Birthday Thoughts

Fifty-seven. How in the world can I be turning fifty-seven? I can remember so clearly standing in front of the bathroom mirror in the house I grew up in on the morning of my sixteenth birthday, scrutinizing my as yet unlined face, feeling ancient and wondering what I would look like when I reached the ripe old age of thirty. Hell, I don’t even remember being thirty now. A lifetime ago.

I started out smiling…just like my mom. I also looked like Uncle Fester.
Photographic evidence of my 30th Birthdaystill smiling!

I’m not quite old yet (whatever old really means), but I’ve definitely tilted over the proverbial hill and am beginning the electric slide down…or onward…or whatever you call it. But, I have to be honest; I like the age I am. Do I miss the unlined face? Okay, yes. Do I miss the young body? Well, yes. Do I miss the insecurities and constant second guessing myself at every turn? Not one bit. I’ll keep my wrinkles, gray hair, and aches and pains for the self-acceptance that the passage of years has given me.

My blonde phase…

I am not professing to have acquired any great wisdom in my fifty-seven years, but I have learned some things, often through trial and painful error, namely that we can make our lives beautiful and meaningful no matter what challenges we face. I’ve learned that there are truly good people in the world who act as angels to help us when we need them most. I’ve learned that love and friendship are priceless and never to be taken for granted. All lessons that I will cling to for as long as I’m blessed to keep riding this spinning orb.

Dan and Marley…priceless gifts.

I plan to enjoy my special day by heading out early to take Marley for a good walk/run before I head to the salon for a much-needed trim and color (not quite ready to go silver yet…but soon). I’ll do a bit of work and finish packing for my trip tomorrow to Tampa for a conference and Board meeting (I’m driving and taking Marley with me for company). Later, Dan is taking me to a special restaurant that we’ve been wanting to try. One of the best presents of my life has been loving and being loved by Dan. How lucky can a girl get?

Couch hog extraordinaire being judged by Shiva the Diva from the sidelines…

I am grateful to still be here, to have learned what is important to me in life, what is worth fighting for. I’m also grateful to be surrounded by a tribe of dear friends, family, and an adoring husband as I stumble my way through. Not a bad way to age, to live…not bad at all.

25 thoughts on “Birthday Thoughts

  1. This is so beautiful! Happy Birthday!

    I just wanted to say how lucky I am to have such a wonderful mentor in my life. It’s truly special to get guidance from someone who sees the world in a way so similar to your own. I hope that one day I, too, will have this level of clarity and confidence! You are an amazing role model, and I’m so grateful for you!


  2. I don’t think you’ve aged physically since I first met you. I happen to measure age by energy and joy. By that measure, I think you’ve grown younger.

  3. Happy Birthday Denise! Like the old commercial said… “You’re not getting older, you’re getting better!”

  4. I just love this. I’m still cringing at 30 even though it was over a year ago! haha. But I do feel myself growing stronger as I go, and if it keeps up I kinda can’t wait to see 50. Happy Birthday!!

  5. I love the way you understand yourself and the world around you. You speak with perfect clarity. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I know your students and readers benefit from your insights. I have seen the old version of myself, when passing a mirror; a quick glance in a flash that sometimes makes me wonder who that old lady in the mirror is. Of course if I go back to look, it’s just the “me” I’ve always known. Sometimes you even educate an older person. Thanks for that.

    1. Susan, thank you so much for your very kind words. I think the gifts of age are so often overlooked. The physical stuff isn’t always so fun, but the growing into who we were meant to be and being content is priceless. ❤️

  6. Whew! I didn’t miss it…HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Dear, wonderful, special, BEAUTIFUL, Lady! I have been away from media, pretty much all kinds, including social media, for a very long time. I am SO glad I saw this absolutely poetic post today! I hope your day was, and the rest of this evening will be, especially filled with as much love and happiness as you give to the world! You are truly an amazing soul, and YOU are one of the Earth Angels of whom you speak! I know this for a fact! Much love to you and to all of yours, precious one.

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