hustle, mental health

Balls Dropping

The first mistake was a little puzzling. An email I missed. I read it, then forgot about it. The day the task needed completion, my colleague reached out to me to see when she could pick up her request.

A shock went through my body. Suddenly a very full day had a complicated work task dropped in the middle of it. I pushed through and completed it satisfactorily, but maybe not as thoroughly as I would have otherwise.

A couple of days later, my boss emails me to ask if I had made the classroom signs she requested.

The same shock and disbelief followed. Really? I totally forgot a work task again, and this time for my boss?

I won’t bore you with the details…suffice it to say I dropped ball after ball after ball this month. There were loads of things I honestly just forgot. To the point where I was concerned about myself. This is pretty uncharacteristic of me…sure, I may procrastinate at times, but to completely forget again and again?

This leads to the question…what caused this? Could it be menopause? General aging? Stress? Lack of sleep? Loss of focus due to the wearing on of the pandemic? Or maybe it is the family crisis that hit a couple of months ago. Who knows.

It really doesn’t matter. I don’t like the feeling of being incompetent. I don’t like tasks biting me in the butt out of nowhere. So much of my job is supporting others, and I feel physically ill when I let others down.

It’s just a mystery. I’m trying to just observe it, notice it, and not beat myself up over it. Easier said than done, but I am trying.

I’m back to making more lists. Slowing down when I can to read emails and take notes in meetings more carefully. Hopefully this was just a brief episode in life that blows over, and I’ll be back to my usual remembering self from now on. I’m just documenting here to share life’s ups and downs, hoping I’ll look back on this as just another bump in my road.

adventure

Brave Enough

“What are you doing tonight?”

“Um….. why?”

I was walking out of work.

“Tennis clinic. You should come.”

Pause….

Then the textual parade of excuses… It’s my only night at home this week. It’s my laundry day. I don’t want to wait around for two hours. I’ve never played before. I don’t have the right shoes.

(Inside, the mental parade of excuses…I don’t like looking stupid. I’m uncoordinated and awkward. I don’t like not knowing what I am doing. Shit, I’m just scared to be bad at something.)

The the opposing thoughts chime in…I’m always grouchy when I’m not invited to things. (I call it a case of the “pouty-pout left-outs.”) But how can I be mad if I don’t take people up on it when they include me?

I took the long drive home, started my laundry, got my stuff together for the next day, then changed my clothes and headed back out to go to tennis. I’m not gonna lie, my mental soundtrack was a long grouchy list of complaints. I was not fun to be around, so it was good I drove by myself. “Will there be other beginners?” I asked in text. “Yes” my friend said. Ok. Now to just jump into something completely new. Deep breath and go.

I felt kinda thrown in the deep end. Drills started without the “this is the racquet, this is how you hold it, this is what the parts of the court are called” ‘Tennis for Dummies’ I expected and needed.

But, I just hopped in line, asked some women their names, cheered for them when they made a good shot, laughed at myself when I made (many) bad shots, felt sort of accomplished when I made the occasional good one…and just kept going. I laughed. I moved. I listened. I tried. I did something entirely new. And then, miracle of miracles, I did it again the next week.

It does take bravery to take on new things. For some reason, it feels especially brave to do it when you can just be old and set in your ways. But learning continues at all ages, or at least the opportunity to learn does. Keep those bravery muscles fresh and limber. Keep friends around you who push you to keep trying things. Be adventurous. Be willing to suck at something new. It’s the only way to eventually get better.

dare to be different

Blu

Blu was her name.

She was born in 1965.

She has lived many life stories.

She has had many adventures.

She has a solid core.

She has traveled many miles.

She is ready for new stories.

She ready for new adventures.

She will travel many more miles with me.

Blu is new to me.

Blu is a 1965 Chevy Stepside C10! She is a little weathered but she has aged with grace. She is the oldest car I have ever owned. She is a beautiful shade of powder blue. She is ready to hit the road or the show.

Her last job had her as a photo prop for many families looking for a cute photo setting. I guess the photographer has moved on to a new backdrop. Her loss is my gain. Now Blu is on to bigger and brighter adventures with me.

My first ride with Blu: I had the windows down. Air flowing through the cab as the engine purred. The oversized steering wheel was a blast to use. It somehow just made the ride complete. No need for the radio as I was listening to all the new sounds of the vehicle. 

I rode by the waterfront. Then traveled the back roads. I hit the speed bumps. I idled at the traffic lights. With each traffic stop,  I had some conversations with those admiring her beauty and badassery. It made me giggle a bit but inside I was beaming with pride.

Oh the memories I will make with this vintage vehicle. Definitely checked an item off the bucket list with this purchase.

Beep and wave if you see Blu on the road.

fitness and nutrition, health

Road to 5-0 and beyond

The road to fifty isn’t always so nifty. When you approach the big 5-0, many shifts take place. Your body. Your mind. Sometimes your zip code. Maybe even your friend circle.

Maybe it’s mood swings that hit today. Maybe it’s body changes next week. Maybe it’s aches and pains ongoing. Maybe it’s stress in life. Maybe it’s nothing. Maybe it’s all of the above. Maybe it hits all at once.

Maybe you become forgetful. Maybe you just seem over emotional on days. Maybe you are bloated. Maybe you move slower. Just maybe you are getting old. Gender doesn’t matter when it comes to aging.

There really isn’t a guide book for a mid life crisis. There isn’t an age point either. There isn’t a how to manual for menopause or grumpy man syndrome. There isn’t a road map to feeling old. For me I just want to age gracefully and keep up with what I still want to do each day.

It seems many in their fifties are starting to see signs of aging. Maybe the fast food is catching up with one pal while melanoma is rearing its ugly head with another. This is the time to do the breast checks. The annual physicals. The colonoscopy. The dirty list nobody really wants to pay attention to.

The next ten years will be the shoulder surgeries. The knee replacements. The second laundry list nobody wants to contend with. Getting old. Make sure you are treating your body like the temple it is. You only have one. Pay attention to any warning signs that rear their ugly heads.

I take each day as it comes. I try to live life to the fullest. I try to seek out adventures. I like to stimulate my mind. I like to tire myself out with fitness at some point in the day so I can sleep well at night.

I try to tune out negative people in my life. I have no room to waste mental energy on negatives. It will never help me make it through my road to 50-60-70 and beyond.