Happy 10th Re-Birthday to Me!
Wow, it's been a decade!
Ten years ago today, I quit my job and began living my new semi-retired life. The last decade has been chock-full of experiences: travels, adventures, and new connections all over the world. Looking back, I feel as though I sleepwalked through the first three and a half decades of my life. With my re-birth, I woke from the slumber and began to live deliberately. Living intentionaly has made it feel as though I've packed numerous lives into the last decade.
Here are some highlights from the past year:
- I had a thyroidectomy and am grateful to be freed of my cancer.
- I finished the first draft of my memoir.
- I expanded my outdoor activities to include packrafting and paddleboarding, enjoying numerous outings on various lakes and rivers.
- I spent a week bikerafting in the Northwest Cascades.
- I bikerafted sections of the Clark Fork and Bitterroot Rivers in Montana.
- I broke-up with Adventure Cycling.
- I got Covid, which had me feeling down'n'out for five prime weeks of the summer.
- I spent a long weekend exploring Anacortes and its impressive Community Forest Lands.
- I traveled to the Oregon Coast, where I finally got to meet my long-time virtual friend, Tony, in-person and enjoy his beautiful home, cuddly kitties, and gorgeous town.
- I backpacked The Teton Crest.
- I visited my family for two weeks in the Chicago area.
- I designed two new tours for Discovery Bicycle Tours, one in Minnesota and one in Washington.
- I spent thirty weeks housesitting for fifteen of my favorite kitties.
- I read a boatload of books (some of my faves include Population: 485 by Michael Perry, Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle, and Lost in the Valley of Death by Harley Rustad).
- I walked miles and miles, and then I walked even more miles.
- I was proposed to by someone I had known for only a short while. Yeah, that was weird.
As mentioned in my 7th Re-Birthday post, three years ago I began feeling an urge to plant roots — to establish a place where I could build community and invest more deeply in relationships. I noticed myself continually drawn to Bellingham, WA. I've since spent an increasing amount of time in Bellingham, slowly building relationships with the town, the people, and the community. A few months ago, I decided to make Bellingham home.
While place has become apparent, I'm still figuring out how I fit in to this new stay-in-one-place lifestyle. I have good days, and mediocre days, and sometimes some not-so-good days as I try and figure out how to find meaning and purpose with my roots planted in one place. On numerous occasions, I've found myself questioning why it is that I wanted to change what I loved so much.
Just yesterday, I found comfort in the words of Mark Manson. Mark is a blogger and author who popularized the concept of "Fuck Yes" (as explained in my There's No In-Between post), a philosophy I wholeheartedly embrace. Yesterday I happened to come across Mark Manson's latest newsletter. (As I do not subscribe to Mark's newsletter, I believe the Universe worked its magic to make sure I read it.) The newsletter was published two days ago and is titled When to Reinvent Yourself.
The last ten years have been easy in that I've known where I've wanted to go with my life. It isn't so easy now. From some respects, figuring out how I fit in is the most challenging thing I've ever done. It's certainly more challenging than quitting my job, downsizing my belongings, and living without a home for so long. That was all easy-peasy.
I know I will find direction. I know I will find my place. I still believe what I wrote three years ago on my 7th re-birthday: everything in its right time. For now, I will focus on the things that bring me joy in life: walking and cycling, reading and writing, forest bathing, yoga and meditation, solitude, and growing in my capacity for love.
Cheers to another year around the sun filled with hope, clarity, and fulfillment!