Today I’m not “almost” anything. Today I’m 62. Wow, what a difference two years make. I have vivid memories of how I spent my milestone birthday two years ago – memories of taking the day off from work, having a facial, spending the afternoon with my daughter, and then ending the day with a lighthearted dinner with both my daughter and my dad. It was a lovely day in the early stage of my reinvention. I had recently started seeing a therapist and was completing my second full month of working out with a trainer but the big things in my life hadn’t changed much yet. No doubt though – I was definitely starting to wake up.
No way could I have predicted back then what my life today would look like. Sadly, my dad has since passed away. But really, everything else is positive. I’ve given notice at work; have decided on my new career path; and just today decided where I will go to train to become a personal trainer. (More about this in a future post.) Bootcamp is now the anchor to my weeks and I’ve started this blog! But perhaps most importantly, I have new people in my life and have deepened existing friendships; consequently, I’m no longer (or rarely) lonely. That is the biggest change and gift of all.
And in some ways I’m finding that I owe a lot of this to my dad which is ironic and surprisingly touching. Dad was a difficult person. He was critical, argumentative and opinionated, playing the devil’s advocate just to stir things up. He didn’t show me how things work or operate; he didn’t set an example for good financial planning; nor did he model how to be a loving husband. He didn’t always make me feel safe and secure. (On the other hand he could be funny; he clearly enjoyed engaging with people; there was an appealing youthfulness about him; and though he was rarely tender, there was never any doubt that he loved me. )
But when dad passed away I inherited a bit of money which has allowed me to chart a new path in life. My inheritance is what will allow me to take six months off and go to school full-time. I’m not sure dad would have approved of these recent life-altering decisions but it doesn’t matter. His gift to me is the freedom and means to make my own choices. He may not have showed me how to live a life well lived, but somehow, now, his gift is allowing me to figure that out on my own.