It’s official. I am one year into my project of 50 Things to Do Before my 50th Birthday. On my birthday last year I decided to create a kind of bucket list, and I gave myself two years to get it all done. I have one year left to go. That’s right, that makes me 49 years old today.
49. That’s a big number. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet, but when my dad sent me an email last night saying he thought he read on my Facebook page that I was turning 50 this year, I kind of panicked. A little. I did the math just to be sure, and I quickly replied to his email that I am definitely not turning 50 this year. This is simple math, and even I can do basic subtraction, 2012-1963 = 49. See? I’m not 50. Not yet. Don’t rush me. I have a lot to do that’s still on my list, and I can’t wrap my head around using a new set of numbers yet. Seriously, I don’t feel like I have aged much past 30. Okay, maybe 40. I told myself I wasn’t going to obsess over a number and here I am writing 49 five times already! I will stop now. How about I just tell you about the two most recent things I did on list?
Number One: Take a Sunrise Hike
With my birthday looming on the horizon I did a quick check on all that I have accomplished and found out that I still have quite a bit to do. I have been wanting to check off “Go on a Sunrise Hike” for a long time, but I kept putting obstacles in my own way. The biggest obstacle was sleep. Every weekend when I faced with the choice of sleeping in or getting up early, I chose sleep.
I have started getting up earlier, but somehow rising before the sun and getting out on the trail just seemed impossible. Last Friday, I checked the internet for the time the sun would rise and I set my alarm 30 minutes earlier. I already knew where I wanted to hike, and luckily for me the trail head is only 5 minutes from my house. I figured all I had to do was roll out of bed and go.
Wrong. I had to roll out of bed, pack a quick breakfast-to-go, fill my water bottle and get the dog. Then, I ended up searching frantically for car keys and when I finally made it to the trail head I realized I forgot my water bottle. I drove home trying to beat the rising sun, got the water and headed back to the trail. I still managed to make the 2.7 mile hike in time to greet the sun as it peaked over the mountain. It was so peaceful as I ate my breakfast among the pine trees. I am so glad this was on my list, and I actually did it! In fact, if I could get my 49 year-old body out bed earlier, I would love to make this a weekly ritual.
Number 46: Complete Covenant Two
When I first started attending my Episcopal church I took a series of classes to acquaint myself with the religion, and meet other people from church. Since I was raised Roman Catholic, the Episcopal faith already felt familiar to me and I loved everything about it, especially its inclusiveness. I completed the Covenant One classes and vowed that one day I would participate in the second series of classes, designed for those who wish to be confirmed or be received into the Episcopal church.
That was 12 years ago. Since that time I have introduced Juan and Olivia to the church and they have both been confirmed. I just had not gotten around to doing it myself. It was a big commitment since it involved twice monthly meetings from January to April, and a weekend retreat. Well, I am happy to say that I did it. I finished the classes and two weeks ago I was confirmed into the Episcopal church. For those who don’t know what it’s all about I will just say, it’s kind of like becoming an official member of a club.
For those of you who never attended church or never attended a sacramental church like mine, you might consider Confirmation like a bunch of hocus pocus. The entire process involves kneeling before a bishop and the bishop blessing you. During my actual Confirmation everyone in my Covenant Two small group, my family and some of the church priests laid hands on me during the blessing. It was pretty powerful. Even my priest commented how he could feel the energy of the Holy Spirit during the blessing. Whatever. I’ll take it. Holy spirit. Love. Positive energy. I need it.
So, that’s it. It’s official. I am Episcopalian. And I’m 49.
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