This week I turn 50 years old. Woah.
There were times in my life that I didn’t think I’d make it this far.
But, I’m here. Woo Freaking Hoo!
Last year I thought I’d be going to Scotland for my 50th. #LifewithAutism had other ideas. Lack of clients had other ideas. Lack of book deals had other ideas. The universe, clearly, had other ideas.
Also, my husband had to be out of town for my 50th for work.
Late in the summer I was kind of bummed there would be no Scotland trip, and that my favorite person in the world would be all the way across the United States when my day arrived.
Then something wonderful happened. The age and wisdom of a half century of living hit me. I wasn’t going to wallow in the coulda-woulda-shoulda’s of life. I was going to enjoy my day and, wait for it, I was going to make it an entire fucking month.
I’m declaring November 2016 Casz’s Half-Century Birthday Celebration Month. I know a lot of people do this all the time. I’ve never really felt the need. But this year. I’m doing it up right. I made a list of 30-plus things that are my favorite and that I will focus on each day of the month to celebrate.
Here’s my list:
My favorite things…
- My kids
- My dogs
- My Extended Family
- My Friends
- My Writing.
- Other People’s Writing (Books)
- My Spirituality
- Art (Includes Tattoos)
- Food (Particularly SeaFood)
- Coffee & Tea
- My Home
- MicroFarming & PoultryKeeping
- Fishing/The Ocean
- Honesty (aka The F-bomb)
- My Community
- Nature (and being in it)
- Couch Time
- Treasure Hunting
Surely I could have made the list longer and easily could. This exercise made me realize just how full of good life is, even though I daily face problems it seems few deal with ever, my life is primarily very good. Yes, I recognize the privilege of such a thing and I am rejoicing in it.
So, I set up a special calendar for each day this month and plan to celebrate the joys in my life — the things for each day in the month of November — the month I turn 50. For each of these days I would focus on the things that make my life so truly spectacular. Even in the ordinary, like household maintenance, I would denote the blessings that make my life worth living.
Today I focused on my kids (No. 2), as one of them was finally leaving the nest (more on that later), as well as my home (No. 15) — it was needing some attention. I also wrote like a mad woman on a new novel (No 6).
Tomorrow the day will focus again on my kids (No. 2), my writing (No. 6) and Detroit hockey (No. 21 & 13 respectively).
And so on and so forth. My plan is to blog each evening about what I learned in my joyful birthday focus.
Today I learned that although I so very much wanted my special-needs child to find a path forward in his life (read: live independently), that the path he found is a bit nerve-racking for me. However, I also realized today in my focus on joy with it, that it wouldn’t matter what that path would be. Because he deals with #LifewithAutism that path is always going to be nerve-racking. At least the path he did find was one HE found and one he WANTS. So, winner-winner, chicken dinner. At least that’s how I’m framing it. I’ll have my Big Chill shower scene later. Then all the doubt hiding in the cracks of the joy will be washed away.
In regards to my home, although I remain a construction sandwich (big development is happening all around my formerly dirt-road microfarm cottage), this is still very much my sanctuary and this home was perfect for raising our children in at the time that we found it. That we will happily remain here until the universe tells us otherwise. I also love my community where this happy little cottage dwells. There are some really great people here in the Twin Peaks hamlet of the Cascade Foothills. For that, my gratitude grows so, so much. Homegrown and all that.
Lastly, I got about 1,800 words on my new project THE MATRIARCHS. When I finish this blog post I’m going to continue to spit-shine WILDERNESS RIM, which Dun-Dun-Dun! should be coming out in the next little while (hopefully no later than Dec. 1). So hot damn. It’s been a good day. Life is good.
Happy Half-Century Birthday to me! See you tomorrow.