Today is my 49th birthday. I have been spending a lot of time in recent weeks contemplating the direction I want my life to take as I head toward 50. While I have been given many blessings, there are also many things that need to be “tweaked” before I will feel that I am living my life to its fullest potential. I started this blog to help me with that.
As I began searching deep within, I realized that I have always defined myself based on circumstances or situations that were, for the most part, beyond my control. I was the baby that was given up for adoption, the widow at 35, the middle-aged woman stuck in a dead-end job. Defining myself in this way gave me an out and an excuse, because I never had to take responsibility for anything that was going on in my life, good or bad.
This mindset left me feeling powerless and sometimes hopeless. I felt like I never had the ability to choose the direction my life would take. Thinking like this got me nowhere. It created a victim mentality and did not empower me to make the changes that were necessary for me to be happy.
I now realize that if I want to thrive in the next chapter of my life, I have to be the one to write it. No one is going to transform me into the strong, sexy, successful woman I know I am meant to be except me.
I took the first step late in January when I dedicated myself to daily workouts and clean eating. I have seen tremendous changes in my body and mind as a result. I no longer feel like a victim to the middle age spread. Taking control, sticking with a plan, and seeing results have increased my confidence and self-esteem, which in turn increased my happiness. Succeeding at something I never thought I could do has given me the courage to find ways to make other changes in my life.
I have a self-imposed deadline of my 50th birthday to turn the lofty ideas floating around in my head into some sort of reality. I know this may not be completely realistic, and that happiness and contentment are not static. What makes me happy now might not necessarily make me happy 2,3 or 10 years from now and I will have to rethink my game plan. But, instead of scaring me, that now excites me. As corny as it sounds, I really am the only one in control of my destiny. And that is a very powerful feeling.
So, today I celebrate everything that has brought me to this point. Forty nine years of experience has given me the tools I need to move forward and show the world who Sheila Gray really is. Because, in my opinion, she’s the definition of special.