Today is my fifty-eighth birthday.

1. self-acceptance

2. increased contentment

3. grey hair = natural highlights

4. less hair on legs (for real!)

5. hands look capable and have that cool, veiny look

6. already having most household stuff you need

7. long-term friendships

8. less striving

9. having nothing to prove to anyone but oneself

10. Early Bird specials: an evening out and you still have a full evening left at home!

11. getting up early to enjoy the morning quiet
12. forgetfulness means arguments are shorter and less frequent
13. visits from our grown kids
14. senior discounts (although 55 is NOT a senior)
15. the realization that age truly is just a number (55 still not senior, though)
16. wisdom showing up, whether you sought it or not
17. encouraging younger folks on their journey
18. comfort >fashion (to a certain extent)
19. giving oneself the privilege of not finishing a book you don’t like
20. online courses in subjects you find interesting
21. learning for the sheer joy of it
22. gratitude to and for others
23. remembering all the times God has been faithful
24. diminishing fear
25. knowing how to cook
26. trying new things when you want to and not trying them when you don’t
27. courage – how’d we get so brave?
28. growing faith
29. prioritizing becomes second nature
30. wearing less makeup takes less time and looks better, too
31. going to bed at 8:30 if you want to
32. feeling less competitive with others of your gender
33. realizing you have a boatload of skills you’ve picked up over the years
34. passing those skills along to others
35. freedom to say no to buying stuff to keep up with the Joneses
36. realizing you have no desire to keep up with the Joneses
37. realizing you don’t even notice what the Joneses have, anyway
38. looking forward to that first cup of tea each morning.
39. but that second cuppa – Heaven!
40. letting go of clutter with no remorse
41. realizing you kind of like yourself, warts and all
42. having plenty of silverware

43. still needing more Fiesta ware, though.
44. long car rides with a long-time spouse
45. freedom to enjoy a life that is not perfect
46. freedom to love fully, with no reservations
47. knowing that, no matter what, things will get better
48. granny panties – cotton, comfort and coverage
49. no more monthly
50. everyone you meet reminds you of someone you already know and probably love
51. appreciating the little things more than ever
52. fewer freakouts over trivial BS
53. reaching age 50 and telling AARP you don’t want their stupid card
54. letting your freak flag fly
55. the colors I like > Panetone’s Colors of the Year
56. even if I like the same colors for twenty years
57. realizing life is not a contest and finding joy in cheering on others
58. deep and abiding gratitude to God