Well, it is finally here – I am turning 50 this week. I thought I was doing just fine with the whole idea of aging gracefully, and then I realized yesterday that I have actually been having a little anxiety around entering the next decade. We have all sorts of sayings nowadays (example: “50 is the new 40!”) that sound and make us feel better, but reality is this: I am really turning 50.

I think part of the anxiety is shock that I am already at this point of my life. Another part is the feeling that I still have a lot I want to do, so I better get moving. With those thoughts as anxiety catalysts, I could easily curl up into a ball and mourn the slow passing of my youth. However, I have decided that instead of allowing the anxiety to take hold of me, I am going to reflect on the amazing lessons I have learned so far because I get to choose what my years ahead hold for me and my growth.

In no specific order, these are the life lessons that have impacted me…

  • I am fully responsible for all the decisions I make. Period.
  • The time that I have spent worrying about [fill in the blank] is time I will never get back. The idea of that wasted time really pisses me off!
  • Having a handful of people who truly love me is a rarity, and I must treat it as such. You know who you are – and thank you!
  • Forgiving is hard… and worth the work it takes to get there. I struggle with this one often and try to remind myself that everyone is doing the best they can.
  • I am good enough. This one has become one of my daily mantras
  • Perfection can never be the goal, as I will always fall short. Letting go of perfection for me is the gateway to peace.
  • Vulnerability it hard and scary, but worth it – and I will not apologize for who I am!
  • Growth is a lifelong process, not an event. Amen!
  • Life is short, so be brave and do the things you never thought you could. This is not a dress rehearsal, people – I want to look back with fewer regrets!
  • The story I am telling myself is not always reality – It is only the story I am telling myself – and I have the ability rewrite the story.
  • Reality is my friend. The more I understand and learn from what is happening now, the larger my capacity will be to grow.

While the list is long, it is by no means comprehensive. It is so encouraging and exciting to know that I will only continue to grow. So Happy Birthday to me!! My wish for myself is that I will continue to be curious, loving, and vulnerable during the next 50 years. What a great time to be living life!