Thursday, July 20, 2017


That's how many days I have been alive.  It's a lot of days, more than many people get.  When I turned 50 a lot of people told me how it wasn't so bad.  50 is the new 40 or 30 or whatever.  Of course it's not so bad.  The only alternative to turning 50 is to be dead.  I'll take 50.  

I made the mistake of using a life expectancy calculator the other day.  If I change nothing I have an estimated 10,220 days left.  I played around with it and factored in the changes I've been working on - reaching my goal weight and getting my diabetes under control - and that put the number more inline with my family's average life span. My grandfather lived well into his 90's despite having diabetes and 4 heart attacks.  If I make the changes I'm working on the estimation went up to approx 16,000 days.   I like that number and I'm going to use it.

Will I make it to the end of all 16,000 days?  Maybe, maybe not, but I'm going to give it a shot.  and I'm going to LIVE as many of them as I possibly can. I've existed.  I've survived.  I've lived, but not nearly as much as I should have.  

My weight has to change.  That's a given.  Healthy at any size only goes so far and this extra fat is putting a strain on my body.  I'm going to start running again.  I loved it.  I stopped when I got sick.  I didn't know I was ill, just that I didn't feel like running - or doing anything.  I'm getting past that and I want to recapture how running made me feel.  Free, alive and fast.  The fast was mostly in my imagination,  but how I see things is really all that counts anyway.  I want to get back to that.  

I'm going to dance too.  Dancing is great for weight loss but it's also great for mental health too.  It lightens the soul.  A P.E. teacher once told me that people don't dance when they feel uncomfortable in their own skin.  She was right in my case, but her approach was not helpful at all.  Telling me that I'm too awkward to dance didn't help me get past it.  Just reminded me that I sucked.  I didn't suck, but 15 year old StaceyLynn was pretty negative and hard on herself.  Now I can dance, badly, but that's no reason not to do it.  16,000 days and there is going to be dancing on at least 5,333 of them.  Hopefully more.  I picked once every 3 days because I can do it every day now if I choose, but I don't know what 80 year old me is going to be capable of.

Also for my mental health is embracing a more minimalist lifestyle.  So will meditation.  I can't set aside time for meditate. I don't do well with structured schedules.  Instead I promise myself to find time every day do so something meditative.  Running, creating, writing or actual sitting in one place quietly while thinking.  There are a lot of paths to my particular goal.

Learning.  I have 16,000 days to learn stuff.  Learning is my favorite.  I'll work on my ASL again, brush up on my German and maybe actually learn to make glass.  I've been fascinated by glass making for months now.  Whatever I am learning I want to keep it up right until I take my last breath.

Creating.  This is the only area where 16,000 days seems like far too short a time.  I have so many ideas.  So many things I want to make.  Creation doesn't just feed my soul, creation is my soul.  I'm going to make stuff.  Lots of stuff.  Stuff I care about. Stuff that shows the world me.  That's what art is to me.  It's a way to show the world my deepest being.  You may look at my work and see a crocheted scarf.  What I see is a memory.  A time I walked for miles in California with the path stretched out before me and a bottlebrush tree giving me shade.  It's a moment in time captured in string.  

An important one - I have 16,000 days left to find a comfortable bra.  Thought I would throw that onto my list.   Surely such a thing exists although I have yet to find one.  Or maybe I"ll give up on bras entirely and set the girls free.  That's a valid option.

Mostly I've tried to keep my plans painted in broad strokes.  You can't plan life in detail.  Who knows what's going to happen tomorrow or next week or next year or even today.  You can have an idea, but life has a way of surprising us all.

To sum it all up.  I have lived 18,474 days.  I will live some number of more days.  Going to make those days count.  Gonna wake up every day and be grateful for another chance to live.  Gonna go to bed every night grateful for whatever the day has brought.  In between that I want to make that day count.

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