It is my Birthday Eve. And it’s not just any birthday you guys, it’s a really big one.
Tomorrow I turn 50. What in the f’ing world is happening?
In my head I’m still around 37. My body is not quite that anymore, but after dropping nearly 20 pounds since January, I am feeling better than I have in years (and it shows).
I don’t let those pesky grays hang around too long before they are professionally covered up. Gravity is winning in some areas and a few smile wrinkles have arrived. There are other signals that more changes are on the way, and that’s all just fine.
Oh, I am so much wiser. And happier. I know who I am and most days, I know what the hell I’m doing. I’ve been celebrating since early May and the party continues basically all summer. Why not?
In keeping with a tradition that my kids and I do, I am taking this evening to reflect on the past year. What things did I learn? What are the takeaways from my final year in my forties?
- I launched myself into art and actually completed 7 paintings that people bought with cash money, and did another 14 as gifts, and 2 for my own self. I learned that I am creative and that it’s important for me to spend time doing this, whether or not there is a price tag attached to the outcome.
- I went camping in a tent for 5 nights by myself at the Wild Goose Festival. I learned that I can totally ignore my phone for 6 straight days and appreciate the freedom in doing so. Also, I can take on spiders and not be a pansy ass.
- I began attending classes at USF as a full time student while still working full time. I learned that time is elastic and I can get a lot done when I focus. And I don’t have to get an A on everything, because C’s get degrees.
- I helped manage a hurricane shelter at my church last fall when Hurricane Irma came through. I learned that I love people and their animals, but I manage both better with a good night’s sleep and coffee.
- I moved and now live all by myself for the first time in nearly 30 years. I learned that I am very peaceful and content in my own place and my own skin. Also, I can have a white couch now.
- I faced my first (and probably not last) bit of skin cancer. I learned that I can still go to the beach as long as operate wisely. I also learned that it’s okay to fire a dermatologist that I don’t like.
- I became intentional about eating healthier by doing the Whole 30. I learned that almonds and tomatoes are a perfectly acceptable dinner. Also, it’s easy to eat healthy when no one brings home Doritos and Twinkies.
- I invited Jen Hatmaker and Nichole Nordeman to our church, and they came! And I got to hang out with them! I learned that it takes Moxie to do anything worth doing, and that I have influence no matter what role I am in. Also, ask not, receive not.
- I said yes to a relationship with an incredible man, and after 4 months, it’s going really well. I am learning to accept and receive love that is given, and how to return it without losing myself.
- I took a cruise with my kids and one of my besties. I learned that it’s okay to take yourself on vacation because we all need a little more fun!
- I have been tending to flowers and plants and seedlings and they are all thriving. I learned that previously failing has no bearing on success now.
- I have been volunteering to help the Sea Turtles in my area (more to come on that). I learned that it is never too late to do something I’ve always wanted to do!
This week will be lots of celebratory lunches and dinners. There have already been gifts and shopping and there’s more to come! It is fun to be acknowledged and celebrated, but the real gifts I have been receiving all year long.
Thanks for reading, until next time!