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๐ŸŽŠ Starting off the year with an introductionโ€”I have sprinkled this page with bits and pieces about my marriageโ›ช, family, and myself this last year, but I have never made a bona fide introduction as the creator behind I Do Part Two. 

Thank you so much for following along! I’m Lisa.โœ‹ I grew up in the days when no one locked their doors and our parents had no idea where we were all day.โ€œJust be home by dinner,โ€ my mom would say. I went to middle, high school, and college all in the โ€˜80sโ€”graduating from the University of Oregon in 1990. (If you’re a GenโŒer yourself, this alone tells you a lot about me.) 

I am 53 and met my best friend and husband of almost 30 years in college.๐Ÿ’˜ We have three grown kidsโ€”25๐Ÿ‘ฆ, 21๐Ÿ‘ฆ, and 18๐Ÿ‘งโ€”two are in college, and one is working hard. Our oldest has autism๐Ÿงฉ; he’s super independent and has the best disposition in the universe. 

Aside from my familyโ€”I love sugar-free vanilla lattesโ˜•, travel adventures๐ŸŒด, lying on the couch with my hubby binge-watching the latest, Jesus, coffee with friends/Girls Weekends, visiting our kids at college, listening to books ๐Ÿ“˜ while I walk, and connecting with other creators online. My guilty pleasures are eating nacho cheese sauce๐Ÿง€ and sneaking mini-Reeses cups.

I started I Do Part Two when our youngest was a junior in high school. (๐Ÿ’กIf you are nearing empty-nesting, and are thinking about a new venture, I highly recommend beginning something before your youngest leaves the nest.) Yes, it can be scary to try something new. I still find it hard to put myself out there at times, but rewards have been innumerable.๐Ÿ†

I Do Part Two is all about discovering YOU ๐Ÿ’Ÿ. For many of us, it’s more about REDISCOVERING ourselves AGAIN. It certainly was for me, with some nuances that surprised me along the way. 

Our lives are made up of many chapters ๐Ÿ“•, and at midlife, we still have exciting adventures to write about. I Do Part Two is just a catchy way to ask, “What’s next?”

What is your Part Twoโ“   

This page initially started as a blog to share marriage stories from a variety of perspectives but it has grown and changed over time. (Just like us.๐Ÿ˜‰) I still plan to share stories but also much more about making the most of the years ahead, adventures in empty-nesting, and so much more.

Iโ€™ll share tips from my own thirty years of marriage, as well as advice from experts on moving toward your passion, having fun empty-nesting, and keeping the passion alive and well in your marriage.

I hope this page inspires๐Ÿ’ซ you to better understand yourself, your partner ๐Ÿฅฐ, and what energizes๐Ÿ’ฅ you to get out of bed each morning. 

Thank you again for joining me on this journey, lisa@idoparttwo.com

* I’d love to hear your thoughts about marriage, midlife, and empty-nesting. Please don’t hesitate to reach out, and if you’re a writer or aspiring to be one, I’d love to consider sharing your story on I Do Part Twoโ€”Empty Nesting & More.

1. Be silly!

2. Let your voice be heard. Donโ€™t subdue your voice to make others comfortable.

3. Always wear a black shirt while doing a presentation… sweat stains are a thing.

4. Hydration is your friend.

5. Falling in love is breathtaking.

6. Pass out compliments.

7. Floss!

8. Move your body each day.

9. Pay close attention to your gut.

10. Eat ice cream without any guilt.

11. Smile… you never know who needs it.

12. Putting on comfy clothes after a long day can change everything.

13. Sometimes all you need is a hug.

14. Reach out to a friend who has been distant and make sure everything is okay.

15. You can do anything for a short amount of time.

16. Make your bed each morning and open up the shades!

17. Sending a love letter in the mail is a beautiful thing.

18. Get fresh air each and every day, no matter the weather.

19. Own your opinions and feelings.

20. Always be your authentic self.

21. Sometimes a pink starburst can add a little bit of joy to your day.

22. Be open with your friends… you will all benefit.

23. Always challenge yourself.

24. Ask… the worse you can hear is no.

25. Laugh and laugh some more.

26. Hold hands.

27. Sometimes calling mom is all you need.

28. Love yourself beyond measure.

29. Take time to rest your body and mind.

30. Always know the world needs you!

Xoxo

As I get older, a clarity sets in.

My priorities come into sharper focus. My passions re-ignite.

I become more accepting and gracious. I am not interested in complaining.

I find peace in protecting my boundaries.

I love more freely. I forgive myself. I put down the masks.

I listen not just to people’s words but to their hearts.

I find more of myself the more I let go. I find more of myself when I don’t try so hard. I find more of myself when give myself permission to do the things that bring me joy.

These are the gifts that growing older have given me.

Lisa Reinhart-Speers at 50-something…

I am turning 50-somethingโ€ฆ

I am grateful.

I am energized.

And I am optimistic.

I’ve been slowly unraveling latelyโ€”letting go. 

Letting go of the illusion of perfection.

When did I adopt this mindsetโ€”this burdenโ€”and why have I been carrying it around for so long? I’m not sure, but it has become too heavy to lug around any longer.

I feel lighter now. 

I was always striving for what I can now see was an unattainable goal. For years, I’ve been waking up every morning thinking about all the things I didn’t check off my to-do list from the day before, or how I ate too many carbs and didn’t get in enough steps. I’ve allowed that pesky, small voice to whisper in a hundred different ways, “You are not enough.”

I am done. I’m letting go of all this negative self-talk. Finally realizing that I can do great things, just not all at the same time.

I’ll get done what I can today; the rest can wait till tomorrow. I am exercising for meโ€”not to count steps and then feel crappy because I didn’t walk 10,000 steps. I’m flipping the switch. I want to walk those steps to stay healthy, feel better, and to keep up with my active family.

I’m grabbing hold of my life. 

I’m waking up grateful to be alive, healthy, and excited to be hereโ€”in the now.

Of course, I still need my caffeine-fix to get going, and some mornings my joints ache. I still have tough days that suck the life out of me, but I am also starting to listen to a kinder voice that has grown loud enough not to ignore. 

It’s gently urging meโ€”You got this! While graciously reminding me that time is precious. Time has a beautiful way of showing us all what really matters. 

I have known this all along, we all know it, but it’s hard to wrap our minds around. We always feel we’ll have more time. Some of us will, but sadly, some of us will not.

So, I’m pursuing my passions and discovering new outlets for my creativity. I look forward to traveling and exploring places I’ve never beenโ€”I am excited for the world to open up again.

I am also grabbing hold of my 29-year marriage. I love my husband more passionately and with more depth than I ever thought possible. I didn’t know I could love him more today than twenty-plus years ago. 

We’re focusing on creating more intimacy in areas of our relationship that might have been a bit neglected while we were raising our kids. We are also more mindful of how we communicate our wants, needs, and desires with each other. 

We’re envisioning what the next phase of life might look like as our youngest heads off to college. We are asking ourselves, “how do we want to ‘fill our nest’? Especially since our nest might look slightly different as our oldest son, who has autism, will continue to live with us. We know that sometimes it may be just my husband and me, but there will be three of us more often than not.

We are also considering with whom we want to spend our precious time? This is an important question. Of course, we hope our two adult children will continue to come home to visit, and they are always welcome to stay awhile. We miss not always being together.

We enjoy spending time with family and friends who support one another and lift each other up. This is what makes life interestingโ€”deep conversations around topics that really matter. We don’t always get to see our friends and family who are scattered across the country, but that only makes getting together so much sweeter.

Turning fifty-something has been surprisingly good to me. I’m enjoying this unraveling of sortsโ€”this letting goโ€”while still holding on tight to what’s really important to me.

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