I will turn fifty in a couple of weeks and I’m very excited about it. My birthdays are always a big deal to me and I anticipate the festivities for weeks in advance. To some it might seem frivolous but to me it is cathartic.
I view it as an opportunity to celebrate who I have become and the possibility for growth and change that the year ahead will bring. I try to do something new and exciting each birthday. I’ve ballooned above the Napa valley and above Monticello in Virginia, swam with dolphins in San Diego and manatees in Florida. I have visited turtle habitats, lighthouses and explored on horseback, both the Rocky Mountains at daybreak and the vineyards of Carneros at sunset. All of these adventures represent a physical manifestation of the philosophy I have adopted.
A lot has happened since my last birthday. I began that day getting my first marriage license which more than met my new beginnings and adventure criteria. John and I spent the rest of the day exploring the coast of Maine with our dear friend and surrogate Sister/Mom Judy. We spent a perfect day eating lobster rolls, steamers and walking along the beach collecting rocks to be used as escort cards and in vases during our wedding. Judy baked me a cake with a giant candle in the center we ended the day with laughter and smiles creating priceless memories. I was single last year and this year I am married; my first married birthday.
This year John is taking me to Europe where we’ll rent a car and explore France and Italy. We have both been overseas before but never together and never married. I plan to be standing under the Eiffel Tower on my birthday with a glass of wine in one hand and a pastry in the other.
There are people who approach birthdays with a real sadness and trepidation about getting older, especially milestone birthdays. I feel lucky I’ve never felt that way. I’ve had a few people inquire about my feelings on approaching fifty. I’m very grateful when those who love me want to make sure I’m OK with the number. I’m great with the number.
As I begin my next fifty years I have to say that I’m energized and I have big plans.. I am married to the love of my life and we look forward to exploring this world together making memories and holding hands. We have committed as a couple to living a healthy lifestyle that allows for balance and treats as well. As an extension of this commitment to clean eating, this girl who grew up in Manhattan is learning to grow a vegetable garden. My husband and a host of gardening friends on Twitter support and encourage me daily and I think I will do well.
I find cooking and baking satisfy my soul and I’ll continue to experiment with recipes and techniques. Fortunately John and I both enjoy cooking and love sharing our creations with those we love.
I will continue to learn and push myself as I explore the world of social media. I embrace Facebook, Twitter U-stream and have found a real sense of community in a medium that would seem on paper to be cold and distant, but in reality makes the world a variety of small friendly cyber- villages. I’ll be spending more time freelance writing and plan to continue studying new and exciting methods of photo and video production.
I feel better than ever and I’m in better shape than ever. I feel confident and secure in my decisions and in my convictions. I know who I am and what is important to me and I’m OK if that does not suit everyone.
I plan on working to promote change that is close to my heart. I’d like to help people learn how to choose wisely when feeding their families, prepare good food on a budget, promote community gardens and healthy living in general.
I love and appreciate my friends both old and new, they are my family and although they are scattered all over the globe I plan to continue to always acknowledge their importance in my life. I’m going to treasure being a wife to the best husband I could ever have dreamed of finding and I will always make sure he knows what a blessing he is in my life.
Finally, I plan to always continue on the path of learning and self-discovery as the years go by. It's a great ride so far and it seems to me that my next fifty years are going to be the best fifty yet.