Officially 49

This is it!  Today is day one of my life at 49 years of age.  So far, so good.

If you told me 2 weeks ago that I’d have still not heard anything about work and I’d be this chipper, I’d have thought you were crazy.  I have reached a new place with the help of my friend Stephanie’s visit and conversations with UK Sarah.  And I am so happy and thankful to be spending my first birthday in New Zealand with more great friends.  This morning I went to church at St Philips and then Beverly and Kate took me to Nosh for coffee.  In a few moments, me and my apple pie are going to Deborah Cunningham’s for a second Thanksgiving dinner with her American/Kiwi family.  Heck, maybe while I’m there USC will beat UCLA in football.  The sun is shining brightly:  anything feels possible.

My current thoughts on redesigning my life have evolved and will continue to evolve.  First, I am widening the possibilities for earning income to include consulting with people in the US and in NZ on housing issues, fundraising, and coaching.  And I might still get a traditional job.  I am going to continue to watch this unfold, and paddle like crazy!

I am also excited that I am within reach of my goal to write a 50,000 word novel in a month.  I took the challenge because I was not sure that I’d ever have the time to do it again, and to overcome some serious bad attitudes about writing.  I have had so much fun!  I don’t know if my mystery novel will be of interest to anyone beside me, but what I learned in the process has been invaluable.

I am much more fit than I was a year ago.  These Auckland hills are no big deal anymore.  I crave Zumba.  At the same time, my body is not the body I had at 30.  (sigh)  Plus, after one sunburn in 20 minutes, I am going to have to take the hole in the ozone over NZ seriously and be more vigilant.  So my redesigned life has sunscreen and a hat!

I recently finished Jim Collins’ latest book, Great by Choice.  Lots of the leadership ideas have had an impact on me.  I will finish my birthday post with these two:

  • Big things can be accomplished if I can discipline myself to the daily 20 mile march.  Get up and make progress to my goal everyday.  Don’t take a pass when there is bad weather (or attitude).  This has definitely been true for the National Novel in a Month challenge.
  • Make up my own SMaC for my life.  These are specific, methodical and consistent rules for living. So for example, my goal is to live in alignment with my values and to enjoy life.  My personal SMaC to do so is to never own a television again.  That is not to say I will never watch tv again.  I cannot live without Downton Abbey and rugby.  For me owning a television means spending more time in front of it than I want to spare, and exposing myself to too many adverstisements.  And that leads to wanting all sorts of things I do not need, or just the urge to go shopping. I am in the process of creating my SMaC and living with them.  I will share more when I feel more confident that they work for me.

I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving Day.  I helped the Yoders create one with some new NZ friends at their beach house in Glendowie.  Getting there meant carrying everything–including a 4.5 kg turkey down a wicked steep path.  We had a memorable time and as Beverly said, “It had a good vibe.” (and she is about 70!)

7 thoughts on “Officially 49

  1. oh i wanted to be early to wish you a happy birthday for once and now i am late as usual! happy happy birthday to you dear julie and i am one hundred percent sure today is the gateway to another year of even better learning, love, and adventure. your day sounds great! looking up and upper! love you, hetta

  2. Howdy! First off, Happy Birthday!

    Second … USC not only beat UCLA … we MASSACRED UCLA — 50 to 0!!

    So, truly, anything is possible.

    I’m glad to hear about your health! Great … and glad to hear that you are considering modified views on work. I think that competence from a life of professional development in the U.S. is not always viewed as an asset outside the U.S. Some folks just out and out want to PROVE they don’t need help from an American — even if your skills would be valued in the workplace. And, in some nations, it’s outright ILLEGAL to give work to a non-national when a national could just as easily do the work! So keep that in mind as you turn over rocks … setbacks are not always personal and often, your skill set can be more intimidating than valuable.

    Glad you have found friends! And I’m always praying and eager to hear what’s next.

    Love you Julie,

  3. Happy birthday, dear friend! I popped something in the mail for you last week, but have no idea how long snail mail takes to NZ. Consider yourself loved and celebrated, even if my gift comes to you during your birthday week rather than the actual day. Maybe you should write a children’s book about your experience, along with the novel. Dia and Romy still love “The Fierce Woman and the Wicked Pirate.” It’s a bit dog-eared now! (Dia just asked me when I’m going to your birthday party today. Sigh. I wish!). I will describe a couple of memories of our friendship to make up for the tardy birthday package; these are my gift to you today!

    1. I remember sitting with you in the Reading Room of the Sacramento Public Library, looking up articles on the 1970s Peripheral Canal proposal for our presentation in Peru. I remember thinking that I would probably have never entered this beautiful room of the library – and definitely would not have read old articles about a failed water project – if I had not met you or accepted the risk of working for a dot com. And I was appreciative of the novelty of the moment, in the moment. There’s a reminder in this memory for you; we made it through the collapse of a company because of hard work and a good attitude. An ethic you still, of course, possess! All will work out.

    2. I remember meeting you at a coffee shop for one of our too infrequent conversations. I remember discussing books – I wish I remember which ones. And I left thinking that there I know few people who are as interesting, as thoughtful, and as widely read, as you. I remember feeling a deep appreciation for our friendship at that moment.

    Happy birthday. Enjoy every moment.


  4. Hi Julie,

    Happy birthday from Philadelphia, where I’m also redesigning my life. It’s nice to be able to follow along your journey a little bit!

    As for the resolution about not owning a television, I say, “Amen!” I’ve owned two cars but never my own TV. I’d watch way too much if I did have one.

    Enjoy each day as it comes. And remember to consider the lilies from time to time.

    Chris M.

  5. Such a blessing to read all that God is doing in and through you! I am certain you can’t be beat! So glad your birthday included some fun celebrating – you certainly deserve to be celebrated. Lots of love to you!

  6. Happy Belated Birthday from California. I love doing NaNo with you. I like the SMaC idea, and may add it in with my January GDRs (Goals, Dreams, Resolution).

    You’re leaving the dream!

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