At the end of this year, I will have to face a large number, a number that means I have reached five decades of existence. Why is this so difficult? After all, they say 50 is the new 30, a milestone, to be sure, but certainly not considered old age anymore. And as my husband is fond of saying, “it beats the alternative”. Maybe I fear it because I never imagined getting to this number. Like all kids, I couldn’t wait to be 16 so I could drive a car, 18 so I could go to college, become an adult and vote, and 21 so I could drink (ummm…legally). While I wasn’t anxious to reach the age of 30, I imagined where I would be and what I would be doing at that age (the year my first child was born, as it turned out –didn’t figure that!) and I could even see beyond that horizon to where I might be at 40. But 50? That’s just not a number I ever imagined.
So I’ve decided in an attempt to get used to that frightening number that I ought to start making lists of 50 that are not so scary. Like 50 things I’m grateful for, 50 things I’ve accomplished, 50 things I have yet to do, that I’m looking forward to doing some day. 50 places I’ve traveled and 50 I have yet to visit, 50 great novels (definitely won’t be including 50 Shades of Grey), 50 songs I can’t live without (maybe “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” should be on there), and maybe 50 posts I want to write. By making these lists maybe I’ll become accustomed to that scary-looking number by the time I get there….or maybe I’ll just have to drink a lot to hide the pain.
My inaugural list is 50 things I’m grateful for. Here goes:
1) My health and that of my loved ones.
2) My husband and the fact that his personality is the opposite of mine.
3) My daughters.
4) My Mom and Dad.
5) My friends who are still my friends.
6) My friends who are no longer my friends, but who helped shape me.
7) The people who loaned me money in college.
8) Every teacher who told me I could do “it”, whatever “it” was.
9) My first love.
10) Being able to attend, and graduate from, UCLA.
11) Working from home for almost 19 years now.
12) When I was still commuting to work every day, getting to drive down PCH every morning.
13) All the clients who have hired me, those who have referred me and most especially, those who have hired me repeatedly to do work for them.
14) A good night’s sleep, when I get it.
15) The fact that my husband likes to cook.
16) The fact that one of my daughters has already taken after him in the cooking department.
17) The unconditional love of dogs.
18) Getting to spend part of my childhood in La Jolla.
19) Music, music, music.
20) Books, books, books.
21) Daffodils in the spring.
22) Good wine.
23) Good, strong coffee.
24) Mint chip ice cream.
25) The scent of fresh lemon.
26) Pilates, without which I would be an injured, aching mess.
27) Nordstrom’s customer service – can you beat it?
28) Getting to sit in the front row of the David Cassidy concert when I was 9 years old.
29) Getting to sit third row and front-row, center, respectively, at two Dave Matthews concerts as an adult and experience it with each of my daughters.
31) The beach.
32) Sunsets, especially at the beach.
33) Bangs…without them I might have to resort to Botox.
34) Online shopping.
35) Being able to live in California.
36) Not having to live in Texas.
37) Watching sports on a big screen TV.
38) Sunday’s Los Angeles Times…in print
39) The trip to England, Scotland and France I took with my best friend for high school graduation.
40) The opportunity to spend time in my husband’s native Sweden.
42) The advice of friends and colleagues who experienced things before me and shared their wisdom.
43) Clothes that don’t wrinkle.
44) The iPhone.
46) The Hollywood Bowl.
48) Getting to watch my older daughter swim at Olympic Trials.
49) Friday evenings.
50) Getting to watch both my girls mature, follow their passions, learn from their failures and enjoy their successes.