50 Shades of Gratitude

Leave behind the gray and step into gratitude, in 50 shades, of course.
Here’s my list on the approach of my 50th birthday.
No doubt you have yours…
1451610_10152087307363746_954805326_n

  1. An entire week, a year, a life… to sense, reflect & write my way to 50.
  2. The gift of my body… to love, to dance, to birth, to nurse, to move through space.
  3. The community of Marlboro, Vermont.
  4. Marlboro Elementary School.
  5. Southern Vermont–where so many find so many ways to celebrate art, voice and humanity.
  6. The state of Vermont which I’ve been proud to call home for 20 years.
  7. SOUTH POND.
  8. NERINGA POND.
  9. The Whetstone Brook.
  10. MacArthur Road.
  11. Dan’s emerging rock sculptures up MacArthur Rd.
  12. Whetstone Ledges Farm Stand
  13. The music makers. Local. Worldwide.
  14. Libraries, everywhere.
  15. Cafes, everywhere. But especially our Amy’s.
  16. Cities. Kyoto. Paris. New York.
  17. The United Nations.
  18. kelly-back-2-version-2-e1386332111765WOMEN.
  19. CHILDREN.
  20. Men, men, men.
  21. New life… plants, babies, animals.
  22. The splendor of frost.
  23. TWILIGHT.
  24. The sun on the water at day’s end.
  25. That time of day when water becomes glass.
  26. 7 Sisters.
  27. ONE BROTHER.
  28. Two sons.
  29. One AMAZING man who has loved me and taken care of me and celebrated me for almost 30 years.
  30. Childhood friends. Highschool friends. College friends. Traveling friends. International friends. Local friends. New friends. Friends to come.
  31. Mentors. Colleagues. Leaders. Teachers.
  32. The SUN.
  33. Conversations.
  34. The male mind.
  35. Male confidence.
  36. Male competence.
  37. The men who have been my friends. Who have fed my mind. Who have complimented me in ways that have nourished me through time.
  38. WATER. Drinking, bathing, showering, playing, watching, gliding, skating. Wine with.
  39. The women who have shaped my life. Who have paved the way.
  40. Bellies.
  41. Birth.
  42. Lovemaking.
  43. Tequila.
  44. Irreverence.
  45. The sacred.
  46. Bliss.
  47. Yoga.
  48. Loving Me.
  49. Being 49.
  50. (Shit, how did I get to 50 already!)
    To Be Continued…

Kelly BackMore on the Path to 50:

FU 50′s
Flat 50
Being 49

Tribute to the 40′s
30′s Retrospective
Turning 20
The Hardest Decade? 10-19
The First Decade

Flat 50’s?

photo: Kelly Salasin
photo: Kelly Salasin

The past decade has been… tumultuous… inside. With flamboyant expressions of anger, despair, sadness and depression. I’ve retreated more and more into myself until I spend most of my days alone, in silence. It’s been delicious.

Thank you mid-life hormones for paving the way.

Now, as I approach 50 (in 74 hours & 5 minutes), I find myself settling. Placid. Flat.

There are still rises in my emotional temperature, but they are more subtle, contained, measured.

Is this maturity? Evolution? Or just another chemistry experiment inside my hormone-ridden body?

It’s not actually pleasant. I’m not accustomed to a life without highs. But I question the source of the highs that I relied upon most of my life. Did they come from inside or from my mind? I suspect the latter, and thus doubt their sincerity.

Perhaps this shift in chemistry is paving the way for yet another treasure. Equanimity. A life without sharp edges and brittle peaks. (Or perhaps the time has come for me to consider medication?)

Despite this flatness, my life continues to unfold. My learning continues to blossom. My world continues to open. My work continues to expand.

If I am careful. If I align myself from the inside out. Say with meditation and yoga and right diet (all dull choices), then I find myself slipping into effortless ease. Effortless ease. Imagine that… Things just fall into place. Details. Objects. Solutions.

Without the distraction of the dramatic highs and lows which have colored the past decade, I sense the way with greater clarity. I get out of the way more often. I learn, again and again, that the way begins… in me.

~

More on the path to 50:

FU 50′s
Being 49

Tribute to the 40′s
30′s Retrospective
Turning 20
The Hardest Decade? 10-19
The First Decade