(Apologies in advance: I'm brain-fried. Even as I read back through this installment, it seems disjointed. Just chalk that up to it being a good representation of my state of mind right now. Just go with it.)
First, I am sooooo blessed.
Second, I am sooooo tired.
Third, I am soooooo happy.
My throat is rough from talking so much to so many people. I've barely been coherent today. And I've had this warm, quiet afterglow in my soul and a smile on my face. All day.
With so much taking place on Facebook these days, I have a tendency to make a list of all the FB greetings I get on my birthday (not what, but from whom) because after a week or so, it will be next to impossible to find them again, and I like to remember things like that. So today I've worked on my Birthday List for this year.
Currently it stands at 285 people who, in some way, had a part in making my 50th birthday one to remember - and I'm told there will be more yet, because there are some cards (and at least one present) still en route.
I received text messages from both coasts (two from South Carolina, one from Washington state) and a phone call from England. And a package from Finland. I'm chuffed. :)
I can't believe the distances some people traveled - one couple from Lafayette (2 hrs away), one girl from Louisville (2 hrs away), my brother and his family from Evansville-ish (2 hrs away), one couple from Columbus, Ohio (4 hrs away), another family of 5 from Columbus, Ohio, one friend from Michigan (5 hrs) and one who - while admitting he was in town for other reasons, too - was here from Atlanta. (I have no idea how many hours it takes to drive there, but it's a long trip.)
Other than the out-of-towners, probably the biggest surprises were one couple that Jim & I have known since before any of us had kids (their oldest is 9 months older than Kim - the kids grew up together), and my high school boyfriend with his wife and their grandson.
I have a hand-drawn card from my 7-year-old neighbor with very good representations of my happy pets - my cat chasing a laser light and my hamster running on her wheel. My high school best friend / maid of honor pulled together some memories (and the pictures to go with them) to create a personal email/story/card. One of my college kids came up with a Top 10 Reason I Love You list that made me cry.
Going back to last Tuesday, when Jim & I went out for an early Valentine's dinner (to avoid the chaos of Thursday evening), this has been a glorious week - definitely one I'll remember for the rest of my life. (Of course I will! I'm going to scrapbook all about it!)
Typically, I need to be the one in charge. So having someone else so completely plan something FOR me is both unusual and uncomfortable. However, that makes me even more thankful for those who did so much of it:
My sweet Jim, who cooked up the idea to start with.
And Kim, his accomplice and - from what I can gather - the main person in charge of raiding my FB friends list to let people know about it.
Janene, who also helped spread the word, as well as helping with the details of the day, even though she'd been down with the flu pretty much this whole past week.
Her hubby Tom, who also helped with set-up/tear-down for the day, as well as serving as Chief Photographer.
Then those who traveled and sent cards and sent gifts and called and texted and came to the open house and posted on Facebook. Every one of you had some part if making it a fantabulous day.
To those who try to reassure me that my 50s will be a terrific decade of life, I say, "Of COURSE it will!" I'm in so much better shape at 50 than I was at 49, and that, in turn, has given me a much better mental attitude about it all. I'm not afraid of my 50s. I'm ready to embrace them and make the most of them. (Besides, I have some terrific friends who are just a bit further down that road than I am, and I see how marvelously they're handling it.)
Now it's back to reality and back to work. REAL work, like the kind I do for my paycheck. But also the work of getting back to the shape I was in 8 weeks ago (or maybe 10). It's time to get my walking legs back. The "Fit BEFORE 50" journey has ended, but the "Fit AT 50" experience has just begun! I have a mini-marathon to walk in 10 weeks! I hope you'll stick with me for that.
PS: Since I had one person specifically ask, I'll share that my goal was to have my weight down to 160 by my birthday. Saturday morning, I weighed in at 163.8. That's after starting at 203. So while I didn't reach the goal weight, the general goal of 40 pounds was met.