December 17th, 2013

So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test

-Changes, David Bowie

I turn 50 today.

Many of my friends have turned 50 recently, and it’s been interesting to see how they chose to mark the occasion. For some, it was a party. Others went on a trip. And then there was the “statement” (bag/shoes/jewelry) purchase. And still others just had a quiet dinner with family.

I’ve obviously been thinking about this day for a while – between my own anticipation and the invariable “so how are you celebrating?” questions from family and friends. There seems to be an unspoken rule that a “decade” birthday should be celebrated in a BIG way. And 50 is a pretty big number, to be sure.

I knew I didn’t want a party. A trip away would have been wonderful, but not at all possible. And a statement purchase? A definite “maybe”.

Around this time I had also been revisiting my Mighty Life List, as it had been just about a year since I wrote it.

And it was like my worlds collided – in my head.

It was so interesting to see how it had evolved over the course of one short year. How many things I had already crossed off (The Stones! Biking around Manhattan!). But there were also the things I decided to cross out. As in, take off the list completely. It was liberating to decide, yeah, I no longer have any interest in doing this, and just cross it off. Which only makes me appreciate my experience at Camp Mighty even more. That “the list” had become more than just a collection of stuff. That I was using it as a tool to keep track of my goals, and revel in accomplishing them.

The list has also encouraged me to be mindful of new challenges that I wanted to add, especially as I enter this next decade. And there were a few. Mostly changes that I’ve known, in my heart, were the necessary ones for me to make for myself but I just never went ahead and made them. Changes that – on paper anyway – are so small, so easy (certainly easier than my 3-mile run I trudge through), yet really so big.

It’s time. Time to face me and make those changes. I’m ready. No one but me knows what they are, and no one but me will feel the effects, but that’s what makes this so challenging. Because there will be no one but me to be accountable to. No one will know if I’ve “done it” or not. I’ve decided put myself up there the way I do with so many others I feel the need to be responsible to/accountable for, and start answering to myself for a change.

So there’s that :: inserts Breaking Bad reference :: but I plan on checking some other things off the list in 2014 too:

I will officially shut down my landscape design business. #39

I will treat myself once a month to a spa “something” for a whole year (many thanks to my parents and my Vogels for taking care of the first two months!). #55

I will conquer my fear of the Statue of Liberty. #47

And finally, I decided to mark this birthday by capturing my family as we are right now. Mike and I both turning 50. Noah turning 5. Chelsea graduating from college, and Conor finishing his last year of high school. We were so lucky to connect with a wonderful photographer who really “got us”, and she did an amazing job.


I couldn’t love this picture – or my family – more.

And there was, at the end of the day, a statement purchase (hey, a girl’s gotta look good heading into her twilight years, no?).

Thanks so much for sharing this space – and my birthday – with me.

And you know what? Funyons ARE awesome.

Time may change me, but I can’t trace time. xo

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