Am beginning to feel antsy about turning 50 this September. I could give a darn about the number itself. I is what I is.
What has me feeling anxious is what the number MEANS to me. It's Chapter 2 (the final chapter) of my life. And I feel this overwhelming desire to make it way better than Chapter 1 was. I'll hold onto the good memories from the first fifty. And know that all the bad stuff has helped to make Dawn Chapter 2 a better and wiser person.
I will name Chapter 2: Passionate about life, wiser about living, and still always wearing white socks.
Let's dissect this . . .
Passionate about life — Chapter 1 was all about practicality. School. Preparing for life's responsibilities. Being a single mom. Working hard to provide for the two of us. Raising a child. I want to now bring more passion to my daily existence. With Harleigh heading off to college this fall, I want to pursue more of the things that I love. MAYBE start dating; not so sure about this one. I like the plan I've had all along to trust that God will put a man in my life who belongs there, exactly where he is supposed to land. So maybe the idea is to be more open to dating (not that I've turned men away; none have come along); but I sometimes think that I give off a subconscious vibe of "not available, not thinking about it at all." Where will my work life take me? What new hobbies will lure me in? Will I wind up living somewhere different? When I think of all that happened to me years 0-49, it amazes me to think of all the life twists and turns I'll experience in the next 50. Crazy.
Wiser about living — Man, did I make some doozy mistakes and poor decisions in Chapter 1. Embarrassingly so. But I've learned a lot, wiser for the wear, and moving forward with a confidence and humbleness to make better decisions, keeping the life mistakes to a minimum. Perfection in Chapter 2? Not. But a wiser approach to life is bound to reap rewards.
And still always wearing white socks — This is a nod to my quirkiness, my comfort with being who I am. Yes, I wear white socks every day. Only white. Can't walk around barefoot in the house; always wear my white socks, even with slippers. My pants are always a little on the short side, and so my white socks are showcased for the world to see. If this makes me a "character," then I introduce you to Dawn Chapter 2, passionate, wise and quite content in her white socks.
Ali gave me this music box and stick pin as a thank you for her shower. The music box is a powder and puff container, and its color echos the pewter and aluminum we'll be using for her wedding. The stick pin is a family heirloom and will be cherished and worn with love. Thanks, little A.
In the morning as the sun starts warming up the window panes, it is super hard to say goodbye to home and head into work. So much good stuff to be done at my dear Chateau Gahan. Is it wrong to be such a homebody?
For Ali's shower I moved Gideon's crate to the garage (it lives in the kitchen in the doorway to the study). It was so nice to have that passway open again. To get that eyesore out of my kitchen. But someone was missing it big time . . .
Gideon was a crate-trained puppy. By far, in my opinion, the best way to train a dog. He was housebroken within weeks of us bringing him home. He responded within weeks of training to "Get in your crate" — an obedience much appreciated when I needed to mop the floor, was entertaining a non-dog-lover houseguest, or had a contractor doing repairs and didn't need a puppy at his feet.
When Giddy earned full run of the house, he still would choose to sleep in his crate, curling up in a ball in its cramped space. It is his safe haven, his home. And so when I relegated it to the garage, he felt homeless, lost. I put a blanket in the spot where the crate had been, thinking he might sleep there, but he missed the walls, the roof over his head. So now it is back. Gideon is happy, and I have a big cage in my kitchen that attracts dust bunnies at its base and makes maneuvering around my tiny kitchen even more of a challenge.
We got maybe three inches. And before the first snowflake hit the ground, schools were closing, grocery stores were running low on bread, toilet paper, milk and eggs, people were deciding not to brave it into work at the fear of being stranded or much worse . . . DRIVING IN SNOW! My church council retreat was cancelled and the cabaret this evening was called off (something I've looked forward to for months). Granted, it was pretty to watch, especially in the stillness of evening.
I plan on making this Valentine Weekend all about the love. I have no dashing, silver-haired knight-in-shining armor to shower with kisses, hugs and sappy sentiments, but I do have plenty of people around me who deserve to be spoiled with genuine kindness and words of encouragement. Much of the weekend (Friday evening and Saturday until 2:00) I have a church council retreat. But then on Saturday evening our church is having a Broadway cabaret where Harleigh will be doing a solo (Popular from Wicked) and a duet (Where is Love? from Oliver). On Sunday I am going to Frogtown (Ali's wedding site) to meet up with Ali and Matt and cement more wedding venue plans. And, of course, I plan on spending lots of snuggle time with my most favorite Valentines of all, Harleigh and dear Mr. Gideon.
This was such pure joy to plan and host. I got to pull out so many of my baubles and treasures to make the theme come alive. From the vintage parasol pocket on the front door, to the dress form greeting guests (mirroring the front of the invitation), to using vintage jewelry boxes to serve food (make sure you line the drawers with wax paper first), and decorating the simple white cake with vintage broaches and millinery leaves . . . . aaahhhhhhhhhhhh, what a blast this was. (And a special thanks to the bride herself for shooting these wonderful pictures! Visit her blog and website for more gorgeousness.) We did a fun project that ties in with one of the vignettes to be featured at the wedding. At the entrance to the winery there will be my vintage blue bike, with the cans on string trailing behind, sort of like the "getaway" car once they're married (and a reminder of shower day!). Each gal at the shower painted a can. After the wedding, the cans hanging from their strings can be hung on a door as a keepsake.
Here are the invitations I made for Ali's shower. I knew from the get-go that I wanted to incorporate a dress form. That became the inspiration for the invites as well as the decor. Each invite was different. For the inside of the invite I included a recipe card with a strip of paper matching the cover. And I used a Martha Stewart butterfly punch to create stickers.
"Our house was not unsentient matter — it had a heart and a soul, and eyes to see with; and approvals and solicitudes and deep sympathies; it was of us, and we were in its confidence and lived in its grace and in the peace of its benedictions. We never came home from an absence that its face did not light up and speak out in eloquent welcome — and we could not enter it unmoved."- Samuel Clemens
I am probably the most content person you'd ever want to meet. I have a decent job working with people I like, a loving family including a swell Old English Sheepdog, a home where nesting and curling up on slipcovered sofas is required, and a life rich in creative crafting and daydreaming. I someday want a cottage at the beach where my grandchildren can bring sandy feet into the house, wet bathing suits can dry on the front porch and everything we need to get to is a bicycle ride away.