The first day of school, I used to ask my elementary students to make a list as their math homework. List all the ways you encounter numbers each day- they’d come back with addresses, age, time, room numbers, dates, grades, sizes, speed limit signs, money, scores…the point was that numbers are a big part of our world and it was my way to get them to engage in math. Numbers float all around us, marking our age, accomplishments, and even our societal status. But of all the numbers out there, I feel “3” is the most significant to me. It represents my faith, my phases, my path in life, the three little words we all love to receive, how many desserts I dream of devouring after dinner, but I digress.
Ironically my senior was wearing a black cap the other day with just the number 3 on it. I asked what that stood for, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit? ( Hey, I’m old school and I can be hopeful if I choose to, right?) It referred to Chance the Rapper’s third album. Though I fumbled to keep my disappointment at a minimum, I still chose to take comfort that my son had the number 3 on him, though his three was different than mine. I also chose to take comfort in Chance’s “Blessings” song in which his message is “when the praises go up, the blessings come down.”
You know the old saying, You can’t run till you learn to walk? And of course you can’t walk unless you’ve crawled first, right? Sometimes I feel I’m crawling, other times I’m sprinting, trying to grasp the reality of where I am in my life. So as I head towards 50 ( at a crawl by the way, there’s no way I want to sprint towards that!) I think, well gosh what do I have to look forward to? And that’s where my assignment came full circle. I was to make a list of what I have to look forward to. The key here is FORWARD not nostalgically backwards. A new president perhaps? No, let me start over.
When I was young, there is an eagerness to grow up so I could get out there under my own terms and rules with a foolish blindness. That plan got thrown off balance with unexpecteds (divorce, illnesses, job instabilities) but I was able to come out from those challenges with a great appreciation for what I have now. Even though some of those unexpected factors still loom, a new phase lies before me. This third phase, is teaching me to turn away from the fear and drudgery of aging and look forward to all kinds of possibilities. I can travel with my husband, open a business, volunteer, I can look forward to making new friends, my children’s weddings, celebrations and grandbabies. As I’ve learned to shift my focus of dissipating youth and beauty, I’m finding that I’ve gained a lot of wisdom in my life experiences. It’s not a magical cure for the pain of nostalgia, but I’m not going to allow myself to be foolish and be run by sadness. Who wants to be around that? I don’t want to be around that! I’m going to direct three phrases at myself as I run, sprint, and relish this final phase. “On your mark, get set, go!”
Post note: Day 150 Weigh in- 148.0 Pounds I’m down 17 pounds from when I started and I feel like I have a lot more energy, and I’m choosing foods that are not only good for weight loss, but good for the skin. So important to remember how important it is to eat right, and so challenging in this processed platform.