In one week from today, I’ll be 54.  I used to think that was ancient.  I used to think that was so far away.  More than a half century of living – how have I changed?

I have more wrinkles, that’s for sure. I’m slower – that’s for sure true.  I have more time, more patience, and it would seem – more to do.  I’m sure I don’t.  I have less to do but it seems I have less time.  Time flies.  That’s what changed too.  Technically, time hasn’t changed – I have.

How else have I changed?  I have been forced to grow up.  With both parents having passed away, I am no longer able to count on my Mom and Dad for support.  Don’t get me wrong – I still feel like they are there, in spirit, for council.  I just don’t get the physical presence, the hugs, the kind and supportive words.  So – I have turned more reflective.  I have to think for myself.

Growing up is about seeing choices one has and making the best of the choice one makes. That’s called being responsible.  I think.  There are no second-takes in life.  At least, not in this one.  I’m okay with that – more than okay with that.  Moving on is not difficult to do for me.  I live, I learn, I try to adjust my sails to catch a better wind the next time.

Growing up is about knowing happiness is a choice.  No one can make a person happy – being grateful is the key.  I’ve counted my blessings though my days.  When I don’t, I can become negative.  Remembering to count blessings isn’t always easy until it becomes a habit.  And then happiness follows.

Growing up is realizing that being bored is a matter of personal choice too.  It is an attitude.  When life offers such rich opportunities, how is it possible to be bored, unless one chooses to not see the bounties in front of one’s own eyes?

Growing up is about realizing the joy of giving back.  The greatest rewards in my life have been the times when I’ve done things for others.  I’ve stuck by my family and friends through poor health and through death.  I’ve put myself in others’ shoes to offer my empathy and support.  I’ve put my money where my mouth is to support others who were in need – so they would have a chance to realize their own dreams.  I’ve worked hard so that others would find rest.  I’ve taught – and I’ve learned.

Finally, growing up is about finding hope and keeping faith.  It’s about never giving up and knowing the sun will rise the day after it has set.  The rain nourishes the soul; The snow soothes the temper.  Having hope – when life seems so bleak is the only way to live.  What’s the point of giving up?  Believing in a reason, believing there is a purpose, and believing in a future (no matter how long) is not easy to do – but the alternative is too sloppy and ugly.

I will be 54.  That’s three more years than I thought I’d have after my cancer diagnosis.  Since then, my life has changed dramatically.  My family’s lives have changed.  My friends’ lives have changed.  I have found life.  I am beginning to understand myself.  I have a lot more to understand but, in time, I believe I will grow and learn.

More than a half century of learning.  If I could put my life lessons in a bottle – to cork them up and pass them along – what would my elixir taste like?  I would hope it would be sweet. I would hope it would be intoxicating.  I would hope someone would appreciate them and find joy in the lessons.

Cheers to life!  Cheers to birthdays!  Cheers to living!

About inmycorner

This blog began as an opportunity to tell my Dad's stories. I sat with him and the computer and together we told stories. It was a wonderful way to get to know Dad. He was 9. He and Mom had a wonderful life together and since she passed away a year and a half before him - Dad was ready to join her. I no longer tell his stories but have found stories of my own. The impetus to resume this blog was the discovery that I had stage 4 ovarian cancer. Since blogging had been so therapeutic for my dad and I to get through our grief, I felt maybe this would be a good outlet to process my situation. I also hoped it may serve as an outreach to anyone else who is facing this very ominous journey. So far, so good.
This entry was posted in acceptance, aging, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to 54

  1. Gwen says:

    Cheers indeed! Your post had me sing to myself (if I could save time in a bottle). I thank God everyday for the blessing of having you in my life – even though we don’t see each other daily, I know that you’re there to support and love me and my little family. Cheers indeed, my friend.

  2. Cheers! Every day is a gift! Go out and celebrate!

  3. You ARE a gift Stacey. And I think you’ve shared much of what you’ve learned. You are a wonderful teacher (…kind of appropriate, eh?).
    By the way….you and I? Born the same year. 🙂

    • inmycorner says:

      That’s why we are such kindred spirits!!! Colleen thank-you for this gift of kindness and support. I learn a lot from your posts. In fact, while I was silent as a writer – I read your posts everyday for inspiration. You – are a wonderful teacher. TTFN

  4. Laurie McCarthy says:

    Your words give me pause and make me want to be a better person!😘

    • inmycorner says:

      Really? YOU are the chicken master – how could it get any better than that? grin. Laurie – I honestly don’t know how you could be a better person…

  5. Judy says:

    I relate to so much of what you wrote, Stacey. I especially have felt that this is a sobering stage of life, knowing my parents are gone and I’m “next in line.’ I miss them but also feel they would be proud of how I’ve managed my life and of their grandchildren.
    This might even be the best time in my life. I haven’t gone through what you have and my respect and admiration for you is enormous. You’ve taken a horrible diagnosis and found a beautiful outcome that inspires me to appreciate my life even more.
    I just love the way you write!

    • inmycorner says:

      They most certainly would be proud of you, Judy! You are brilliant. So glad that this is the time of your life – don’t admire too much – I seem to be a work in progress. It seems we are all so much better when we all work together (sounds like a slogan), right? What would we do without each other? You amaze me too with your continual support and positive nature. I, my friend, appreciate you. All the best

  6. karen markovic says:

    Wishing you a very Happy Birthday….hugs!!!

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