On January 1, 2012 when I woke up and realized I was going to turn 60 on my birthday in May, I immediately started feeling depressed and old. I have not always been someone who stressed over my age. The only time I ever had a bad birthday breakdown was the year I turned 22. The youngest of my three children was three weeks old, so that could very well have been postpartum depression. I cried, no, I sobbed all night long. I remember feeling like I would never do anything other than have babies. As much as I loved and wanted all my children, I wanted more–I wanted adventure, I wanted to accomplish something in my life other than washing bottles and changing diapers.
So when I woke up in a birthday funk in January last year, it was not like me at all, really. It just seemed like being 60 was tragic, like I better hurry up and do something, anything, before my life was over. Then something did happen. I spent my birthday, almost the entire month of May and part of June, in the hospital. I was very ill, and unconscious most of the time, and had surgery on my birthday, so that it was all over before I knew it had even gotten here.
After that experience, I realized that I have accomplished a lot in my life. I brought up three children to be successful adults. I held the same job in corporate America for 20 years, until I was laid off. I was a Girl Scout leader for 8 years, and Service Unit Director for my county for 6 of those years. I went to college when I was 37 and although I didn’t graduate, I made the dean’s list every semester that I attended. My husband and I lived our dream life for 13 years traveling in an RV and living in campgrounds in some of the most beautiful places in the United States. I landed my dream job and was a park ranger at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon for five seasons. I got my adventure, my “more”.
Now that I am approaching my 61st birthday, I have decided that since I didn’t get to celebrate it last year, I want to do something fun this year. I told Fabgrandpa that I want to go to the beach. I want to sink my toes in the sand, I want drink a drink with a little umbrella in it, I want to smell like cocoa butter. I want to go to a seafood restaurant and eat steamed crabs until I pop. And I would like to go deep sea fishing. I have never done that, and I think it would be fun.
The only problem is that I can’t decide which beach to go to. I have considered Pensacola and Amelia Island, both in Florida. Cape Hatteras, North Carolina would be fun. Or Virginia Beach. Or Chincoteague, and I would maybe get to see the ponies, too! And then I thought about going to the Bahamas. Or Aruba. Help me out here–if you could go to any beach in the Atlantic, The Gulf Coast, or The Carribean, which one would it be, and why?