Fitting in at Fifty

I’m loving this new decade. Mid-life…right in the middle. Not too old and not too young, just right (however no such thing as too old). Recently I spent some time skiing (of course, it’s winter isn’t it?) solo and I made friends.

Saturday morning I skied a new resort and met a couple a decade older, Joan and John. They became my tour guides for the day. I told them I was alone and they welcomed me into their circle. We shared stories, Joan gave me tips for skiing in Europe and a few other mountains I plan to go to, John is a retired ranger so he gave me lessons on the surrounding mountains, we laughed, and we skied.

Later in the day I went to another resort. It had a lot of kids and by kids I mean people in their twenties. During apres ski, a young woman, Cassie, saddled up to the bar beside me and we talked for awhile. Of course she found out that my birthday was coming up (perhaps even the days left until the best day ever) so she bought me a drink. Her friends joined us and I found out they were all 28 and taking a break from their lives by working as lifties. They were college grads who worked in their chosen field and then decided to take a “sabbatical”.

They were heading out on the town and invited me to party with them. I declined saying they were sweet but I was double their age, tired, and planned to hit two mountains the next day so I needed rest. Really it was because they were partying an hour away from my hotel 😉

The next day I’m at a new mountain. My first run down I’m standing at the top of a mogul or bump run. There’s a guy standing there too.

  • Guy: you skiing this
  • Me: yes
  • Guy: really, you skiing this
  • Me: yes I am
  • Guy: well it’s not so bad if you take your time and make big wide turns
  • Me: ok thank you

Then I took off pounding the bumps. After stopping to get some oxygen, thank you altitude, he skis up and says “wow you’re good, you know what you’re doing”. Yes, yes I do. After skiing a few more runs we end up at the top together. He invited me to a parking lot tailgate. He said it was a bunch of old guys.

After a few more runs I head over to the tailgate. He was right, it was a bunch of guys and some men had red name tags with FOG and some had yellow tags with FOG in training. This group has been around for a long time and FOG stands for F-ing Old Guys. They let me into their circle and they were so fun!! I even drank pecan whiskey…from a shared bottle. Alcohol kills all germs, right?

After the tailgate I rode the lift with a group in their twenties. The one guy, Hunter, learned to ski at the same mountain I did so of course we became friends. I asked how to get to the adjoining resort and they decided to come with me. We skied a few more runs together and then we did some apres ski time. Again, I was welcomed into a circle of friendship.

The takeaway from my solo trip west was that fifty or mid-life allows for one to fit in across the decades. We’ve “been there” and have years of knowledge and stories to tell plus we have so much more to learn and experience. I have a feeling I will feel this way with every new decade.

Slopes to go: 13

18-19 season days on snow: 9

Deer Valley – skied lots of blues and greens with Joan and John. Absolutely beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. Lodge is clean and has a great coffee bar. Lockers are old school and only $2 for a token. No snowboards allowed.

Alta – larger mountain with a fun apres ski bar. You can ski Snowbird also, they connect at the top. Alta doesn’t allow snowboards either.

Solitude – cool, laid back vibe. This was the resort with the tailgate. A lot of bump runs and trees. A little more wild and raw slopes and lots of fun.

Brighton – you can get to Brighton from Solitude. Younger vibe and not quite as raw, a little fancy.

Day 6 – What Am I Afraid Of

I noticed lately that I was saying “I’m scared” or “that makes me nervous” a lot. It was bothering me and so I tried to figure out why. I realized it was connected to a recently ended relationship that I thought would be the forever kind. After the break, I knew I would be facing life alone and that came with a level of uncertainty. That uncertainty caused some stress, fear, and the “I’m scared” comments.

I did something at the beginning of the ski season that helped overcome that fear. I didn’t set out thinking the day would be empowering but it certainly ended with me being a stronger person.

I took a day trip to a ski resort 4 1/2 hours from home (it was open and a new one to add to the 50 in 50 list). My GPS was barely hanging on as I traveled to the mountain. I knew I wouldn’t have any service coming back so I tried to write down the roads and turns. Two hours of the trip was on a two lane road that twisted and turned over mountains and through the countryside. It was a little scary, especially when my check engine light (and a few others) came on.

I made it to the ski area and as soon as I clicked into my bindings all my fears disappeared. I was skiing alone on a new mountain hours away from home. It was raining, foggy, and I felt fearless.

The trip home was even scarier than the ride up. It was dark, super foggy, and no GPS. For two hours I passed about ten cars. It was the perfect opportunity to be afraid. My mind wanted to let me know about every horrible scenario that could happen. I didn’t allow those fears in because I felt like a badass. Instead of the “I’m scared” I was pumping myself up with “look what you did and what you are doing…you are tough”. I came home empowered and promised myself I would cut back on the “I’m scared” or “that makes me nervous” comments.

I figured out that I was afraid of facing fifty alone. That day on the slopes I thought about my community, my village. My family loves me unconditionally. My friends surround me with kindness and love. I am truly lucky.

I started out the day just to go ski and add another slope to my midlife ski crisis and I ended the day realizing I faced a lot of fears and I’m going to be just fine facing my future. I will get scared and I may be single but I am not alone. I have my community and my skis.

Side note: I skied Belleayre in New York. It was a sweet mountain. Every employee was kind and so helpful. The snow was good and I even found bumps. At the end of the day I ended at the wrong lodge and two snowmakers drove me to my car.

Day 5 – My Proudest Moment

I don’t have one moment that I’m proudest about for me. There are many things that I look back on and think “wow, I did that”.

I left a bad marriage in order to show my daughter that she needs to stand up for herself. I went back to school to get my masters and to become a teacher. I showed my daughter that education is important. I have been a single mom since she was 2 and the babe survived so I’m proud about that.

I can’t think of one single moment but I can think of a person I’m proud of. My daughter, I am extremely proud of my daughter. She is 19 and ready to change the world. She is brave, smart, beautiful, and full of energy. She is my proudest moment.

Day 2 – 20 Facts About Me

  1. I love my birthday and celebrate for three months. The 3 month celebration is called “Megan’s Festival of Joy” and begins January 1st
  2. I love to ski – obviously 😊 if there are bumps on the mountain that’s where I will be found
  3. I have a daughter (that fact probably should have been first MOTY points) the babe is so strong, courageous, smart, funny, and beautiful
  4. Winter is my favorite season and would rather work all summer and have off in the winter
  5. I teach special education and now you know why I’m off in the summer
  6. Travel is important to me and I visited all fifty states by the time I was 16 and I’ve been to 10 other countries
  7. I’m the youngest of four, two boys and two girls. Sometimes people think I’m an only child so I wanted to publicly announce that I have siblings ❤️
  8. I have a fabulous community of family and friends. I feel pretty lucky to have the friends I do and the support system that surrounds me with love 💕
  9. I was a runner for a bit and ran a bunch of long distances. I suppose I am still a runner
  10. I love to entertain and I love my house.
  11. I’m an empty nester and this is the first time in my life that I have lived alone. Of course the babe comes back on holidays but other than that the house holds just me
  12. If we have spirit week at school I’m all in with the wackiest outfits but I haven’t dressed for Halloween in over 15 years
  13. I am a sugar addict. I have been trying for a few years to give it up. Sometimes I can be found in the candy aisle touching the sugar inappropriately and muttering under my breath “I can’t have you. I’m better without you.”
  14. I drive a 2008 Toyota RAV4 with almost 250,000 Miles. He’s called Louie and it’s the longest relationship I’ve had with something that identifies as male
  15. I also drive a scooter, Yamaha Vino, called Donna. That beauty of a scooter is named after Donna in Suits. She gets things done like Donna. I have a scooter skirt for her so I can push the season
  16. I prefer black diamonds over regular diamonds but I do love jewelry. I always appreciate receiving diamonds, pearls, silver, and gold for my birthday. Just in case you were trying to figure out what to get me 😉
  17. I love school. It feels like I am always a student and really want to get my doctorate. Maybe for the purpose of learning or maybe so I can hear people say Dr. Capuano
  18. I’ve always had a Vegas name (or fake name for certain situations) and for the next decade of my life I will be known as Zohra
  19. There is a set of rules for dating me. I enjoy going on dates, long walks, pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain. Nah just kidding (for those of you in my age bracket you will understand). For real, I do have rules
  20. I love to talk and tell stories. I like to talk about me and could list another 20ish but will end with this fact…I love me 😁

Day 1 – Blog’s Name

I am one month away from the best day ever, my birthday!! I’m going to do the 30 day blog challenge over the next month.

Blog’s Name

Mid-life ski crisis…

My friends started Lift Ticket TV ( three years ago. They set out to ski every Pennsylvania SkiPA Resort in one year. I tagged along for some of the trips and in that season realized I skied the same resorts over and over.

I was having a ski crisis!! I started skiing at 10 years old and had only skied about 15 resorts in almost forty years. I had to fix that dilemma. So now I’m working on 50 slopes in my first 50 years.

I have some grand plans for this season. I’m planning a trip to Salt Lake City and hope to hit four resorts in two days. I’m visiting a friend in Wisconsin for a weekend to ski the local resorts. Denver another weekend and hopefully hit at least three mountains. Plus, of course, trips north to New England.

Life is too wonderful to have a real midlife crisis. I’m alive, healthy, surrounded by a loving community, and I have too much energy to wallow and worry about the past.

We’re in this world together so let’s plan to live life with love, courage, and kindness, do what we love, and do it often!!!

Mountains to go in challenge: 17

Days on snow 18/19 season: 6