Here are a few of the reasons this has been serene and happy year:
Retirement: I loved teaching and derived great satisfaction from it for many years. But frankly the last few years had been so stressful and so damaging to my self-worth that it was wonderful to retire in February. In spite of being an effective educator (dept. chair and AP teacher), the insults and verbal and emotional mistreatment finally became more than I could process. Since then the peace and routine of home and family have done much to erase the hurts and restore my confidence.
Grandmotherhood: I know, that's not a word, but maybe it should be. What a gift it's been to get to spend lots of time with my grandchildren, having them living nearby! I get to spoil them terribly and revel in feeling that we really know each other.
Motherhood: Ok, yes, all three of the kids are adults now. But - the pride I felt at Kevin's college graduation! The pleasure of sitting by the campfire with Amber and Billy! Taking John and Lauren out to eat after John's graduation from seminary! Matinees with Kevin in May, midweek lunches with one or the other of my daughters, and teasing with everyone over family fantasy football…so many small treasures of time.
Drawing and Blogging: I used to love drawing when I was much, much younger. Before husband, kids, grad school, career. Now I have time to explore drawing and painting again. Blogging gives me another outlet for fun and creativity, allowing me to share my passion for wildlife and be silly with poetry and photo editing.
When I turned 30, then 40, I could have never imagined enjoying being so OLD as 55! As Bonnie Raitt sings, 'those lines are pretty hard to take when they're staring back at you'. Still, I'm so grateful to have had this year. It really has been beautiful being 55.
Age 56 has a tough act to follow.