Today is my birthday. I am now the big 50!!!
I haven't been this excited about a birthday since I turned 40. I love birthdays. Not just mine, but I love celebrating my kids' birthdays and friends' as well.
I believe every year we are alive is a blessing, a gift, from God. Whether we know it or not, our days upon this earth are numbered. Life is meant to be an adventure! We are here to learn and to experience what it means to be human. We are here to love, to laugh, to cry, to mourn, to hope, to feel gratitude, to forgive, and to be forgiven.
I wake every morning with a determination to make that day count. I'm a list-maker. Each day begins with a list of what I want to accomplish. Often, I don't complete everything on that list, but I feel a sense of pride when things are checked off, even if it's just getting a load of laundry done or writing 500 words of my latest book.
I don't watch much TV because I believe time is a precious commodity and should not be wasted. I love spending as much time as I can doing the things I love to do with the people I love the most. I have no regrets about how I've spent the past fifty years, particularly in relation to my kids. Some of my favorite things I've enjoyed doing and still do with my kids are going to museums; attending theater productions and concerts; supporting my kids in their sports, music, theater, etc.; going to the park; volunteering wherever my kids are involved (I even coached my son's basketball team once); taking my kids out to lunch; going to the beach; going to Disneyland; watching movies; and a whole lot more.
I've woven together a lifetime of wonderful memories and have great relationships with all five of my children. That alone has made my life worthwhile.
But I've done some other things of which I'm pretty proud as well: served a full-time mission for my church; earned a B.A. and M.A.; published many books and earned several awards; started my own business and helped other authors publish their books; volunteered in many capacities including (my favorite) at the local theater where three of my kids have performed; and served in many callings in church including Gospel Doctrine Instructor, Choir Director, Nursery Leader, Primary Teacher, Young Women Presidency, Relief Society Instructor, Relief Society Presidency, & Primary President.
But at 50 years old, I'm only halfway done. What do I still want to accomplish?
I want to travel to Alaska, Hawaii, Rome, and all over the U.S.. I want to write more books and get
published with a top publisher. I want to learn languages like Latin and Spanish and Korean and Greek. I want to study the history of Christianity and maybe get a degree in it. I want to build my publishing business. I want to see all my kids succeed in college, get married and have families, and be happy. I want to study music like piano and voice and guitar. I want to read hundreds of books.
I'm not worried because my #1 goal is to live to 100! So I have plenty of time to get all this done. Mostly, when my life finally does come to an end, I want to look back and feel satisfied that I've done something good in the world, that I've made a difference somehow, not only in the lives of my kids but for other people as well. I hope to be able to do that with my books, but God's not finished with me yet. He may have some things planned for me that I haven't foreseen.
I'm grateful for every day, every hour, I draw breath. I'm grateful for the experiences, good and bad, that life has given me thus far. And mostly I'm grateful for my family. I'm grateful to love and to be loved.
God bless, and here's to another 50 years!