Approaching 50

all photos in this post are from

I have been blogging for almost ten years now and have logged well over five hundred posts.

And for some reason, even though I know it doesn't really mater, I feel this need to create an accurate timeline as I blog, making sure readers know where I have been, where I am at and where I think I might be going.  I'm trying to fight the compulsion. It's not necessary to do this, it's only me, but I can't help it.  

Do you feel the need to do that when you write, or scrapbook or create?  I think that if I can overcome the need for a timeline, break free of obvious linear restraints, that I might just explode in a rainbow of sparks and awesomeness.

Or not.  

Where I've been -

I've been a Nanny since 1989. I attended Nanny school and graduated with a full time, live in position for two beautiful children in a home known as the Miami Vice Home.  It was sleek, clean, well kept and expensive.  The family was so different from my own lower middle class up- bringing, I learned a lot from them about money, family and priorities. 

I have always been good with children.  It's one of those things I thought everyone could do naturally. I know now that it's not.  Reproductive organs do not automatically guarantee a nurturing woman.  Even after 4 kids of my own I still enjoy children.  In a room of adults, children are my comfort zone.  Even if they are screaming.  

Maybe it's the creative side of me that connects with children. As a child I loved art and make believe. I took beginning art, advanced art, and then was a teacher assistant in art so I could do more art.  My Jr. High art teacher was kind and encouraging.  I loved to draw but never felt like I was very good at it. I loved color and paint, but nothing looked like I wanted it too. My art teacher thought I should go into drama and acting.

I had a scary experience my last day of Jr. High in the art room.  I'm not sure if this is why or if it is because I felt frustrated with my inability to capture my vision, but I never took another art class. Instead, I followed the promptings of my art teacher and threw myself into drama while in high school.  

As a ninth grader I also had an english class that required daily journal entries - this is when I began to take a journal with me everywhere I went. 

My journal was my refuge. I wrote stories, took Bible notes, doodled, prayed, and dreamed in it all through high school.  I was in several plays.  People said I was good.  I thought I was good.

Then, like the art, I felt like I wasn't good enough.  My senior year I was only in one play, and I didn't audition for anything else.  

After high school - I worked.  And in my free time I would write.  I discovered NoDoz caffeine pills and I would take them and write for hours.  My first big purchase other than a car was a $200 word processing type writer.  It had spell check and could correct mistakes.  I still have it.

I worked as a Nanny.  I wrote epic fantasy adventures next to my epic love life failures and emotional roller coaster inner life.  I read books - over a thousand romance novels from the 80's and 90's - if it fit my favorite criteria, I read it.  And fantasy novels.  The impact of all this reading still remains.  I can tell you the plot line of books I read ten years ago.  Why these kinds of things stick with me when I can't remember if I took my vitamins this morning, I don't know. 

When my first baby boy was born I began to scrapbook.  Just for the baby books I told myself.  Four kids later, I have a closet full of scrapbook paper.  

As a woman who works with children and with kids of my own, I read children's books.  Thousands of children's picture books.  My library lets you check out 50 books at a time on one library card.  I made sure all the kids had a library card by the time they were 3.

After my daughter was born I started a blog.  Later I joined several writing critique groups.  I submitted my work.  I learned a lot about point of view, show-don't-tell and adverbs.  I thought my writing was good.  People said it was good.

Where I am At

I loved scrapbooking.  Mixing paper with stickers, colors and writing.  I watched the industry change, watched how scrapbooking could become art.  

I turned 40.  And decided I could do art again.

I met Nancy, branched out and we are doing together. 

I found Perisope.  And decided I could preform in front of people again.

I'm still writing.

And now 50 is getting closer.

Where Am I going?

Have you ever felt like you needed to do something different to move forward?  Do the research, buckle down, make something happen?

Have you ever felt clueless on how to do all of that?

I've been in this online group, the Heart Tribes,  that is jam packed full of talented, creative, knowledgeable business women, many of them younger than myself, all of them moving forward, finding their footing, getting their focus, making things happen.

As much as I'd rather be in a dream world where I can create without the pressure of creating valuable content, I find myself stuck with the same linear compulsion: a time line requires ending points of success.  My personality requires that endings are full of rainbow sparks and awesomness.

My art needs to progress -
 My writing needs to progress-
My preforming needs to progress-
As much as I want to, I can't do them just to make myself happy, it all has to come together, have meaning, value and fruit.

I can't think of another way to say what I am feeling. In the Christian walk, your "fruit," is very important.  It is the end result of everything you do; how actions and works are judged.  It goes against everything I believe- all my personal make up to just be creative for "myself."  That would be like going to the store buying mangoes and eating all of them without sharing any with my family.

How are you turning the things you love into "fruit" you can share with others?

How are you progressing on your own personal timeline?  Do you feel the need for endings and points of success?

Do you know of any women who created the most fruit, celebrated their biggest successes and reached their dreams in their 50's?

I'd love your help in continuing this conversation.  Comment or email me



  1. Loved reading more about you Dana. You have a captive way of writing. Yes, you're good at it.
    I can relate to the feeling of needing to make a change, to progress. Many times I look at those marvelous layouts others do and I feel like I'm standing still. For now it's good though, I need to do it to keep myself sane ;) However trying some new techniques would be good.
    When we had already tried for years to become a mom and dad I seriously thought to myself: so no what am I going to do with the rest of my life? I was looking at what other professions might speak to me. Or whether or not I should start writing that book I had always wanted to. Then faith stepped in, gave us out little boy and my 'career plans' were put on hold. The only career I really ever wanted, was being a mom. Not very driven perhaps. But it became even more important after almost failing at it.
    Perhaps when Connor is a little older I'll give my career path another thought. Right now I'm too busy living and enjoying life. I'm not going towards 50 yet, but 40, yes. I already had an early mid-life crisis when my mom passed away 10 years ago. It made me wonder what I wanted with my life. All of it. So after those turbulent years I'm happy enjoying less challenging times.
    It would be great to keep up with your journey though!

  2. Dana! What a great post. I agree. I am happier, more productive and more successful turning 51 this year. Some of us have more yesterday's than tomorrow's and that's what keeps me motivated, keeps me pushing forward, letting little things go and enjoying life. I have 4 kids too 💖
    I am blessed our paths crossed and I look forward to many more years of learning more about you. Blessings my friend. ~Maureen

  3. Laura Ingalls Wilder - one of my favorites... she was very old when she had her most important written works get published. There are lots of older late bloomers.

    I didn't know the performance part - I can see it in your eyes, though - and in your spirit.

    I took thirty years without performance and look at me now, a whole bunch of crazy credentials and yeah, live streaming feeds all that. What was that I was saying about performance art as a part of #CreatingFearlessly?

  4. I've had this saved to come back & re-read and comment for a while now. :)

    I agree that it's not necessary to create a timeline on our blog, but I often find myself working toward it anyway. I really like this thought: ...if I can overcome the need for a timeline, break free of obvious linear restraints, ... I might just explode in a rainbow of sparks and awesomeness.

    I agree that as a Christian, the fruit is so important. I do a good bit of creating for me & my family (scrapbooking mostly), and I have found that it is an outlet that lets me contemplate life and focus on the good things. I've been a scrapbooker all my life (since I took over the scrapbook Mama started for me when I was born), but in the past decade or so I've also been teaching and writing lots of Bible studies and spending time encouraging women to serve the Lord. In the last two years, I've found a way to merge my art and my faith by teaching illustrated Bible journaling classes, along with scrapbooking, cardmaking, and mixed media projects (some with Christian themes, some not).

    I'm on my way to 50, too . . . less than 3 years to go! Let's enjoy the journey & let God lead so we can reach our dreams!


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