Sunday, May 1, 2022

Another Year Older

It was my birthday a couple of days ago. On a Thursday. A workday. So, not the best day for celebration, but adult life, you know? It is what it is. 

I figured my 50th year on planet earth was going to be an exciting one. It's just one of those landmark years, you know, and here I am now, a few days on the other side. Fifty-one? Whoosh! (That's the sound of time passing at what feels like supersonic speed.)

Not today's treat, but you get the idea
The day itself, was pretty good. I let myself have a Bee One Thousand (cinnamon and honey concoction) skim latte, a country ham and cheddar biscuit, and a comic book from the Hillsborough Cup-a-Joe, even though that's a treat normally reserved for Fridays. 

I'm a great believer in small treats and pleasures as a way to keep your spirits up and getting out of bed had been a hard sell. 

When I got to school, I found that my Bulldog Buddy (a sort of year long Secret Santa) had left me a birthday bag on my chair with a beautiful cupcake on top and lots of great treats inside including a bookstore gift card! (I've got some suspicions about who my Buddy is, and some guilt because I'm not nearly as good at finding awesome things for MY Bulldog Buddy). 

Another teacher friend made sure to tell all the sixth graders that it was my birthday, so all day, kids stopped by my room and stuck notes and little pieces of art to my classroom door. Kids at their most charming and endearing :-)

This kid didn't even know how much I love frogs

After school, I picked up some fast food. It's not the meal I would have picked, but there was limited time between school and my hair appointment, and I get hangry if I don't see to those needs. 

Throughout the day, I received text and social media well wishes, and lots of silly memes and songs to make me smile. 

I spent the evening getting my locks colored and shaped at Syd's, which is a really charming hair shop in Carrboro that deals well with customers like me (middle aged ladies who want funky-colored hair and low fuss but awesome haircuts) and the younger kid (awesome but picky and prickly teenager). I've been a customer there off and on during all my time in North Carolina, and I appreciate the vibe as well as the hair expertise. 

Feeling pretty

Then I got home, finally ate that pretty cupcake and opened some gifts from my sister (extra sweet of her now that she lives further away and had to ship them to me), and caught up with my husband, dogs, and the kid still at home. 

It was a nice respite in what has felt like a whirlpool (of the Scylla and Charybdis variety) these past few weeks. 

I've been in the middle of a job hunt (leaving teaching for the corporate world for a different variety of stress, some flexibility, and more money). 

My eldest kid is about to graduate college. 

We've had some new health things to deal with as well as a home improvement project that we're still resettling the house after. 

It feels like everyone around me is facing heartache. Some friends lost their son. A student lost her father. A colleague is battling cancer. The youngest kid's best friend just lost their dog. 

So, my emotions have been seriously mixed. Celebrating my own good news can feel heartless when those around me are suffering. 

But a birthday is a natural time to look back at your life. My 50th year on planet earth was, in the scheme of things, pretty damn good. 

Personal: my health is good as in that of all my nearest and dearest, my life is stable, and I have lots of love around me. 16 years into marriage, I'm still stupidly happy. 22 years into motherhood and my kids are still the best ones in the world. Nearly a year into life with our new pups and they charm me daily. 

My family in our holiday PJs



I always tell folks that I love drama in my fiction, but I want a rather boring and serene life, and right now that's what I've got and I am grateful for that. 

Writing: It was a pretty good year for my writing life. I began my 50th year by entering the editing process on the fourth Menopausal Superhero novel, Be the Change, and seeing it through to publication.

Five of my short stories made it out there into the world, too. You can read four of them online here: 

The fifth one was in an anthology and came out on my 51st birthday, so that was a nice present :-)



I wrote a lot, too. From birthday to birthday, I wrote 379,046 words. I revised 179, 611 words. For 2022, I set a goal of submitting my writing 100 times and I've already hit 56 submissions at the 1/4 of the year mark. Not too shabby! Especially when you consider that I do this with a full time day job. 

All in all, quite a good year and my 51st year is already shaping up with some exciting adventures including a change of career and some travel! Keep an eye on this spot for the details. In the meantime, may this year be your best year yet and give you many reasons for joy. 



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