The Signs of Age – Turning 40

Weegee Sachtjen - Turning 40Most people dread it. Some deny it is even happening. Many will lie about it.

Me? I think turning 40 is exciting.

My favourite time of the year is fall. This is when the beauty found in change is revealed. Different colours come to the foreground. The temperatures dip, but it enables snuggle puddles with loved ones on the couch. Kitchen creations become dishes of comfort.

And turning 40 is the same thing.

My light brown hair is starting to light with strands of awesome gray. I have two good reasons to tuck in on the couch with a good book. The little things in life make me smile . . . and bring comfort.

While I was just starting my 30s, I had a friend who was slightly older than me. Invited to attend some function or event that held little interest, she declined with gusto.

“I’m of the age where I no longer have to worry about attending every social affair. I can say no, do what I want and I feel better for it.”

Things are just starting to change and there is that hint in the air of things to come . . . and I can’t wait. I think it is beautiful.

Bring on the 40s.

Cast Your Line to Attract the Big Catch

There are moments from my childhood where a small seed of wisdom was deposited into my subconscious that would blossom with age. One of those seeds was planted during a Saturday morning fishing trip with my father and younger sister.

It was one of those pouring rain Saturdays where, if you can stand the wetness, the fish were hungry and biting at everything.

My sister and I were old enough to have our own rod and reel in any catches, but young enough so that we didn’t have to bait our own hooks. Dad would put the bait on the line, cast it out into the cold water and pass the rod over to us to monitor and reel in.

Lessons Learned While Fishing with DadWith a curious mix of nerves and anticipation, my sister and I would stand on the muddy lake shore and wait for a fish to bite. The gentle waves would cause the lines to pull slightly, creating false hope that there had been a nibble on the line. A gentle tug or reel in of a bit of fishing line helped determine if there was a fish on the line.

It didn’t take long before my sister noticed that I was having a different fishing experience than her. I had reeled in two or three fishes, and my sister was waiting for a nibble.

My sister, a bit frustrated and fired up, accused my dad of putting the better bait on my hook. After hearing this line a time or two, my dad looked at the tip of my sister’s fishing pole and followed the water drips down my sister’s line.

He looked at my younger sister and said, “You can’t catch anything if you don’t put your line in the water.”

Sitting on the shore line, not far from where my sister was standing, was the weight and bait on her hook. She had gently tugged and reeled in her line to the point that it was sitting next to her.

My father helped her recast the line. This time, my sister was a bit more patient with the water turbulence. Which paid off when she started reeling in her own fish.

In the end of the day, the three of us were soaked through but exurberant over the eleven fish we had caught.

Years later, my father’s words sneak into my daily life. His little seed of wisdom continues to push me to throw my line into turbulent water and see what life brings. It is the line I recite before stepping out of my comfort zone.

It is the seed that has helped me blossom, and pushes me to continue to blossom.



#TBT & Thrift Store Finds: The Puka Shell Necklace

TBT Puka Shells - Community Services Thrift StoreWhile pulling my volunteer shift at Community Services Thrift Store in Gibsons, BC, I came across a blast from my past in the $2 jewellery bin: a puka shell necklace.

Puka shell necklaces were THE thing when I was in high school. Guys and girls wore the white shell choker to school everyday. They looked best during September when we all still had our summer tans and the necklaces glowed against our skin.

I went through at least three of the delicately strung beads. They never really suited me. I was too pale with dirty blond hair that hung straight and slightly awkward. I was an introvert, nerdish . . . even bit of an outcast. The shell choker helped to hide my too long giraffe neck.

Needless to say, high school was not my favourite time of my life.

According to WikiPedia, puka shells are “naturally occurring bead-like objects which can be found on some beaches in Hawaii. Each one was the beach-worn apex of a cone snail shell, a kind of seashell from a sea snail. Puka is the Hawaiian word for “hole” and refers to the naturally occurring hole in the middle of these rounded and worn shell fragments often made into necklaces.” The necklaces became popular in the 1960s and, due to tourism and folklore, skyrocketed in the 1970s.

Why the trend in my high school days? Well, there is the theory that fashion sees a rebirth every 20 years, which would put it on mark for making a comeback right about now.

I have another theory.

Working in a thrift store, every volunteer shift is a stroll down memory lane. From Cabbage Patch Kid dolls to the same crock pot my mother had to a set of puka shells, there is also something on the shelves to remind me of a different time where I was different, the world was different and my dreams were different.

It’s interesting to see how I’ve changed while holding an item from my past. It’s almost a window into how I once was but with the vision to see how far I have come from my high school years.

For those wondering, I bought the puka shells. My hair is still straight and slightly awkward. I am a bit more tan now that I live on the coast of BC. Still a bit of an introvert, outcast — but I wear it proudly now.

Needless to say, life got better after high school.

There is something about connecting with that awkward teenager from the 90s. The one who never thought she would be comfortable in her own skin. Paying $2 to realize just how far I’ve come . . . priceless.