GUEST BLOG BY JOY SANTOS
WOW!! 50 years old!! Where did the time go?? I often ﬁnd myself reminiscing over my youthful years and questioning my decisions. What if it were possible to have a “do over”?
I vividly remember attending a high school career day at 16 years old. I’d made up my mind. At graduation, I was going to join the US Air Force and take up nursing. Unfortunately, my mother’s say was stronger than mine. I grew up in a household where decisions were made for me. “Her house, her rules”. So I did as I was told and gave up on my ﬁrst real dream to stay home and study business. After 3 years, I realized I had wasted that time. At 21, when I should have been near graduating, I found myself living with no direction.
It was time to RESET!
I went back to my original dream, applied to nursing school and was accepted. That was the beginning of putting myself first. My motto became: NO ONE CAN TAKE BETTER CARE OF ME, THAN ME! I had only just begun to trust myself.
After I completed nursing school, it was time to accomplish my second big dream… so I packed my bags and moved to Hawaii! I was free of my parents’ reign, free to make my own decisions and free to be me!
I have to say that it was a rocky start. My lack of experience in decision-making led to some bad ones. I married the wrong man for the wrong reasons and allowed myself to be mistreated and disrespected. After one year, I left him. RESET!
After my divorce, I quickly started dating a physician and thought I had it made. We were together for four years and had moved to Texas to start a life together. Once settled into my new surroundings without a support network, I realized our relationship wouldn’t survive the everyday challenges of life… so I chose to be single again. This was my time! RESET!
During this time, I had forgotten that I needed to take care of ME! Not anymore. I promised to do something thoughtful for myself everyday, no matter how little; a candy bar if I wanted one, a mani/pedi, or a designer handbag. My decisions were going to be for me!
I chose to stay in Texas, go back to school to get my Master’s, took up golf and found a new set of friends who were all successful, happy and content with life. I didn’t need someone in my life to MAKE me happy, I needed to be happy with me. For the next 10 years, I dated a bit, but mostly enjoyed my life and focused on my personal growth. I realized that the only time I suffered with doubt or chaos, was when I had an unhealthy habit of making someone else my priority.
A few more years and I was a successful nurse anesthetist and faculty at a university. I owned my own home and was extremely conﬁdent in myself and content with being single in this lifetime. At 47- after years of self focus and when I wasn’t even looking – I met an amazing man who has become my rock. He accepts me for who I am and more importantly ADDS to my happiness, not MAKES my happiness!
So here I am, 50, FIT & FABULOUS!
I am conﬁdent in who I am, what I do and what I say.
I set goals and reach them.
If I fall, I get up, brush it off, reset, and go forward!
I don’t fixate on past regrets, but learn from them to make my future the best.
Don’t sweat the small stuff, enjoy the little things.
Time is precious and the next thing you know, you’re 50. I want you to be able to look back and know that you have become someone. Love that person you see in the mirror everyday!! Remember, NO ONE TAKES BETTER CARE OF YOU, THAN YOU!
Joy’s Suggested Reading List:
- “How to Love Yourself Unconditionally” by Deepak Chopra… read and learn.
- “How to Make a Big Decision Without Regret” by Barrie Davenport … follow these steps.
Joy keeps her adventurous spirit alive by living in the moment. Her confidence and positivity resonates in all she does and with everyone she encounters. You can find Joy on the sand volleyball courts with her equally awesome other half.