A milestone birthday


It’s been another week since I’ve written, so I thought I’d check in. Ever since I learned that I had fractured my foot, my days have been very quiet, so there hasn’t been much to report. Under the surface, though, I’m feeling powerful, positive changes in my life.

For one, I’ve decided to quit resisting the fact that I seem to be “stuck” in Portland for a while. Do I like the weather here this time of year? As I’m sure you all know by now, the answer is no. In the past week, we have had heavy rains, as well as sunny days with highs in the 40s and overnight lows near freezing.

But this is how my life is unfolding right now, and I’m now choosing to sink into it, rather than fighting it.

I’m staying in the home of my friend Jill, on the eastern edge of Portland (not far from Debbie’s place, actually) while Jill is dog sitting for her cousin in the Seattle area. For this week—at least, and possibly longer—I have no real household responsibilities such as pet or plant care, so I am treating this place as a healing oasis, and very much appreciating it.

I have been sitting on the couch, grateful for the warmth and dryness as I watch the weather out the windows. I have been working on my book. I have been making phone calls about health insurance and various medical and dental issues. (Good news on that front—I got my permanent denture on Monday the 7th, and it fits great!) I am working on getting a primary care physician set up, although the first available appointment is February 13th. Eek! Will I still be in Portland then? Will I return here for it? Will I end up rescheduling it so that I can avoid being here then? Time will tell.

I’ve been doing Zooms with friends old and new, including talking to someone who I might end up cat sitting for in an incredible forest oasis of a home in southern Oregon, just after Thanksgiving. I’ll have to see how my foot is doing at that point, but Jane and I are both setting the intention that it will work out.

Meanwhile, on November 8th (yes, Election Day) I turned 50!

I managed to hobble out of the house and onto my bike (pedaling with my right heel, just for the five minutes of the ride) to a nearby spa for a birthday massage. I used a Groupon credit I had “earned” in Tempe, Arizona, back in February, when I tried and failed to get a massage at that time. (I then tried and failed to use the credit twice more, first in Austin and later in Ann Arbor, so it felt especially poignant to finally gift it to myself on my special day.)

As I alluded a few posts ago, my main gift to myself for this milestone birthday was a forest-goddess-themed photo shoot, outside of Eugene, with my photographer friend Marcella Dean. I was wanting to visually capture the inner transformation I’ve been feeling for the past few months (years? It’s hard for me to remember how long this has been growing.)

We did the shoot a few weeks ago—and I’m so grateful for that timing, before the rain, before the daylight-time change, and before the fractured metatarsal—and she finished the edits on the 7th, the day before my birthday, so it worked out perfectly.

I love spending time in the forest, and I’m so glad I’ve been able to do so as much as I have this past year, all around the continent in a variety of climates. And, as I turn 50, I begin to enter the “crone” phase of my life. Rather than mourning the loss of my youth, I’m enjoying choosing to embrace the beauty and strength of the wisdom that only time can grant.

I wanted to share some of the photos here. Looking at them helps me to continue feeling inspired, despite my temporary setbacks on this journey.

Thank you, as always, for following along.

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6 thoughts on “A milestone birthday”

  1. Dear dear Maren,
    I celebrate your emergence into your Crone power phase, and the birthing of your Goddess essence. These photos truly reflect your humility, calmness, beauty, and inner wisdom. I feel blessed to have crossed paths with you, and witnessed your graceful blooming into who you have always been.

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