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  • Writer's pictureSally Kalksma

Silver Linings and Silver Hairs

Time is a crazy thing, isn't it? I cannot believe it's been 6 months since my last blog. Now, somehow I just celebrated my 60th trip around the sun! Can you believe it? A serious milestone is a perfect time to stop and reflect on personal goals past, present, and future.

I personally enjoy doing these self-evaluations at periodic intervals throughout my life so, I've spent the last few months taking inventory. I've been focusing on areas in my life where I would like to improve as well as gauging if I'm headed down a life path I'm satisfied with.

My 50s taught me a lot about my resilience. I learned that I can beat cancer and that I can recover from Covid Pneumonia. Even with some lasting side effects, I learned how to adjust and keep going just as I learned to do when I became a widow in my 40s.

As my book title suggests, Life Gets in the Way, and it does! Sometimes you might get derailed from your goals or fall off your desired life path. These inconvenient interruptions don't mean you can't get back on track. Your game plan might just need a little fine tuning. In fact, you might even decide to create a brand new objective entirely. A new game plan means new goals.

When I'm fine tuning my path, I like to outline each new goal and how I want to improve and/or adjust them by putting each into individual boxes. These boxes must fit into one larger box. Some of these smaller boxes will shift in size depending on how important they are to me and how much time I want to dedicate to them.

In preparation for my 60s, I have decided to rearrange some of these boxes. I'll assess how much energy I want to put into each goal in order to achieve the most harmonious outcome. I'll make adjustments as necessary to make positive things happen. Of course, I can always try something new.

One of my most recent boxes has been competing in Stadium Climbs instead of Tower Climbs. I can combine the exhilaration of steps without the confines of stale air. Racing up buildings is still a weird passion of mine, but the sport of Tower Running has not yet fully recovered from Covid. Buildings are slowly opening up but, after my struggles with Covid and my low immune system, they're not quite as appealing as they once were. Adjusting, and moving forward is all I can do!

In the spirit of marching on, this month marks SIX years on chemotherapy. It's crazy to think that one-tenth of my life has now been spent fighting cancer, AND winning while adjusting along the way. There have been many times during treatment that I've told myself not to get down when I feel bad or have to tweak my course. I remind myself it's the medicine, not me and as we all get older many people are prescribed some form of preventative medicine, mine just happens to have a very toxic reputation!

As I enter this 6th decade of life, I will continue to give myself pep talks. I will remind myself of everything I have accomplished, and more importantly what I will achieve. We all should take part in this act of self-love and appreciation. Gratitude is one of the best preventative medicines. In fact, I now have age on my side. In a race I am now the youngster in my new age group. There is a silver lining to getting older. Though, you may just have to comb through a few silver hairs to find it!

— Sally

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