When I began working at PRA as a SOAR Project Assistant in October 2009, I was 37 years old. These past 12 years have flown by—it simply doesn’t seem possible that over a decade has passed! On the other hand, that first day of work feels like a lifetime ago, especially when I look at how much I have changed since then.
First things first, the big 5-0 is just around the corner. I’ve certainly grown in my 40s—literally, but let’s not go there! I didn’t need glasses when I started, but now wear bifocals (or readers over my contacts). My hair appointments have increased in frequency from every 6 to every 4 weeks.
But along with this aging body, there has been positive growth. As a Project Associate, I am now the longest-standing member of the SOAR team (beating Kristin by only a week or two 😉). I am proud of my contributions to the team and confident in my role. The icing on the cake is the meaningful relationships I have developed with co-workers. This is a far cry from that first, nerve-wracking day!
On a personal level, my former 7 and 10-year-old daughters are now 19 and 22. It is so fulfilling to see how they have grown and matured, as has my relationship with them. My husband and I happily celebrated our 26th anniversary this year. We are now the age my in-laws were when we got married (mind-boggling)! My closest and dearest friends are women I didn’t even know 12 years ago.
Don’t get me wrong; there have been struggles. Along the way, I also lost my mom. The inevitable losses that we all must face are by far the hardest to comprehend. I work hard every day to gracefully accept the downsides of aging so that I can fully appreciate the great things that have come my way.
I know that I will face more changes and adjustments in the years to come, and I have faith that the positives will outweigh the negatives. As my dad says whenever I share my utter disbelief about the passage of time as marked by birthdays or other milestones, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!” I hope he’s right!