By Rachel Hoeing
We often hear of men and women in their 30’s and 40’s who start doing crazy things which differ greatly from their usual habits. Buying a Ferrari when they’ve always owned a four-door sedan. Getting tattoos when they never even considered this an option previously. Some will refer to these things as a “midlife crisis.” I like to refer to them as Midlife Milestones!
When we are babies, it is a milestone to walk, talk, try new foods, roll over, laugh. We are trying new things, and finding the world around us. As adults, I think we should still be able to try new things and explore the world around us without being labeled as having a few screws loose or going through a crisis!
I would love to hear what some of you may be doing in your Midlife Milestones these days. For me, I have had a few that most will probably think are BORING, but for me they were definitely milestones.
Just a few weeks after my 40th birthday, I completed a sprint triathlon. Considering I had not done a competitive sport since high school, this was huge! I am not a runner (and did not run in the triathlon either … think jog/walk/jog/walk). It was amazing and so fulfilling. It was tough, but rewarding. I enjoyed it so much that I did it again this past August.
For my 41st birthday this year, I …. wait for it … got my ears pierced! I am serious. I did have them pierced way back in Junior High School, but they were always infected and I let them close up. So, for some reason I got the itch and did it with my kids standing by and cheering me on. Again, not a big feat for some, but for me … major milestone.
I have been able to travel to some places that I have never been to previously .. with both family and with friends. It has been wonderful opening my eyes to parts of the country I never really gave a second thought to. Now I have my sights set on places out of our own country … just need to start saving!
I have also taken up a more active lifestyle these past few years. I wish I had discovered physical activities I enjoyed back in my 20’s, but alas, it is never too late. I am loving cycling, swimming, walking, cardio/weight videos, etc. I even gave paddle-boarding and a mud run a whirl and loved them both! I try to do some sort of activity a few times each week and am proud of myself for turning over a new leaf in this department. Now if I could only get a handle on the food that goes in my mouth!
I am not sure what happens as you have kids and they get older, and you get older, but part of me thinks that you just start to realize that once in a while you need to put yourself first. You realize that you have given so much to others and now it is time to give to yourself. Whether that means hiking the Appalachian Trail, or enjoying an “Eat Pray Love” experience, we all need some milestones to remind us of who we are and what we enjoy.
As far as other milestones including sky-diving, death-defying roller coasters, running a marathon … sadly I have no interest. But I am sure I will discover more milestones to add to my bucket list soon.