Today I'm 50.
I thought long and hard about some project I could do today, out in the world - 50 kind things, giving/receiving 50 hugs, 50 moments - 50 of something to commemorate being around this long. But everything I thought of sounded kind of derivative. And, not to put myself on a big Aren't I Wonderful pedestal, but I get a total kick out of giving things away. I like to hug people. I like to talk with strangers. So the stuff I'd do 50 times in one day all turned out to be things I seem to just do as a matter of course. I have a very thin filter when it comes to opening up to certain potential experiences.
When I nixed the Doing Something 50 Times On My Birthday idea, I thought about what I love. What I feel I do best. And honestly, I love to write. I think I'm a good writer.
So I thought I'd write down 50 things I've learned so far. One thing for each year.
So here goes. Happy birthday to me. I'm so glad I'm 50 today.
50 things I've learned so far
1. I can't freaking believe I'm 50.
2. You can have more than one soulmate in a lifetime.
3. I had no idea before I had kids how much I'd love them.
4. People rarely change.
5. There are always new things to learn.
6. Work is highly overrated.
7. I miss my mom.
8. I know more than I think I do.
9. Every season is the best season, unless you're waiting for the next one.
10. I dislike the idea of going to certain places (i.e., the hardware store, the post office, the dentist, the bank), but once I get there it's never as bad as I thought it would be.
11. Trust is earned.
12. Almost anything is more fun when everybody just lightens up.
13. I've made some bad choices, but I have no regrets.
14. Difficult people rarely know they're being difficult.
15. I wish my marriage would have worked. This seems counterintuitive to #13, with a caveat. Great choice at the time, no regrets. Refer to #3. We're partners when it comes to those beautiful people.
16. I resent that I rarely sleep eight hours in a row.
17. Where I am is exactly where I need to be.
18. Once you get one tattoo, you want another one.
19. Trying new things is great. Unless what you try sucks.
20. There's nothing better than being with people who really know you.
21. I'm completely comfortable with what I've defined as my spirituality, which has very little to do with how I was raised.
22. My parents were fallible, imperfect, flawed people. And so am I.
23. I can learn from opinions with which I don't necessarily agree.
24. I appreciate left- and right-brained thinking.
25. On that note, I've learned to appreciate the art of ballet. And I've learned to understand the left-brained world of science. I have my kids to thank.
26. Some of my most interesting memories come from what I probably shouldn't have been doing.
27. It's really hard to let go. Even if you know you need to.
28. Worry is a waste of time.
29. Laughter isn't always the best medicine. Sometimes medicine is the best medicine.
30. Being alone takes adjustment, but it can be very nice.
31. Sometimes the best way to communicate is to stop talking.
32. It's true that youth is wasted on the young, but people my age still act like kids, and that's completely okay.
33. Being cold is being better than being hot, at least when it comes to temperature.
34. It's a good thing to live somewhere that's within walking distance to a Seven-11.
35. Superlatives always suck.
36. It's been curious to me when I've been told I've been someone else's bad influence. (Is this something I've learned, or just an observation? I'm not sure. I think it says a bit about me, a bit about them.)
37. There are very few things that a good evening alone can't be made even better with a few lit candles, good music, a bath and a good book.
39. I feel lost when things break.
39. There are very few places that are better to live than in this moment.
40. I enjoy having more interests than time to pursue them.
41. Giving feels better than taking.
42. Coffee in the morning - good coffee - is a need. Not a want.
43. My kids are the best, most fulfilling, most sustaining, most remarkable pains in the ass I'll ever experience. And I mean that in a good way.
44. I wish I were fluent in another language.
45. Some things seem like a whole lot of effort (refer to #44).
46. It's good to acknowledge how fortunate I am.
47. I sometimes wonder how my life would have gone had I more fervently pursued the path on which I started. Honestly, I like this one. Roads diverge. I happened to travel the one less travelled by. Sometimes it's full of potholes, but that just must mean I live in Denver.
48. It's almost impossible for me to buy anything that's brand-new, with a few exceptions. There's something about value, there's something about history.
49. There's a difference between driving aggressively and driving assertively.
50. I embrace 50. Today is my launching pad. Everything's already good, and it all gets better from here, based on what I've seen in my rear-view mirror.