Online forms that ask you to select your birth year from a drop down menu stress me out. They typically start at 2022, working their way backward in time. (Why start with the current year? How many babies fill out online forms?) It takes a long time to get to the 1960s. And as I scroll, I typically find myself doing a quick inventory of my life – who I am, what have I accomplished, what are my dreams. This blog offers an opportunity to explore these questions. For now, I’ll say that I’m a Seattleite by birth and after college graduation, by choice. I’ve shared a home with my husband for 27 years and for the past twenty, with two daughters. My Bernedoodle, Oakley, is my best friend. Improving American educational systems is my vocation. I taught high school for a decade and now work for a large foundation. Most of my free time is spent outside: walking, running, hiking, and skiing. And if I ever get to name a band, it will be called Jog in Jeans.
I keep busy with work and family. I get together with friends on occasion. But I’m finding that life as a quinquagenarian brings with it changes, questions, and challenges – both welcome and unwelcome– that I often navigate solo. Documenting my thoughts, ideas, and experiences feels like a path to some freedom. Rather than creating chaos in my head, they can find a healthier home on the page. And maybe, if I’m lucky, others will find some resonance in what I share, and we can begin to talk to one another. And feel less alone as we go through this stage of life.
A Note on Privilege
I acknowledge that my reflections are those of a middle class, white woman. Because of this, you may read them and feel that they are out of touch – with you and the world you inhabit and/or with society more broadly. I get it. While I can’t share experiences that I haven’t lived, I can and will strive to actively note this privilege. I’d love to build a community where we can have an open conversation about our individual trials and triumphs – what is shared and what differs. If something I say offends you, please let me know. I’ll strive to do better.