“If I had known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.”
― Mae West
Standing in the line up at the grocery store with my 15-year-old son, the cover of Maclean’s magazine caught my attention: “Hurry up and die already.” The article is about parents living longer and screwing up their kids’ financial ambitions by not dying at a younger age and leaving an inheritance. I looked at Brendan and said “don’t rely on me for your financial plans later on in life because if I still have money left after the money your dad and I have spent to give you a good start in life, I’m spending it and enjoying my life to the fullest.”
I hit 50 this past November and true to myself, I entered into the half a century club quietly. There was no party no big celebration, just time with the boys and my husband enjoying being with one another. I’ve been blessed with good health and every day I celebrate that good health by eating well and moving my body. Exercise clears my mind and helps relieve stress, something I’ve been doing since my early 20’s. My reasons for exercising back then had nothing to do with good health, it had to do with beating my nicotine addiction.
I picked up the nasty habit of smoking and decided I wanted to quit, figured I could drop the habit easily. Did not go as planned, I quit and picked up the smokes over and over again. I got the idea if I started running I would feel so bad during a run that it would give me the strength to stay away from cigarettes. I remember the first time I went for a run, couldn’t even make it around the block and I felt pathetic. I became determined to get myself into running shape and leave the smokes behind. It worked, I gave up smoking and picked up running. Once I was in shape I ventured into swimming, hiking, yoga, pilates, biking – I tried everything. I made a promise to my 20-year-old self that when I turned 50, I would still be exercising and I’m happy to say that exercise is still a big part of my life. I move daily – running, weight lifting,yoga, swimming and three years ago I decided to try my hand at hockey. I joined a womens’ league at the urging of a friend. The hockey was challenging as I had not skated since I was a very young girl and I’ve never played hockey or, for that matter, a team sport. I’m still playing and I love it. It may sound peculiar to some people but when I’m on the ice chasing the puck, my focus is on the puck, passing and scoring and I don’t think of anything else, like work, kids, husband nor my age. Playing hockey is a bigger stress reliever for me than running.
Now that I’m 50, I’ve made a promise to myself that I will still be moving every day when I’m 70. Living in the present is something I’m also trying to do everyday, especially as you get older. My mother use to say to me, “the older you get the faster your life goes.” As I enter into this phase of my life, I plan to live it my way and my boys won’t see any of my money anytime soon!