I’m almost FIFTY.

Really I’m just 45 (today) but for months now I’ve been saying, “I’m almost fifty” and it’s starting to sink in. I’ve been very mindful of my advancing age and thoughtful about how I’m spending my time, what I’m accomplishing, if the 24/7 effort to maintain balance is worth it. I’ve not reached a conclusion yet, but I’m eager to freeze in time, this 45 year-old woman, so that I can look back and remember this person that I am right now.

Here’s a list of things I know, believe, wonder about and do.

1. Today, the final lesson for Library of Memories 2010 was posted. I have been teaching this class for 5 years. I am proud of that.

2. I have degenerative arthritis in my big toe. I found out yesterday. I am sad.

3. I like liverwurst and cream cheese on bagels when I am pregnant. Since I never want to be pregnant again, I wonder if I’ll ever eat liverwurst again. It’s odd how often I mull over random stuff like this.

4. My new upstairs office is 98% finished. I’m celebrating my birthday, by spending time in there (alone.) I want to clean and dream and maybe even move a few things in!

5. I am incredibly blessed to have a beautiful Korean daughter who is 100% girl and completely animated. Addie is learning to speak in full sentences (I want movie please) and brings me indescribable JOY every single day.

6. I am tired a LOT of the time and I’m frustrated about this. I want my energy back. NOW.

7. I watched American Idol last night and I still think Harry Connick Jr. is HOT (and funny.)

8. I started this list a few weeks ago, with number 17. Apparently I have issues with doing things in chronological order. I’m not kidding.

9. Have you eaten pistachio pudding lately? You should. It’s really yummy.

10. My children are growing up too fast. Clark just got his first speeding ticket and Taft is doing fractions. What?

11. Diets DON’T work. I have known this for a long time, but I have recently proven it again. What works, is not eating junk and exercising with weights. I am currently doing 20 minute workouts on the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD.

12. While I really would like to be “shredded,” I’m also quite OK with my tummy that sticks out (just a little) and I LOVE the squishy middle-aged hugs I get from my husband. He still has great biceps!

13. I keep seeing Hugh Macleod’s art popping up here and there. I’ve been a fan of his for a long time. His book, Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity Is one of my all time favorites. His most current mantra is “Remember Who You Are.” This is a good mantra, as long as you allow the person you were yesterday to evolve just a little today so you can become the person you need to be tomorrow.

14. I don’t believe in good luck or bad luck.

15. I want to buy flowers, transfer them to my colorful pots and “summerize” my front porch on Saturday.

16. Rice is always good to me. Maybe there’s something to the BRAT diet after all.

17. With the exception of expensive Chanel foundation and lipstick from Laura Mercier I buy my makeup at Walgreens.

18. I can produce a pretty respectable belch (mother of boys)

19. I also tend to squeal at the top of a yawn and I sneeze really, really loud.

20. Another word for challenge is change–just remove the ‘lle’ and you’ll see. When we face challenges, we are accepting changes. We are in essence saying, I’m willing to sacrifice comfort for growth. We cannot get stronger or make progress without resistance that pushes us out of our comfort zone.

21. There are changes on my horizon. I know this because I feel so challenged lately.

22. I believe what matters most is what lasts the longest. Foremost in my mind, faith in God, an eternal family and the freedom that comes from making wise choices and being prepared.

23. The number “23″ has been my lucky number since the 3rd grade. This is true even though I don’t believe in good luck. Go figure.

24. I need to eat more vegetables.

25. I want to learn how to bake really yummy, homemade bread. I’ve always thought that by now (age 45) I would know how to bake bread.

26. I am going to the Jack Johnson concert at The Gorge (here in WA) on October 2nd. I’m pretty excited about this.

27. Darci wore these Keen”rice bag” shoes when she was at my house. Mine are on their way!

28. I need to stop spending money.

29. I’m learning to like watching golf. Truly.

30. I really like milk. I always have. I like the idea of milk and think of it as the ultimate comfort food. When I travel I buy steamed milk from Starbucks. I also think chocolate milk is surprisingly satisfying.

31. I’m terrible at sewing patches in scout uniforms. I’m just not that kind of a mom (wish I was just a little more fastidious about stuff like that!)

32. Polka dots make me happy.

33. Toasted cheese sandwiches and tomato soup makes me happy.

34. I’ve learned that some of my loyalties and “love marks” can change. I now like Life Water better than Vitamin Water. Hard to believe, but true.

36. I used to stay up very late one night a week. Now, because my hubby snores, I’ve been getting up once or twice a week very early — I like the extra hours of quiet productivity. Either side of morning is fine with me.

37. I’d like to save  my money for one of these.

38. We have just 4 jars of raspberry jam left in our freezer. I’m looking forward to making more in July.

39. I’m learning to take long showers. I used to pride myself on super-fast showers, but lately I’m wondering why I should rush a shower and I’m allowing myself to linger from time to time. I suppose this is all part of my S-L-O-W down exercise in 2010.

40. I can’t believe it’s been FIVE years since I turned 40.

41. I hate cold sores–especially the ones in the corner of your mouth.  In fact, the only thing that is remotely positive about a corner cold sore is the fact that for several days after one clears up, you have an odd awareness of how wonderful it is to open your mouth wide. I had a nastly cold sore for two weeks last month and I’m feeling so grateful for my “stretchy” mouth skin that lets be take a big bite of something!

42. I’ve given up on ever being tan.

43. I have a favorite water bottle that I fill up every morning and drink from. I would be very sad if I had to use another water bottle.

44. I LOVE being a mother. Most days, I also really like being a mother.

45. I have a really good mother — I think I can never appreciate her enough. Sometimes I’m not very nice to the people I love most of all.  I am working on this.

46. I am learning to wear sunglasses. I used to always forget — not so anymore–old, tired eyes to blame.

47. Sometimes I feel very alone. I work hard and I go fast and I don’t make enough time for friends. This is Ok, until I need a friend. I have some very wonderful girlfriends that put up with me. I’m hoping this year to be more available to them and to reciprocate time and kindness back to them.

48. I am not the person I want to be, but I am not afraid to die.

49. I want to live until I’m 97 or 98. Ninety nine is too close to 100 (like, how sad she almost made it) and 100 is very old, I don’t know if I really want to make it to 100.

50. Life is hard, but it is very, very good.

If you made it this far, I consider you my friend!

NOTE: You can download your own “Remember Who You Are” poster by Hugh Macleod HERE. And, I borrowed the birthday list idea from Cathy Z.

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