50? Me? How did that happen?
So today, because I can't give you all cupcakes, I'd like to share some of the wisdom that I've collected on my way to this venerable age.
1. A sense of humour will get you through the tough times and make the good times even better.
I still think farts are funny. In fact anything to do with body functions can be hilarious. Taking yourself too seriously can make your life miserable. Being able to laugh at your own idiosyncrasies is important to your mental health. I love that my kids bought me this card and knew that I'd think it was hilarious.
2. Own your crazy.
I'm totally convinced that all of us have at least a little smidgeon of crazy in them. Some people tuck it down deep in side and it rarely sees the light of day. I like to wear mine as a badge of honour. Yep, I've struggled with anxiety at times through my life. I've had to be wheeled around an airport in a wheelchair because I'd been vomiting because I was so nervous. I've thrown up before races, exams and important sports matches. I've driven with a vomit bucket in my lap to one of my son's athletic events because I was nervous for him. But I've pushed through and done things despite my stupid nerves and this makes small things like being able to fly without the use of drugs something to be proud of.
3. Running makes everything good.
I know I'm mostly preaching to the converted BUT there is very little that running doesn't improve. You sleep better, can eat more, have less stress, meet the world's nicest people, get to travel to interesting places to sweat, have better mental health, get to throw interesting comments (yes, I've just run 36k before breakfast because I'm training for a marathon) into conversations with complete strangers and wear really great shoes that are actually comfortable.
4. Things will get better.
There have been some times in my life when problems have been so intense that I haven't been able to see past them. Time and patience has generally always gotten me to a better place. And getting through the tough times has taught me lessons in perspective, tolerance, understanding and contentment.
5. Being kind makes the world a better place.
Lending a hand or an ear to someone who's in need. Opening a door for another. Making a meal for someone who's sick. Giving a little bit of yourself gives you so much back.
6. There are worse things in life than stretch marks.
Being perfect was always my goal and it took me years to realise that it was ridiculously unobtainable and a huge waste of energy. I spent so much time trying to be perfect that I didn't have any fun. If I could have a do-over of my life that's the thing that I'd most like to fix. I didn't know then what I know now - that being a normal, flawed, imperfect person with a little touch of crazy, is way more attractive to other people.
I'm not planning on any big party to celebrate this milestone. I'm going to do what I really enjoy - catch up with my friends over breakfasts and coffees and enjoy their company. If I'm lucky I might manage to stretch to a birthweek instead of just a birthday.
I might not be able to give you a cupcake but at least I can tease you with one.