40 Things From My 40s

Today is my last day in my 40s.

As I look towards my 50s it is with a positive mindset, hope and optimism. My life is not perfect—never has been, doubt it ever will be. But, I am always loving life and curious what comes next.

As I am about to enter this new decade I find I am feeling the healthiest I ever felt—body, mind, heart and spirit despite circumstances making this also one of the most challenging times of my life. Below are some of the ups and downs of my 40s that brought me to where I am today.

  1. After decades of being scared of driving finally got my driver’s license (thanks to a little hypnotherapy and being out of the Toronto area)
  2. Got my very first car, a 2003 Jaguar X-type I lovingly call Lucy that I sometimes treat like a work truck, sometimes treat like a race car and still drive today
  3. Lost our wild and fun Siberian huskies, Loki and Sylvia when they passed away at the old ages of 14 and 15
  4. Said good-bye to my last living Grandma and gave the eulogy at her funeral
  5. Worked as librarian
  6. Founded the registered charity, Prairie Bear Books
  7. Because I love learning continued taking university classes
  8. Said goodbye to my stepfather who passed away too soon
  9. Lived in a charming, imperfect old Eaton house that I adore and call Hazel
  10. Wrote for the labour news website Rank and File (and has thrilled when Naomi Klein tweeted a link to one of my articles)
  11. Became a yoga teacher
  12. Nurtured plants and a garden (and killed more plants than I will ever admit to)
  13. Opened a yoga studio
  14. Started teaching BarreAbove, Tabata GX, Balletone, and Zumba
  15. Visited Victoria and fell in love with the city while discovering it by walking 150 km in 10 days through her beautiful streets
  16. Visited Jackson Wyoming and rode horses through the mountains
  17. Surprised myself driving through Yellowstone and the Rockies (this woman who couldn’t drive in her 30s was having fun now)
  18. Made several trips to our beautiful little place in the woods of Quebec
  19. Had a hysterectomy
  20. Adopted a tarantula named Rosita
  21. Watched my daughters grow and blossom as young women facing their own challenges and successes
  22. Made new friends, connected with old friends
  23. Saw some great concerts
  24. Along with the rest of the world experienced my first pandemic
  25. Been a blonde, brunette and a redhead (even had a bit of blue hair) and I can confirm hair colour doesn’t matter, I always have fun 😉
  26. Studied and took a deep dive into the field of embodiment
  27. Started writing for the newspaper
  28. Had a poem published in an anthology
  29. Did my very first death meditation. If you are well-resourced and in the right frame of mind I highly recommend. The saddest part for me was discovering that the thing I would regret most is not being kind and loving towards my own body and letting my body image issues limit me
  30. Spent 2 years working on those body image issues. If I couldn’t love my body could I like my body? If I couldn’t like my body could I be civil to my body? After putting in a lot of work I can truthfully say I appreciate, respect and love my body for the first time since my adolescence
  31. Started reaching out to counsellors and therapists for the first time
  32. Lost our beloved pup Charlie Bow at the age of 13 1/2. She had been with us since she was 16 weeks old.
  33. Published my first book, Letting Charlie Bow Go celebrating our love for her and dealing with her loss
  34. Started a small publishing company, Lilac Arch press
  35. Published 3 other books and 2 journals
  36. Became a full-time caregiver to someone with dementia
  37. Met our new dog friend, Tucker and welcomed him into the family
  38. Started running (something I was never sure I would be able to do and believe it is only possible because of my running partner Tucker)
  39. Celebrated 25 years of marriage with my best friend
  40. Felt love, joy, sadness, grief, hope, despair, anger, resentment, compassion, empathy, and contentment

In all its imperfection I get up every day with a smile on my face and see what is next in this journey. I am looking forward to tomorrow and this fabulous new adventure of my 50s!

My First Week of Running is Complete!

The challenge I decided to tackle for the beginning of 2023 is the C25K (Couch to 5 Km) app. This morning I completed the first week of this 9 week challenge!

I first heard of this free app at the beginning of the pandemic. However, my dog Charlie Bow was entering her elderly years and the running was a little too much for her. I made the choice that I’d rather walk with her than run alone with the time we had left together. The challenge could wait till another season of my life.

Recently, we adopted another dog, King Tucker. He is also a senior, but still an energetic 9-year-old. I thought we could experiment with him being my running buddy.

Running has always been a challenge for me. Yet, it has also been a goal to run 5km, or maybe even more. In my wildest dreams, I envision completing a triathlon. For the last several weeks as we walked, I told King Tucker, “On January 3rd we start running.”

The C25K app has you begin with a 30-minute workout. You start with a 5-minute warmup. Then you begin 8 rounds with 1 minute of running, and 1 minute 30 seconds of walking. You complete the workout with a 5-minute cooldown.

I could have had lots of excuses -Who starts running in January in Saskatchewan? It’s cold and windy. I could wait till June – I don’t have a proper coat for running (or any running gear) -My hat keeps moving about my head as I try to run -King Tucker is still new to our family and we are still working on his leash manners -I want to go at 7 am, but it is still dark that time of day right now

I could have had lots of excuses, but made up my mind NO EXCUSES!

And, so we just did it. We did it in my long wool coat and winter boots. We did it in the wind and cold and frost. We did it despite King Tucker not completely understanding the idea that we run for 1 minute and walk for 90 seconds. We did it despite King Tucker’s preference to track area deer. We even kept doing it after running into a coyote on the second morning.

We adapted and changed and let go of expectations. We now wait a little later in the morning so if we do run into wildlife it is daylight. I have discovered the value of good pair of long johns. Today I will hunt around the house for a balaclava to prepare for next week.

I’m slow, and I’m sure my form is lacking. I do worry about what the neighbours might think as I trot along.

But, it is worth it. I am placing myself in the way of beauty as we run with the setting moon to the west and the rising sun to the east. I am witnessing the beauty of January morning laden with hoar frost. I am bonding with a new friend. And, I am finally tackling a long-held goal.

Weekly Challenge—Week 2

I love keeping a gratitude journal. I have been keeping one for decades and credit it for helping me have a deep appreciation in my life regardless of the outer circumstances.

When I first learned about gratitude journals it was suggested to do them in the evening. However, I find first thing in the morning works better for me.

I would challenge anyone to try keeping one for 60 days and see what you discover.


52 Week Challenge

Whether you come to my classes or not, I invite you to join in this 52 week challenge for body, mind and soul.

You can take the challenge for yourself, or you can like my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LivingSkyYoga and each day you finish the challenge pop an emoji in the comments. Each time a person does the challenge their name is entered into a draw at the end of the month.

This week we start with a movement challenge. Some people dread exercise, but I firmly believe movement should be FUN

See if you can find some fun ways to move your body and start the year right.