It's the March Slife of Life Story Challenge at Two Writing Teachers!
What do Faith Hill, Jimmy Kimmel, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, and I have in common? We've all either just entered or will be entering the Quinquagenarian Club this year. I became a member on December 26th. We spent the holidays in Florida, so I chose my favorite Mexican restaurant there and was blessed to be surrounded by family (and margaritas). Turning 50 was not completely easy for me. I wish I could write an amazing, inspiring post about how 50 doesn't daunt me at all, and that I'm the best version of myself right now, and that turning older is nothing to worry about. I DID feel that when I turned 40. I wasn't phased by entering that decade at all. I loved the idea of turning 40. I rang that decade in with friends in Las Vegas. I was more reluctant about this birthday. But it came anyway. And of course, that's better than the alternative!
As I was thinking about what to write this morning, I stumbled across this essay, which intrigued me. Okay, instead of thinking about what I've left behind in the semicentennial of my life, what do I look forward to? I loved Jeanne Stafford's list. What would mine look like? What would I like to take into my next 50? Let's think about that...
1. I'll take lessons from my dog, Ben, on how to greet each day and guest with exuberant happiness.
2. I'll take steaming cups of coffee with cream in a big, heavy mug.
3. I'll take cold glasses of chardonnay on a warm summer evening on the deck.
4. I'll take sunrises over the lake.
5. I'll take ripe, juicy, berries in a bowl.
6. I'll take a Friday night at the movies with buttered popcorn.
7. I'll take laughing with my daughters.
8. I'll take long weekend get-aways with my husband.
9. I'll take a medium rare filet hot off the grill.
10. I'll take road trips with my best friends.
11. I'll take reading novels I can't put down.
12. I'll take painting lessons.
13. I'll take long talks with my parents on the lanai.
14. I'll take afternoon naps on a rainy day.
15. I'll take champagne corks popping on New Year's Eve.
16. I'll take laughing until tears run down my cheeks.
17. I'll take staying up late and sleeping in.
18. I'll take walks with my dog and a good audiobook.
19. I'll take holding hands with my husband.
20. I'll take glorious fall leaves and a campfire.
21. I'll take summer evening cruises in a pontoon.
22. I'll take writing a children's book.
23. I'll take chocolate.
24. I'll take spinning classes.
25. I'll take shoes that don't hurt my feet.
26. I'll take a Mediterranean and an Alaskan cruise.
27. I'll take a trip to Mt. Rushmore with my mom.
28. I'll take being more mindful.
29. I'll take Matthew McConnaughy movies.
30. I'll take binge-watching television series.
31. I'll take lying in the sunshine by the pool.
32. I'll take age spots.
33. I'll take snow days.
34. I'll take flowering trees in the spring.
35. I'll take perennials popping up after a long winter.
36. I'll take future grandchildren.
37. I'll take praying and spending more time with God.
38. I'll take reading aloud to my students.
39. I'll take a world without hate crimes.
40. I'll take getting to know my neighbors better.
41. I'll take thinking before I speak.
42. I'll take blonde highlights instead of gray hair.
43. I'll take a skin-care regiment.
44. I'll take vitamins.
45. I'll take smile lines.
46. I'll take a girls' 50th celebration week in Mexico.
47. I'll take listening more attentively.
48. I'll take enjoying watching my oldest daughter Libby, my son-in-law, Jamie, and my youngest daughter, Katie thrive in their young adult years.
49. I'll take Florida golf cart rides to the square, palm trees, and sunsets on the lanai.
50. I'll take each birthday with joy.