For this past month, when people have asked me how it feels to be turning 49, I have looked behind me to see to whom they were speaking. I’m not gonna lie – the age has crept up on me quieter than a 'tief' in the night. Yes, I see the wrinkles, and yes, I feel the twinging pain in the joints and bones, but somehow my brain had ignored the signs, and now here I am, being told that I’m only one year away from the big ‘50’.  It’s a scary thought, but since I have been so generously reminded this past month of my pending milestone birthday, I have been able to spend a lot of time reflecting on the journey that has deposited me at the half century doorway.

I think that the reason this age has crept up on me is that it was never something I dwelled on. I have always believed in living every year of life with gusto, with the mindset that as the lessons come, they are only the prep sessions to make the next day even better. I embrace life with everything I have – whether it be writing, gardening, painting, mothering, ‘wifeing’….I throw every single thing I have into my pot, and I stir it up with lots and lots of laughter (and wine). I never want to say, ‘I wish I had tried that….’ ‘I wish I could paint….’ ‘I wish I could write…..’ I just do, and the reward is that I have learned more about myself with every new step I take. I have learned that I am braver than I think, and stronger than I think.

Beach mat by ASD  •   Swimsuit by DrennLuna  •  Beach basket by My Jamaica  Novel “The Silent Stones” by Judith Falloon Reid

Beach mat by ASD   Swimsuit by DrennLuna • Beach basket by My Jamaica
Novel “The Silent Stones” by Judith Falloon Reid

This glorious life is really just one giant puzzle, with each blessing and challenge clicking the pieces firmly into place to complete the final, beautiful picture -

  • Babies born prematurely and lost – gave me the appreciation for the miracle of life and made me a better mother - *Click
  • Turbulent years of marriage – taught me that I had something worth fighting for, and that love surpassed all differences - *Click
  • Having children who faced health and educational challenges – made my children sensitive, ambitious, and unafraid of challenges - *Click
  • My body starting to creak and sag in certain areas – made me all the more serious about eating healthily, exercising regularly, and being emotionally healthy. I have learned to speak my mind on the important things, and not to sweat the small stuff for the less important - *Click
  • Parents, aunts and uncles who have over the years shown signs of aging and illness – brought us closer as a family and forced us to spend more quality time with each other - *Click
  • Seeing myself and my husband ageing – forced me to love the man beneath the ‘man’, and him to love the woman beneath the ‘woman’. Taught us that true love was nothing either of us had ever known or really understood - *Click
  • Seeing my ‘babies’ growing up and leaving the nest - taught me to release my grip on their lives, and how to balance parenting and true friendship with them - *Click
  • Friends fell at the wayside when we made mistakes or became too busy with life – we learned who our few, true friends were, and we in turn learned to become better friends - *Click
  • Fell in love with red wine along the way – learned to appreciate the blessing of gatherings, making new friends, and enjoying the carefreeness of life - *Click *Click *Click *Click *Click

So here I am with this ‘50’ looming over my head. I can’t promise you that next year I will be this upbeat when I take the step through that door, but until then I say …let us love passionately, let us laugh raucously, let us ‘friend’ unhypocritically, and let us embrace with gusto, every aspect of this life that we are graced with.

‘49’…..bring it on!!!!!