I just turned 53 and while it’s not considered a milestone birthday, it’s important in my life.  So, I’ve been looking back at my past life and all that shaped me and here are some things that stand out when I reflect on turning 53.

Reflections on Turning 53I’m glad that I quit smoking 12 years ago.  ‘Nuff said.

I love my family, the whole lot of them.  We laugh more than we cry or yell and that’s important.

My mother can’t remember my name, never has.  I’m usually called by one of my sister’s names and when I point it out she tells me “You know who you are!”

I’m glad I met my second husband when I was in my 40’s, not my 20’s.  We wouldn’t have liked each other then (for one thing I was still a smoker and he hates smokers,) we both needed to go through the lessons we each learned from our first marriages in order to be better partners to each other.

I miss my brother who died last year and I miss my dad who died 15 years ago.

I quit smoking, got divorced, started taking yoga, lost weight and became a yoga teacher all within a three year period in my early 40’s.  Wow, that really changed my outlook.

I spent my school years wanting to be a writer.  But that dream was lost in raising a family and making a living.  I guess this blog is my way back to that dream.

I hate broccoli and most other vegetables—but I love pico de gallo with fresh tomatoes.  When I was growing up, you couldn’t leave a table without eating all your veggies.  Those were some long nights.  My son loves broccoli and is willing to try a lot of different veggies.  My only dining rule was that you didn’t have to eat anything that you hated, but you had to try it first before you could declare it disgusting.

I’m glad the world isn’t as bleak as I once predicted.  In high school I had to do a timeline of the future for ecology class.  Within 25 years on my timeline, I had the world destroyed by a nuclear war.  What can I say, I was a child of my times.  Having grown up in the 60’s and 70’s with the cold war and weekly tests of the air raid sirens–one of which was right on the corner of our street–I had a bleak outlook.  Couple that with a “suffering” writer attitude and a fascination with both Edgar Allen Poe and Stephen King, what else was I going to think?

Yoga and Facebook really helped me out of my shell.  I used to be shy, sometimes still am.  But teaching yoga made me get up in front of people on a weekly basis and Facebook made me talk about myself.  I still remember my first few months on Facebook, I wouldn’t put up a picture, but I would play Mafia Wars.  The first few months of this blog?  I deleted and then started over several months later.

I like birthday pie, not cake, please.  Something of a family tradition, Mom always made each of us our favorite pie for our birthday, she excelled at pies.  Cakes were for parties, pies were for us.  To this day, I still want a strawberry pie (dear God, NOT strawberry rhubarb) for my birthday.  It’s funny how each of us had our own specific pie that we liked.

I’m lucky that my mother, at 95, is still with us.  As a child of older parents (they were 42 when they had me,) I always grew up thinking that old was 10 years older than whatever age my parents were at that time.  So, in my mind, none of us has gotten old because right now, old is 105.  I’m still her “baby” as she likes to remind me, so how can 53 be old?

No matter your age, what are those things that shaped you and stand out in your life?