Do not resent growing old. Many are denied the privilege.
This week officially began the last five months of my twenties. After realizing that my half birthday had passed me by a month ago with no celebration, being a little upset, and getting over it, I spent a little bit of time thinking about what the end of a decade means. The first thought that I had about this actually came a couple of months ago when, stacking a pile of magazines, I looked at a headline that said something like “Look great in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s” and realized that in a few months’ time, I would be moved from one category to the next, just like that. Nutritional, fitness, relationship, and fashion advice for ladies in their 20’s would no longer apply to me. Of course, I don’t take these sort of things seriously, but I have spent a lot of time thinking about what I DO want to take seriously as I enter a new decade. I came up with the idea to do a series of Thankful for Thirty posts all about reviving the commitment to being my best self. Thankful for Thirty will be a common thread through some of my posts throughout the next few months, and post topics will include food, fitness, fun and adventure, and career goals, all meant to help jumpstart my life and to make the best of every minute that I am given.
Post one of Thankful for Thirty is about giving back. One of the lessons I have learned over the past decade is that when I am not doing something to make the world a better place, my life feels really empty. I live by the idea that “Much is expected of those to whom much has been given” (last quote of the post, I promise!). I do my best to be involved in volunteering, fundraising, and supporting charities whenever I can, and as I get older I hope to only be able to do that more.
These five months (plus one) also mark my journey to the finish line of the 2010 Boston Marathon. I couldn’t let such a milestone birthday pass without doing something big, and it is not an accident that I chose to run this year’s marathon for Team ALLY. Alexandra Zapp was thirty when her life was taken from her, and in cases like hers, you just can’t help but wonder what amazing things she would have done if she had been allowed to live. My participation with Team ALLY this year is a great way to incorporate my own love of life and desire to make a difference with the work of The Ally Foundation. Through Team ALLY, I hope to be able to work with many others toward making society safer for all of us and to providing victims of horrible crimes and their families peace.
Running the Boston Marathon for the third time is also for me. Being in top physical shape and meeting new people are only two of the many benefits that the marathon will give me. And I absolutely get shivers when I think of the athlete’s village in Hopkinton, the crack of the gun and the slow movement of the thousands of runners around me, the deafening, but motivating tunnel of screaming Wellesley College women at the halfway point, all of the supporters in Newton who line Heartbreak Hill, the elderly from their nursing homes along the route, high fiving passing runners, the downhill into Cleveland Circle, the Citgo sign with one mile to go, and the yellow and blue balloon marquee that embraces that beautiful finish line in Copley Square.
Training and fundraising for a marathon, volunteering every weekend at the MSPCA, working 50 or more hours a week, studying Spanish, and taking writing classes make for a busy and sometimes stressful life, and in order to be my best self for me and for others, I need to just say “Ohm”! That is why I am entering this post in the Stonyfield Farms Na-Moo-Ste Giveaway (http://www.facebook.com/oikos). Stonyfield is graciously providing the opportunity for bloggers to enter the chance to win a trip for two to the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. As we all already know, Stonyfield makes delicious products that help us to commit to being our healthiest selves, and they also have their own commitment to community and to the planet. After dealing with one running-related stress fracture, I know that I will need to bone up on calcium rich Oikos yogurt during my training, and since I love its deliciousness, I know that part won’t be difficult! I can’t think of a better company to mention in my first Thankful for Thirty post than Stonyfield, and I can’t think of a more life giving prize than a trip to the Kripalu Center. If I won, I would bring my sister, who has always been wonderful to me and now gives so much of herself as a teacher of special needs students and a mom to the best baby in the world.
Up next, your turn to tell me about an age that was a turning point in your life and why. And it doesn’t have to be the standard “life-changing” ages that Hallmark makes special cards for! I would love to be able to post your stories along with mine throughout the next few months. You can either leave your story in the comments section or email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. When published, your story will of course link back to your site if you have one.
Wishing you all a wonderful night, it is ALMOST the weekend!