Life is ~ Becoming Different After 50

Becoming more…
Sounds like something odd to write as one who is over 50 years young now, but it is true for me and I feel that perhaps it is true for many of my friends who are also past their Big Birthdays…

Design Bloggers Conference, Beverly Hills, California ~ March 2017 — Listening to Earl Spencer’s talk about his family’s estate and the collaboration of reproducing some of his family’s furnishings to share with the public.

Today’s post is a fun fall link-up with ladies who are all over 50 and things they’d like to share that they’ve learned along the way.  You’ll find everyone’s links down below and I hope you’ll visit them all! My blog post started one way and ended up completely different but it’s from the heart…

Happy Birthday, Charlie

Since this is a “birthday week” of sorts perhaps it’s best to go back in time and share a bit from my past.  It’s not often I do this as after so many years it was time to let all that go, but it is what was the major shaping factor in my life.

My first fiancé was in a bicycle-vs-auto accident when he was 20 years and 5 months old, training for a triathlon and heading to work as a lifeguard in the Placerville Parks and Recreation District in 1983, and I was a very much in-love 21 years old.  I worked two jobs then while going to American River Junior College in Sacramento, California, one as a lifeguard in that same Parks and Rec. Dept. and as a waitress at a Swensen’s Ice Cream Factory.  I was beyond devastated when the doctor told his parents and I that Charlie had died, and made it “beyond” only by the grace of God and with the love and caring of the friends we had in a bicycling/running group we were involved with and with love from my family, my best friends, and his family.

But because of this tragedy, I developed an odd fear of failure and a fear of success, anxiety and just lack of feeling that their was no real purpose for my life.  What was the point??? I couldn’t see that I would live many, many years into the future and that I would need college for my family’s well being. I take no medicine but I read a lot and apply what I’ve learned, do my own stress relief when needed, and try to eat well and talk things out.  🙂

I continued college though I tacked a different path and studied sports medicine for three years enjoying the program very much.  Eventually though, fear of not being able to help student athletes on the field was a factor in my not finishing  the program, plus then I married a man whom I fell in-love with.  He was loving, stable and a good grounding force in my life ~ my Charles, now 30-plus years strong.  I was tired of school and needed a break, so I did.  I never really went back though I have taken two accounting and a beginning Int. Design course at UC San Diego.

Our fall garden here in 2017.

The Interior Design certificate program was disbanding at UCSD right then in California in 1994-1995, due to the beginning of the home improvement era with home owners becoming their own designers, so looking into getting a certificate wasn’t an option going forward there.  No other schools taught Interior Design that were even close to our home, the closest was the school in Pasadena.  My second child, our son, was 5 months old when I took that course…  I got an A-.

Sparks to a different life

I had twin loves in college: and 1) studying Physical Education and the idea of teaching PE to children and being an Athletic Trainer was a great goal; women were new in the field in 1985.  I was excited to be involved with athletes and loved helping people.  

2) Part of me also loved my sewing and Home Economics, so I studied a little bit of this, too, before Charlie’s accident ~ a Creative Clothing and Textiles class taught by a woman who sewed every gorgeous bucleé, silk or linen suit she ever wore to our class, plus a sewing class I had in high school.  I took another Home Ec class at that junior college that taught me about organizing the kitchen, but I don’t remember its name.  Sparks to a different life…

When I’m not writing

When I’m not getting much writing done, it’s that I’m not good enough part of me kicking in, it’s not that I don’t have things to write about.  Putting myself out here to write, share sewing ideas and the like is really tough for me, but I love it!  

An English teacher in high school told us once that we would have seven different careers over the course of our lifetime and I’m right on track with that.  I also feel that everything you do culminates in a job or jobs that you’ll love best.  Those hard times are what shape you, moulding you into the best person that you can be.  God uses these hard times for good, though we can never see it as we are going through it… wish we could!

Here’s how it all came around for me:  If I hadn’t left UC Santa Cruz to come home to go to a junior college, I wouldn’t have been there when Charlie died.  If Charlie hadn’t died, I wouldn’t have married Charles and had two wonderful children who are amazing and are doing amazing things in their lives.  If I hadn’t switched to the Physical Education program at CSU Sacramento {my third college, if you are keeping count}, I wouldn’t have known how to help the students in Mrs. Jones’ Special Ed class when we went out to Adaptive PE everyday.  If I hadn’t been blessed with a deaf brother, my mother wouldn’t have taught Special Ed and been on the forefront of creating the programs we have today, nor would I have become involved with so many wonderful people with mental and physical challenges.  If a friend hadn’t taken a chance and switched from being a Special Ed aide (like myself) and become an airline flight attendant, she wouldn’t have given myself and several others the courage to pursue our own dreams.  If my husband hadn’t been out of work this last time for two years, we wouldn’t have moved to Texas and have been blessed with his great job and more new friends where there is a real hometown feeling… and there are open prairies and farms to help me dream and think, to rebuild our lives, to persevere… {hence the opening photograph last fall}

One of the beautiful showrooms I was blessed to visit during High Point Market recently.

Be the Sparkle…

I don’t know where all this is going but I know I’m going to go with it, keep moving forward, keep working towards a dream… When I was 21 and wondering What’s the point?? What I didn’t know then is that Living Life is the Point.  I no longer hurt for my old friend but I still think of him around his birthday each year.  I’m grateful for the lessons learned and since turning 50 five years ago, I’m grateful to be doing something I love.

Caring about people, doing something you love for work, and giving of yourself and knowing God are important to one’s happiness…  This is something I thought of a couple of weeks ago,  something I thought I’d share with you; my own quote:

“Life is the love we people our lives with.”

~ Barbara Chapman ~

A little of what I’ve learned in living a half-century and remembering those we’ve loved.

Linking with
Fantastic Fifty ~ The Boondocks Blog
Friday at the Firehouse ~ A Fireman’s Wife
Here are my blogging friends’
Fantastic Fifty posts, Enjoy!


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