Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Why is the number 50 such a milestone?


Okay - to pick up where I last left off....A little over two years ago, I was approaching that big milestone 50th birthday.  It's funny - because I feel like I was 50 for two years...as opposed to one, because as soon as I turned 49, all I could focus on was that I was getting ready to turn 50. 

So about 6 months before the big event, I was having a hard time deciding how I wanted to celebrate it. Do I keep it quiet? Part of me wanted to.  Do I make a big deal out of it?  Part of me wanted to.  I've always struggled between fireworks and a campfire.  Never really knowing when to balance between the two.  Always wanting both. 

Sure, I could throw a big party, go on a major trip, figure out what big gift I wanted...but none of those options excited me. I purposefully (I admit this now but not then) orchestrated an unbelievable 50th birthday experience for my husband that was so over the top - just so I could establish the base minimum expectations that he would have to deliver for mine.  Surely he would have to double for me what I did for him.  I was so excited about that.  The only problem was in the four years between his 50th and my 50th was that our world changed...when the economy changed.  And what was then was no longer now. And I actually think this is a good thing.  

So I thought about it and thought about it....and then one day it came to me...I decided to experience things in life that I had not done before...and to see parts of our country that I've never seen. I've always been an adventurous traveler all over the world, having visited 6 out of the 7 continents.  But I wanted to see more of the every day life in our own country. To do something so different from the life I led...to really step outside myself and learn more about who I really was.  That is what 50 meant to me.  To learn more about the person that I am - but also to ask myself if I was living the life I felt I was meant to live. 

So with that - I decided to take a month off of work, rent a house in Northern New Mexico as my base and to drive across the country by myself. With no schedule, no flights to catch, no place to have to be....no one to have to take care of...other than myself.  The looks on the faces of my friends, family, co-workers and especially my husband when I told them what I wanted to do - were at first shock, then disbelief and then amusement as everyone thought by the time the date of the trip I arrived - I would change my mind and not go.  I don't blame them for laughing at me.  I complain about driving 5 minutes to the store.  I don't mind being a passenger - but I have a 7 mile commute to work and even that is sometimes annoying to me.  

Boy was everyone surprised when I stepped up.  My husband was not that happy with my decision, but finally came to understand that this was something I really wanted to do...and he ultimately went with it and volunteered to fly out and drive my car back for me or ship it back on a truck, if I didn't want to make the return drive home.  That is so typical of my amazing husband who will do anything he can to make me more comfortable. I assured him and everyone else - that I would be fine...and that I would keep them all posted about all the details of the trip....so I created a private blog called "Taos or Bust - Celebrating the Summer of my 50th Year" so my friends and family could follow along. 

So the next few posts are some of my favorite & more humorous highlights of the trip.


Hope you enjoy!


21 comments:

Jane said...

Hi Debbie!
I truly admire your decision to head out on your own...to live in NM for awhile. What an experience! I look forward to reading more about this trip.

My husband celebrates 60 next month. And with all the changes in the economy...and our job situation...our planned trip has been put on hold. But that's ok...we'll have a wonderful celebration with the family and a few friends. Maybe we'll take that trip on my big day, in a couple of years...
Jane

Linda @ A La Carte said...

What a great idea! I'm past 50, heck I'm past 60 but I think that would be a great adventure and something I might just have to think about doing! Can't wait for more blog posts! All I can say is.....GOOD FOR YOU!
Hugs, Linda

Donna said...

Wow, what an adventurous soul you are, Debbie! I bet your friends and family thought that you had lost it:) Can't wait to hear more about your road trip, what a great way to celebrate your milestone. That is a number that I am NOT looking forward to. Funny, it's just a number I know, but I guess in my heart I'm still an 8 or 9 year old little girl!!

Susie said...

TAKE CARE ON YOUR JOURNEY DEBBIE. WISH I COULD GO BACK TO MY ADVENTURESOME SELF. I DID DO MANY THINGS ALONE. SMILES TO YOU YOUNG LADY:) SUSIE

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

Awesome idea! I can't wait to read about what you did and saw.

michelle said...

Oh my gosh that would be so much fun!! I have always wanted to drive across the country starting in Maine and ending in Washington state, maybe one day. :)
I can't wait to hear about your adventures!!
xoxo

Everything Coastal said...

WOW! I cannot wait to see what happened on your trip, and have great admiration for your adventurous spirit. Some of my best times, have been by myself, reconnecting with my hopes, and dreams. And then, coming up with a plan for the future.

Did you take along "Gift from the Sea"? It's my go-to book when I need a little respite, and reflection.


Caron

jmac said...

OMG Debbie!! This is exactly my plan for Italy!! Was supposed to go this fall but the economy in Europe has crashed so badly that I've decided to wait until, hopefully, next yr.
CANNOT wait to read all about your travels. Would love to even talk to you about the logistics....
A gal with my own dreams!!!! Love it!

Della said...

This is so exciting! I can't wait to see what you did on your trip! You are an amazing lady. I am so looking forward to your next post!

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

That was adventurous of you! I'm sure it was an amazing journey. Looking forward to reading more!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

This is so interesting...and SO outrageous! I've never heard of anyone doing this but I have to admit, when you first mentioned it...it's all I could think about! I imagined doing this. I have never been on my own and part of me would like to experience it. I don't know if I'm as brave as you though! I can't wait to read more! You should write a book about it, my friend! ♥

NanaDiana said...

I KNEW there was a reason I liked you! I would DO that! I would SOOO do that...when my two daughters were 16 & 17 we packed the car up and I took 6 weeks off work. We drove from WI to Oklahoma and all across the Panhandle and then across and up the West Coast to Snohomish, WA and then on up into British Columbia...with no real plan or destinations except for two. It was a wonderful, memorable trip! I can't WAIT to hear your adventures and I am SOO glad that you are sharing YOU here! xo Diana

Heaven's Walk said...

When you first mentioned this to me in an email, Debbie, I thought you were nuts. lol! So I'm truly looking forward to hearing about your "Seeking 50" adventures! :) You rock, girlie!

xoxo laurie

Beach House Living said...

How brave of you to do that!

Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

Come to think of it..., whenever I hit a road block/cross road, I went off and did something by myself... from going to a 3 months yoga retreat in the Bahamas to a meditation retreat in MA... and as you know... a 2 months stay at Canyon Ranch. Those were the biggies. I went to London once for a week too, night clubbing (by myself). Of course I was younger then. You will always remember this!!

Beautiful Details said...

I thought about you and your blog today and decided to check in tonight. So glad I did. And you told me about your trip but not about your adventures. I can't wait to read about them! What a great idea!

Cindy Adkins said...

This was so awesome, Debbie! I have to tell you that the day I turned 30 I sat up in bed and cried and my husband asked why and I said, "I'm almost 40!" and still kept crying! lol
XO
Cindy

Ann from On Sutton Place said...

Wow. What an adventure. You are lucky to be able to take the time away from your "life." Looking forward to hearing all about it!

Tybee Dreaming said...

I do something different every yr for my birthday. One yr I did hot air ballooning, white water canoeing, I even took batting practice with our local minor league baseball team the Savannah Sandgnats. Be safe and have a lot of fun

CalypsoInTheCountry said...

I can't wait to hear about all the adventures. What a great way to celebrate a birthday! Have a wonderful weekend!
-Shelley

Melissah said...

I glued to my seat & looking forward to sharing the adventure.
x
Melissah from Coastal Style