A Reminder to Take My Vitamins
My 51st birthday is just around the corner and it signifies a meaningful passage of time - not chronologically, but metamorphically! It's been almost 2 years since I launched Follow Me To 50 and 1 year since I completed it. On the one hand, it seems like yesterday that I figured out how to 'shake up' my life and find greater purpose through community service. On the other hand, my community and this improved lifestyle feels like a family I've known forever. Time is truly relative, even to ourselves.
Today, I returned to the Ballpark Boathouse where Follow Me To 50 first began (https://www.followmetofifty.com/first-50/follow-me-to-the-river-1). Though I went to appreciate a quiet morning and to clean the river, I really went to feel that original spark again - or to make sure it was still there. You see, despite how far I've advanced on my spectrum of self-growth, I've come to recognize that the benefits of a transformation are not infinite and require maintenance like all worthy things do. 'Shaking up' my life and coming out of my comfort zone wasn't a one time exercise; instead, it will need to be an on-going process if the benefits are to remain as sweet and rewarding.
Since finishing Follow Me To 50, Keep Following has been about sharing what I've learned, inspiring others, and diving in deeper into my work with select organizations such as Gaithersburg HELP and Moms Demand Action. Now, my weekly routines and my activities are more varied and irregular. This has it's advantages but some drawbacks as well. I think I benefited greatly last year from maintaining a tight schedule for my service work and blogging regularly for accountability. This summer, I fell into a looser and more forgiving schedule and can see a shift in my mood. Whether it was a simple summertime lull or more, I instinctively knew that I needed to a vitamin to return to or maintain my transformed joyful and awakened state. My vitamin, or spark, was in that kayak today. Out on the river alone, navigating my own course, and performing a public service, this vitamin felt as potent as my original dose 2 years ago. Returning to the beginning reminded me that how I spend my time, and who with, directly impacts how I feel. Now, I just need to remember to take my vitamins!
Did I mention I don't take vitamins? Maybe I should start!
What once brought you joy that you haven't done lately? I want to remind YOU to take your vitamins!
History of FMTF and Lessons Learned
Follow Me To 50 (FMTF) was truly transformational! I stepped out of my comfort zone, shook things up, got deeply invested in my community and am forever changed. Recently, I've had the privilege of sharing my story in several new mediums, including at an awards ceremony, on a podcast, FB Live session, and in online publications. Wanting to find purpose and passion at every age is very common need and I have learned that doing so through good deeds is a bit of its own niche market. Who'd of known?
To READ a humorous twist on the story, check out my recent blog posted on Medium.com and kindly "clap" if you enjoy! (thank you)
To HEAR how and why Follow Me To 50 came about and what I've learned about myself, please check out these great out these great resources:
Second Act Stories - a podcast by Andy Levine that shares stories of people who have made major career changes to pursue more rewarding careers in a 'second act':
Encore.org - an innovation hub tapping the talent of people 50+ as a force for good:
Next Avenue - a national journalism service for America's booming older population produced by PBS:
Love What's Next with Nicole Cavey www.lovewhatsnext.com/
HAPPY READING & LISTENING. Keep Following ... I'm a service junkie!
A Look Back:
50 Projects for 40 Organizations
335 Hours of Service
51 Blog Posts
50 Miles Walked in 3 Days for 6 Charities
1,300 Meals Arranged
25 Pounds of Trash Collected
6 Political Engagements
4 Environmental Causes
4 Health -Related Assistance
6 Humanitarian Efforts in 3 Countries
3 Veteran Activities or Commemorations
5 Groups Advocating for Youth and Adults in Care or with Disabilities
23 Needs of the Underserved - Food, Housing, & Recreation
25+ New Mentors, Friends & Sources of Inspiration
Follow Me To 50 = 1 Incredible Year
A Look Ahead (already in action):
Continued Service with FMTF Organizations + New Organizations
Increased Activism and Community Engagement
New Website Format
New Blogging Style
Classes, Educational and Networking Opportunities
Writing and Speaking Engagements
Countless New Friendships and Partnerships
Unlimited Personal Growth and Happiness Quotient
So Much More to Come = Keep Following
Come With Me!