in the way and for whatever reason they don’t come off. It’s really all about balance and learning to hold things lightly!
If you are looking for the recipes for the gluten free birthday cakes you can find them here for the Vanilla Cake and here for the Rich Chocolate Cake. To make the white chocolate frosting, simply substitute the milk or dark chocolate for white chocolate.