I realized early that life is short. Yet that didn’t stop me from wasting many years focusing on the negative instead of the positive. I spent way too much time studying in college instead of having fun. I regret that now. Then in my mid-twenties I found out I had Graves’ Disease, a treatable illness, but with no cure. After years of battling the illness I went into remission and there’s a possibility of lifelong remission. Learning that I had a disease that wanted to kill me put life into perspective. Slowly I started to make changes—mainly I stopped being a fuddy-duddy who didn’t chase my dreams. I stopped driving my car to work and rode my bike. Do you know how much more you see and enjoy whilst riding a bike? I went hiking more. Read more. I spent more time with friends going to dinner and to the movies. My life became peaceful. I felt wonderful. Then I fell in love with someone I let slip away six years before. My illness taught me not to have regrets so I held on this time.
In 2011, I began my 50 Year Project in hopes that writing about and sharing my progress would help keep me focused on what’s important, living life to the fullest and having fun doing it. I’m blessed with the love and support from my partner, friends, and family.
So why did I choose traveling, reading, and movies for my project?
Many may think I’m crazy wanting to travel to 192 countries before I kick the bucket. I’ve had this dream since I was a child. And when I told people that’s what I wanted to do, many said that it wasn’t possible. This encouraged me. I love proving people wrong. And I can be quite stubborn.
As a kid I spent many hours in my favorite rocking chair reading. This passion never vanished. Unfortunately the rocking chair did. That hasn’t stopped me. I read everywhere. If you were at the post office today and saw a woman reading in line, that may have been me. I always have a book with me. If I don’t, I feel naked and incomplete. If you know where my rocking chair is, please let me know.
For the life of me, I can’t remember the first movie that I saw. And I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love movies.
All three of these activities make me feel alive and give me immense joy.
Being diagnosed with Graves’ Disease may have been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. If it wasn’t for that I may still be a person who has dreams but doesn’t chase them. I’m completely aware that I may not reach all of my goals, but heck I’m going to give it my all. There’s no reason not to.
Many ask for personal details about me. Here’s the gist. I was born in California. Moved to Colorado when I was a teenager. Then I headed to Massachusetts to be with the love of my life when I was 30. Eight years later we moved to London, England. I have one adorable dog and a cranky, but lovable cat. We travel as often as possible, which means we eat a lot of rice and beans to save money. I don’t own a cell phone or a car. Sometimes I miss having a phone. No one misses my driving, especially the Better Half.