Celebration & Gratitude

my favorite gift: sweet new plants
and something I can never have enough of: olives!

The other night my daughter and her boyfriend had my husband and myself over to celebrate my upcoming birthday. It was a great evening, with wonderful food, fantastic music, awesome conversation, very fun tabletop gaming, and much love. In my typical weirdness, I felt then and still feel now that this was not deserved, the big, positive, warm attention.

My daughter knows me well, and her gifts to me (in addition to the above food, music, conversation, and gaming) were a jar of kalamata olives, and a beautiful little plant. I also received a cool-looking new game, Abomination: The Heir of Frankenstein, which I’d seen highly recommended in recent reviews. As we didn’t want to dive into an hour long read of the instructions for a new game, we played a long-time favorite, Betrayal at House on the Hill.

Betrayal at House on the Hill,
and Abomination: The Heir of Frankenstein

I’ve never spent this much time or energy contemplating any particular birthday or age. I am not sure why fifty is doing it, but I guess that is not so uncommon. But so far, this one has actually been one of the best.

I’ll know soon enough if fifty feels any different from any other age, but regardless, I’m letting go the worry, and just allowing the astounding gratitude I’m feeling for having made it this far, and with this much love in my life.

Challenge: Get Ripped!

December 6, starting here

Well, we’re through November… a month that some years drags me down (see previous posts if you’re curious), and this month, in just over a week, I’ll be turning 50. I’ve always been one of those people who didn’t feel much of an awareness of her age, sometimes having to actually think for a few minutes about how old I was. Heading into 50 it’s hard to forget, and after the past few very tiring (physically, mentally, emotionally) years, I am currently most definitely aware of that age.

So I’m embracing the narcissism that seems to be prevalent in our culture these days. Beware if you’re reading this, all of these posts are basically fluff, but this one will likely be particularly superficial.

Ugh, side view.

What might not be obvious about me (except to those who know me well), is that in addition to being a rather introverted writer and artist and a total nerd and weirdo, I’m also really into being relatively fit and healthy. I love getting outside, banging myself up on rocky mountain trails, taking risks for the sake of exhilaration, and also, trying new things that bring that sense of exhilaration.

One of my favorite approaches to working out is in the street workout style, which I discovered earlier this year, and find exhilarating. Yeah, I live in a rural town where there are no actual constructs to do such workouts outside, as they’ve organically been developed in urban areas – and in fact, there are hardly any “streets” at all. But, I have some equipment at home and use whatever I can of the house itself, as well as the big barn on the same property. Plus, I have this amazing husband and best friend who’s promised to build me some equipment out of pipes and connectors, and whatever else it will take.

Since injuring my wrist this summer and going for several months of physical therapy, I hadn’t been able to do any of these workouts. My main exercise was in walking and hiking. I’m now feeling somewhat soft, flabby, and like I’ve lost much of my strength. I’m thrilled to have been able to get back to this just this past week or so, and was discussing it with a friend who had asked what kind of workouts I do. It didn’t take long for the conversation to inspire me to create a challenge for myself: get ripped! Joking… I don’t need to be ripped, but if I can have fun with a challenge like this, it will help to keep me motivated. I just mostly want to get strong again (I mean, sure, thinner would be nice too).

Nell Strength Challenge

So, here, a little over a week before my 50th, is where I’m at now. Putting this in writing, and in pictures (I must be crazy), might keep my focus on actually accomplishing this. That’s what people do these days, right?