In a few short days I will close the chapter on being 37. 38. Somehow that number makes 40 sound like it isn’t that far away. Getting older is not something that usually bothers me. I did not have any strong feelings about turning 30…I did not imagine that my life should have been somewhere else by that one milestone in time. For some reason turning 38 is striking a chord in me though, perhaps because 37 has had so many ups and downs.
When Neil and I rung in 2016 I had no idea what sort of challenges would lay ahead for us. When we bought our home back in 2014 we viewed this as a place we could spend many years together in. It was as close to our dream home as possible…close to running paths with a perfect kitchen for whipping up meals.
I figured that work would continue on and that I would be able to pursue opportunities to build my career. Triathlon training would tick along and I’d follow my game plan of racing an Ironman every other year as long as my heart was in to the pursuit.
That entire vision has been thrown out the window thanks to the faltering economy and losing my job in February. In some ways I am not sorry to close out 37 and leave this year behind. I am ready for a fresh start. I don’t believe that 38 will be about discovering what opportunities are out there for me, but it will be about me pursuing opportunities that I feel truly passionate about. I know it will be up to me to make things happen, not to wait for things to fall in my lap.
As I prepare to say au revoir to 37 here are the five lessons I have learned over the last year.
- Know your strengths and your weaknesses. Know what makes you excited to wake up in the morning.
- Never be afraid to confide in your spouse, family or your friends that things are difficult.
- The lessons I have learned training for and racing Ironman apply to all aspects of life. This year I want to prove to myself that I can do hard things…this is apparently not just true of my next Ironman race but of life in general. I have the opportunity to do that this year.
- If your hair starts to fall out chances are there is something in your life that needs to be changed. It may be removing a certain stress, or perhaps discovering that you don’t need to wear your goggles under your swim cap all the time. Those sticky goggle straps are rough on fine/thin hair!
- Getting laid off does not mean you are a failure, but it may be the perfect opportunity to take stock of what things truly matter to you, and what you need to feel fulfilled at work.
As I look to 38 there are two things I want to keep in mind for myself. It is never too late. Do not ever let anyone make you believe that it is too late and you have missed your opportunity. And, as my friend Keith told me back in February…never give up hope. It will falter, flicker and fade but never ever let it go.