It seemed that I would never embrace the responsibility of hitting my adult milestones according to my Mother, “oh Cheryl she’s a late bloomer “she would say with a laugh.
My mother loved me deeply and saw my potential when I didn’t, she was my biggest fan; still she would be surprised at my strength, persistence and focus of today.
I was never affected by milestone numbers as I aged, 40, 50 even 60 did not make me stand still and take stock of my life of where I was and where I was going. Possibly because at the age of 59 I left my 2nd toxic marriage and moved into my mother’s house (the house I grew up in) with my daughter who just graduated from college and my son who just finished his freshman year and 2 dogs.
You could say I was a bit preoccupied rebuilding my life, emotionally and financially and coming to terms with yet another failure. It was a very scary time. I could either take control and finally become the person I knew I was inside, or forever disappear and become a shadow of me.
In the past five years I have worked hard, very hard and was focused on becoming the person I always knew I could be.
My goals were to be independent emotionally and financially from a man and to feel proud of myself. I labored hard with a great therapist to help me emotionally. I believed in myself, worked tough in my new career, and blossomed. The key was being me and believing in myself. After 2 years I was recruited to a NYC company and then 2 years later recruiter to another agency as Executive Vice President.
I had achieved respect of my colleagues and clients and was growing my business, I was doing it!
I was happy, proud and felt my life was just beginning in many ways. Almost that I could live forever and all was possible. I didn’t see a final chapter or winding down. I was just beginning!!!
A few days ago, I turned 65 and the past 6 months have really tested me. I was diagnosed with breast cancer which resulted in surgery, chemo, and radiation. Thank goodness I am healthy now and well on my way to a full recovery. But I no longer feel immortal as I did even one year ago. I too feel pain and am vulnerable, not taking tomorrow for granted. As my wonderful partner Frank says, you’re 65 on Medicare and live in Florida, there is no denying you are old !
In spite of all of this my spirit is that of a youthful warrior who always sees the possibilities of the next chapter. I am not done!!!
I believe that almost anything is possible within reason. I have taught that to my children who are my heart and soul and have made me strong by their love when I didn’t have any for myself.
I have so much passion and wisdom from the lessons of life and have evolved and learned from many mistakes and failures.
I may be a bit bruised, but nothing will keep me from loving this wonderful crazy dangerous life and world we all share. I still have that childlike excitement for new adventures, love to laugh and to learn from other people and listen to their stories.
“Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful” Roman poet Ovid, 43 BC-17 AD.
I am not done by any means. Actually, I think the best is ahead of me and for all of us.
65 is not old. It is a new beginning and I am looking forward to my next chapter. Stay tuned for greatness!