59 Years Old and In the Spring of My Life

It’s never too late, but you gotta start

Maria Shimizu Christensen

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Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

I am in flux. In transition. In the beginning of reinvention. A friend calls it my “scheming, dreaming, and planning” phase. I like that.

But because we often know very little, next to nothing, of a person’s inner life, you would never know just looking at my outward face. It’s why we should show grace to difficult people and never assume things are actually fine when quiet people say it’s so. In my case, it would be safe to assume that what I’m doing now is probably not what I’ll be doing in a couple of years. Give or take an undetermined amount of time. Still working on that.

We like to use seasons as metaphors for our lives, as if winter doesn’t occur as often as summer, and like spring can’t be nearly eternal. In life, you get one spring, and when winter is over, you’re dead. How bleak.

What if, in life, spring can come after fall, sometimes winter lasts all year, and two seasons in a row of summer is an unexpected gift. That’s more like how it actually works.

My birthday is next week, and it will be the last one in my 50s. What do we call that now? Late fall? Early winter?

At the rate I’m going, I’ll never be able to retire with any sort of financial security, which is a terrible way to get through autumn, facing the oncoming winter. A good job you have to work at far past retirement age doesn’t leave a lot of room for summer.

So I’m settling on spring. Again. We can have as many as we want, after all. We make our own rules for our own lives, and if something isn’t working, we can leave it behind and do something new. Something else. Something better.

Things are working pretty well right now. Decent job, stable roof over my head, money to pay the bills. But my recent raise was eaten up by doubled parking rates. I ended up with an extra 3 disposable dollars every week. They get disposed of pretty quickly in my expensive city.

Reinvention is about money, but it’s also about security and stability and doing something that’s more worthwhile and appreciated and creative. What that is, I don’t know yet. I’m learning new things to put more tools in my toolbox. Toastmasters. I participated in my first podcast. I’m learning three languages. New crafts. Content creation. Graphic design. Networking. I may never need these tools, but it’s absolutely true that it’s better to have and never need than need and not have.

I’m scheming, dreaming, and planning. Spring has sprung.

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Maria Shimizu Christensen

Writer. Maker. Featured in Medium’s 2021 list of Stories That Started Conversations. I write about life. https://www.mariashimizuchristensen.com