What I learned in my 40’s…. Lessons… twice in a month!

Your body doesn’t bounce back like it used to. We have all heard it. We have all been told that. Its true. Its all true.

I had gone cross country skiing on Sunday, and got back, and although I didn’t think I pulled anything, part of my lower back / hip was definitely out of alignment. It kept getting worse on Monday morning, and I was thankful that my chiropractor had availability to adjust my alignment. I was very grateful , as my back kept getting better and better as the day progressed. And now, a few days s later, it’s still a bit painful but not as bad as it was.

So yes, my body is not bouncing back. It isn’t as resilient as I want it to be. That means that I need to take better care of it.

For all of those who are younger than me, please take this to heed – that some things change, and adaptation becomes the word of the decade. The word to embrace as life progresses forward and things change beyond your wishes, without your approval.

My vision of myself varies…. I say that because it depends upon my audience. I went to my 25 year high school reunion. I could admit how long ago that was, as it was about 7 years ago, and it was easy to fall into old patterns, and familiar responses. Crazy. So there is muscle memory and response memory. Most days I feel younger than how my driver’s license informs me. (Okay, so lots of days I act wayyy younger).

But, my body tells me more things than I would like to listen to, however I am encouraged more and more to listen to it. I think I have mentioned before that my personal balance during yoga displays the balance that may or may not be present in my life, to my chagrin. My body defies my thoughts that aspire for me to be younger than my birthday would admit to.

So – lesson? Hmm – some days I am tired of learning lessons. But, more often, I try to be more present for these lessons. And, this one is for me to take better care of myself. I know better. And yet, I spite myself. Not sure why… . Almost like a personal vendetta to prove myself wrong?

I didn’t say being in your 40’s was for cowards – because it isn’t. Good luck!!

Waiting…. and waiting…..

We have set up our society to judge some people’s time as being more important than others. This came out of my thoughts around waiting areas. We design them to be more attractive, to have activities, to feel less like you are waiting. But you are still waiting.

We have so much space in all of our spaces, both inside and outside, that are about waiting; airports, cell phone waiting lots, doctors offices, any office, queuing lines for drive-thru fast food restaurants.

As an architect, I think about how we are tasked to program this space and design it to be more engaging, more active, keeping the people “waiting” to be in a happy place. I personally enjoy using the time as my personal space to do some reading, or some work. I use it as a time of reflection, a time of observance about my surroundings.

I see our society as wanting to get more done in less time. We all want to be more “efficient”, yet we are creating more and more waiting areas, and opportunities for waiting for goods and services.

Retailers have inventive ways of queuing people waiting to pay for goods and services, and often involves some impulse purchase options, as well as letting you know wait times. The last few times I have flown out of the Edmonton International Airport, I noticed that the airport had instituted a display showing waiting time for going through security lines. Along Whitemud Drive in Edmonton, there are signs stating how long to get to a certain exit (I saw this a lot in all sorts of areas that I lived in and have visited in the United States, as well as different places in Canada).

When I was travelling in Italy, I read an article about the security lines at the airport in Rome, Italy that noted that the airport had vowed to reduce waiting lines in the security area, and I believe the objective was 4 minutes. I did find the security lines very quick in Rome – no complaints. How come we aren’t learning from this?

Just some random thoughts… I think about using my time while waiting so that I am not just “waiting” for my life to start… perhaps I still am…. hmmmm

What I learned in my 40’s… Month 4

Yup, I missed month three. I am still trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up.  I mean, I have enjoyed the careers I have had (yes, plural) but I still quest to learn new things.

I learned in my 40’s that it is good to continue to have that thirst for knowledge.  And, as you get older, the more you realize you don’t know.  I keep getting exposed to new things, and although I have experienced a lot, there is so much more out there.  I realized that I make assumptions about things so that way I put them into a “box”, “mental folder”, or other such location in my mind so that I can understand them.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to fully understand them, but as I get older, I realized I can’t possibly understand, know, or experience everything.

And, at this point in my life, I have looked back on what has happened to now.  What my path looked like.  It sure wasn’t linear.  I admire those who have had such lives.  Mine never has.  But, the twists and turns, bumps and ruts in the path have given me other things.  Have allowed me to roll with the situation and figure out there is another way to solve it. On this current trip to Italy, such occurrences gave me that opportunity to test (again!!) that theory, and yup, things worked out.

I realized that in my 20’s, I was naively plowing ahead, fearlessly going through my days not knowing what I didn’t know.  Now, looking back, I think – wow – I made it through all of that?  And, then I am a bit sad – I am halfway through (if genetics holds true, as I have a 96 year old grandmother still giving the world a good talking to).  I realize how precious my time is, and that I want to spend it doing the most amazing things.  I want to spend it having adventures and wonderful times with friends and family. I still want to enjoy the career and path I have.

I still desire to conquer my share of the world. To influence, affect, experience what’s around me, and hopefully in the most positive way. This ride is short, and I really want to make the most of it.

The learning curve continues. Now to learn what “being in the world this long” really means…….