This is a celebration year.  This is the marking of the 2nd half of my life.  Yes I can do math but I'm planning to live to be a hundred and twenty four.  And now of course I won't because I said it out loud!

At this age, I feel like I've had enough experience with failures and successes to know what I'm getting into.  I can now mostly weigh the consequences and calculate the recovery time.  I have recently determined the possible upside of actual success, and quite frankly the exhilaration of the pursuit, outweighs the failures.

I don't need the "for your own good" speech.  I don't need the dream police.

As I'm getting older - this is finally coming into focus.  I don't have all the time in the world and...

Life is the adventure of a lifetime.

I'm actually feeling good for this momentous marking.  Way better than I had ever dreamed. Not like the last decade big hurrah.  The year I turned 50 was an unmitigated disaster.  I never saw it coming.  Yes I saw the birthday coming but I didn't see the psychological mayhem that would accompany it.

For some unknown reason I ended up with some bizarre facial dimorphism.  It literally started the day before my birthday, getting ready to go to the "surprise" party my friends had planned for me.  I had a break with reality.  Each time I looked in the mirror, I saw only my grandmother's face. I kept touching my face.  What was wrong with me?  Was anyone else seeing this?  I couldn't shake the feeling.

This birthday feels nothing like that.  This might be the fresh outlook on life I now have talking but I am feeling so much more content about my age.  I've crossed over.  Wait, no - that's another thing right?  But I am older~ish and it's okay.  I'm not the hot young chick in the room (unless it's a room full of ninety year olds, then I kill) but I might be the one with the loudest laugh or the funniest quip and that's something.  I hope I'm the one who hugs the hardest. 

I'm figuring out who I am and who I'm not, just as important to know.  I'm going to enjoy this decade.  I'm saving my next traumatic disorder for turning 70.  I think that's fair. I'm kinda tired lately, but truly content.  I'm really looking forward to the beautiful freedom of having made it over this hump and feeling as good (or even better) as I have felt in years.  I'm excited about what's in store.  About the new adventures that await me.

They say you come into your own and gosh darn it I hate cliches but seriously, there may be something to this one.  I'm not fully embracing every piece of the physical aging stuff.  You already know my position on wrinkles, (I'm against them) but my grandma hands are actually starting to make me giggle and I am feeling just a teeny bit more at home in my saggy skin.

A new journey has begun and you are here with me.  You are filling my life with joy and I am continually enveloped by those loving bonds.  I am saved by continual grace and I hope you know it too.

I am so thankful for this day.

In honor of my birthday I have written down 62 of the many lessons life has taught me, in no particular order.

1. If you feel a thing in your gut, pay attention. It's true.

2. Lipstick can boost your mood, immediately.

3. Regrets are good teachers.

4.The book is almost always better than the movie.

5. High heels have to be the single, most cruel and absurd invention. Ever.

6. You never know what you don't know.

7. Most people don't listen. They're biding time until they get to speak.

8. Putting something off makes it instantly harder and scarier.

9. Infidelity murders trust.

10. It is easier to stay organized than to deal with the consequences of being unorganized. Getting truly organized can vastly improve anyone’s life.

11. Life isn't always fair, but it's still good.

12. Falling in love is a lot easier than staying in love.

13. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree. 

14. People who make you laugh are important to have around.

15. Religion doesn't make you a better person. Your actions do.

16. Whether you feel really good or really bad, it usually doesn't last for long.

 17. Spend as much time as you can with your parents, while you can. (Or for that matter, anyone you love).

18. Smug is ugly.

19. High school is absolutely not the "best years of your life".

20. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

21. Breakfast is not essential. But caffeine is.

22. Prejudice buoyed with righteousness is lipstick on a pig.

23.You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

24. Children teach their parents far more than parents teach their children.

25. You are either an ocean person or you are not. Forever. It's in your blood. And if you love the sea, don't move to Ohio.

26. Be realistic. Believe in miracles.

27. It is much easier to stay in shape than to get back into shape.

28. A sense of humor is way sexier than six pack abs.

29. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

30. Show don't tell.

31. Living an authentic life unburdens your children.

32. If it seems too good to be true? You know this already, right?

33. Laughing really is the best medicine.

34. When cooking for company choose a dish you can make ahead of time, so you can enjoy the party.

35. Getting up early is more fun than staying up late.

36. Every person believes their own point of view is the correct point of view. Accepting this can free you.

37. Don't assume anything. Not one single thing.

38. If you don't value your time, no one else will either.

39. High fructose corn syrup and MSG are evil.

40. When it comes to health, there is no one size fits all. What works for one person may not work for someone else. Except for the things in #39.

41. No is often the most life affirming, loving choice you can make. Learn to say it out loud. Practice.

42. Perfection is overrated.

43. Curiosity keeps you young.

44. Words actually can hurt a lot more than sticks and stones. Words are immensely powerful. One cruel remark can wound someone for life.

45. We become what we behold, so choose your focus well.

46. I can be instantly calmed by looking at the ocean or the stars.

47. Always say please and thank you.

48. Cards that come in the mail are more fun than e-cards any day.

49. I regret most those things I didn't have the courage to do.

50. Karma. Enough said.

51. Hope is more important than belief.

52. Forgive yourself.

53. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

54. There is no one, right way. There are an infinite number of ways. Diversity is the dance of the divine. Not to mention, creativity.

55. Yelling always makes things worse.

56. Always be kinder than necessary.

57. If you have bad news to deliver, the only fair way to do it is in person.

58. Don’t gossip. Just don’t. It eats away at your soul, and it’s poisoning another one. People who talk about other people to you are probally talking about you to other people. 

59. I could not imagine life without my puppies.

60. Shoes that aren't comfortable are never a good idea, even if they are on sale.

61. Not everything about getting older is enjoyable, but it beats the alternative.

62. Killing time is an atrocity. It’s priceless, and it never comes back.

......and one to grow on.

All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.



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