Fifty Shades: My last day at 49 years old.

I don’t feel fifty.

When I was 5 years old, the best thing in the world was staying in the sand box in the back yard later, the light of the sun changing the way the plants in the back yard looked, the stillness of the air, the feeling of cool wet sand in your hand, and how that stand stayed true to the form you put it in.

When I was ten years old, the best thing in the world was climbing into the snow fort that my brother and I had made in the back yard, using a big golden blanket that my parents had given (or we’d taken), laying in the cold eating “Cracklin’ Bran”, a cereal that masqueraded as healthy because it had “bran” in it’s name.

When I was fifteen, the best thing in the world was a large plastic cup of cold tea on my table in the basement while I worked up Dungeons and Dragons campaigns, the alternative universes that protected me from the pain of my father’s alcoholism, and my fear of being queer in a world that to me, at least, did not feel very friendly.

At twenty five, the best thing in the world was being in a sweat lodge, singing songs, being on the land, working with plants, and people.

At thirty five, the best thing in the world was walking with an old friend and a young golden retriever in the hills of the Qu’Appelle Valley around St. Michael’s retreat house.

At forty five, the best thing in the world was coming to a point where I realized I started to need to work for myself, not for other people.

I don’t feel old. I feel like it might take a little longer to get places, but I’m still exploring, still feeling the sense of wonder and awe in small things that make people cock their heads slightly and wonder. I don’t mind. Weeds give me joy. Birds flying around the lake give me joy. Hearing my fiancé working in the living room gives me joy. My dog sitting on the carpet beside me while I write gives me joy.

Last week, I challenged a fear and got into a kayak for the first time in my life. It was amazing. Yesterday, I challenged a fear of getting out of a kayak and came up with a way that worked for me–paddle to the shore, bank the sucker, and get your feet wet. Much better than going for a swim.

In a few weeks, I’m going to be traveling to Toronto. That ordination is going to happen–but it’s also going to be a chance for my mom and my fiancé and I to take a much needed holiday. Next summer, I’m getting married.

I don’t feel fifty. I feel like life is just beginning!

Fifty Shades: My last day at 49 years old.

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