Every ten years, I feel like my life is beginning anew.
At fifteen I was beginning to ask the questions about authority, tradition and religion that would set me on my life's quest.
At twenty-five I was starting the graduate program that would provide me with the first glimmers of an answer that could enable me to move forward.
At thirty-five I was starting a new job and about to embark on the adventure of motherhood.
And at forty-five, the milestone I reach tomorrow, I feel like I'm starting something yet again. I'm learning a new way of teaching that has the potential to realize some of my deepest values as an educator. I'm in the first stages of a research project that I hope will define my next decade. I have a new administrative title and a new urgency about learning how to manage people and processes well.
There are gray hairs on my head, I learned earlier this year when I went in for a trim. For awhile I didn't know how to feel about that. Now I think it's a sign of another turning point in my life. Not the onset of decline, but the start of yet another identity that builds on the one before.
Here's to the next decade. I hope you'll still be reading when it comes time for me to muse about what is beginning at age fifty-five.