As I lay in bed this morning I had all these incredibly brilliant thoughts running through my head that would be perfect for this blog. Sadly, once my feet hit the floor, I'd fed the cat, and turned on the coffee pot...those thoughts disappeared. So now we are all left with whatever else is somersaulting through my brain at this hour, especially dangerous since I haven't had that coffee yet.
Today I turn 43. I know everyone is thinking that I don't look a day over 42...yet. But it's true. This is technically my 44 year on the planet and as I was so recently reminded by my 14 year old son, I am middle aged. While he was saying it in only the way a teenager who doesn't want to live to see their next birthday can, he spoke the truth. I am in the middle of my ages. And in the spirit of what that means (whatever that means) I embrace the number that goes beside my name this year. I will own 43 with such zeal that everyone I know who has not yet reached this year will be "damn skippy, if that's what 43 looks like I can't wait for a shot at that!"
But indulge me in a "let me digress" moment here. I am not a "rock star" as so many of my friends like to call me. But I do believe in singing, loudly, sometimes off key, as often as possible. I believe in looking at someone and belting out "baby you're a firework" if they have done something amazing, or calling my friends and instead of just leaving a call me back message on their voice mail, I sing random Adele lyrics. I sing in the car, in the shower, while I'm running, in the middle of a conversation...I just sing. Opera day is often a featured event in my home, much to the delight of some (and to the embarrassment of others).
I can't be a rock star because I am so ridiculously fashioned challenged. Sure, I can pin all the best looks, but stand in the middle of my closet and you would think you stepped into the "mom zone." You know, yoga pants, tees, tennis shoes. Sure, there are flashes of brilliance, moments when I might cause a few heads to turn (and not because I'm wearing purple and yellow together-not that there is anything wrong with that). But those moments are few and far between. If I were a rock star, I'd have a stylist. I don't have a stylist. I have a six year old daughter who thinks she's a stylist. But she wears purple tutus and leopard print turtlenecks. Get my drift?
Okay, so now that we have established all of that, I'll move forward. To the what I do know part of my year ahead. I know that I will keep moving. Literally. I have always been an "active" person. When I was younger I played tennis, swam, ran cross country, played softball, rode a bike. As life changed I became more sedentary. Sure I went to the YMCA and I walked on the treadmill. I did yoga. But it was a routine. Now I get up in the morning (not this morning because I'm writing this) and before that cup of coffee (which I still haven't had a first sip of yet this morning) I put on my running clothes and go. Just run (or walk, some days I walk) and it is a new, improved routine. One foot in front of the other. Which is really all of us can do most days in most situations anyway. Just move.
So really, 43 means to me being more...me. Not apologizing for things that I shouldn't apologize for (a terrible habit of mine that I am working to break). Standing taller and speaking louder about the things I believe in and support (Shot@Life being one of them, you should check them out. There is a great thing happening this month called "blogust" where for each comment made on a blog connected to the event, $20 is donated to help vaccinate a child. That's cool. Okay, social media do good moment over). I will sing louder and more often. I will buy a pair of shoes that have sparkles on them. I will run longer but not necessarily faster. I will tell my friends I love them and not be embarrassed to do so.
I will have the happiest of days today and as a friend reminded me this morning, I will have the best of a birthday season. I will, no doubt, continue to drive my friends and family crazy with what appears to be my endless energy and enthusiasm towards all things about transforming our communities, about reforming education, about making sure those who have not had a voice are given a chance to speak, and about my never ending quest to find the perfect hat (what better goal to aspire to than to be Bartholomew Cubbins?). There are 24 hours in a day, I plan to make them all count in some way. Some will count more than others, but each day will be a day well spent. I will be thankful when it is time to be thankful, but I won't make excuses for others and their bad or rude or insincere behavior. If you did it, own it, say so, then move on, don't just pretend it never happened or convince yourself that because someone appears to have their life together or they are moving in the right direction that your actions weren't hurtful. If you know they were, then they were. It's never too late to apologize. Ever. But mean it when you say it. I am 43. I am too old for that kind of nonsense. In fact, regardless of your age, so are you.
Okay. No more lectures. We all know how to live a better life, to be those rock stars others think we are. We don't need anyone (not even me, although it's my birthday so I get to stand on my soap box a bit and you have to indulge me and listen) to tell us what to do. We just need to do it (whatever the 'it" is in our own lives). Every day is about "Carpe Diem"...and for me, coffee.
Because as Lincoln said "... in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
Look out world, because baby, I AM a firework. Boom Boom Boom. Brighter than the Moon. Watch out 43, I own you and you will ROCK.
Now where's my coffee?