50 for 50

So, it’s my 50th birthday today.  Yeh, I can hardly believe it myself. I surprise myself every time I catch a glance in a passing window, wondering why my mom is tagging along.  Oh wait…..

But, instead of focusing on some of the mournful aspects of turning officially 50 (body changes oh my…)…..I want to mark this day with my own personal list of 50 things for which I am grateful.  I want to put up this list for me (to mark as my memory goes, sooner I fear rather than later); it is not anywhere close to all encompassing, it will not list every person because that list would probably be endless and my memory is going so I wouldn’t remember the names and then I’d get all stressed out and, well, you get the idea…..

It’s my birthday and I’ll list as I want to.  No particular order or relevance or profundity – mundane and inane and momentous included.  It’s barely a scratch of the surface of the goodness in my blessed life.  Just as with people, impossible to list every thing to be thankful for.  Comments will be closed because this post/list, really, it’s for me to officially recognize all the bounty of goodness and wonder in my life.  

Now, today at 50, here we go….

50 for 50:

  1. My family: husband, each and all my kids.
  2. My mom and dad and sister and brothers;  my nieces and nephews.
  3. My Godchildren.
  4. My faith and my church, the Catholic Church and all that comes with it: the saints, the smells the bells the big perpetual global prayer that unites us all, the eucharist and the simplicity and beauty of this mind blowing truest thing.
  5. my friends, old, new, virtual and in real life….don’t know what I’d do without them/you. close ones far ones near and dear and darn ones……
  6. raspberries and blackberries
  7. coffee, espresso, iced coffee
  8. Vanilla almond milk for my iced coffee
  9. the warm soft early summer air in the south before the air turns heavy dripping with humidity later
  10. the beach, any and all
  11. Carlsbad, perhaps my favorite place, anywhere
  12. novenas
  13. the rosary
  14. the Dominican Provence of St Joseph
  15. my bulldog sitting next to me as I read
  16. spending much of my childhood riding my horse all over
  17. horseback rides with my dad, both the long trail rides through the desert and the local walkabouts around the neighborhoods
  18. sitting out in the ocean, beyond the breakers waiting for the next set on the boogie board as a teen
  19. yakking in the sun with girlfriends who are (still) like sisters as we waited and teased each other (or they teased me) for being scared for the next set of waves
  20. figuring out, finally, how to make really good homemade bread/boule with a crunchy crust and a soft airy inside
  21. watching my kids, especially my big boys, devour the bread I make
  22. singing badly in the car to old songs just to aggravate the kids, as needed
  23. having run a few marathons, having loved running a few half marathons
  24. college. grad school. all of it.
  25. reading, forever my favorite thing
  26. electronics and our convenient world; the net, iphones, email
  27. e-readers, the kindle and ipad for the liberating ease of use and portability
  28. routines of stretching for helping my body age and transition
  29. girls night out, especially when it involves my sister
  30. wine and lemon drop martinis
  31. the “love letters” my son makes me: books and songs and pictures
  32. saturday night standing date night with my tom
  33. movies, especially going OUT to movies
  34. hearing my kids play music and sing
  35. listening to my kids play the music and sing downstairs in the living room as I lie above them drifting to sleep in bed
  36. late afternoons at the beach as the sun starts sinking lower and the crowds fade off and the sand starts to cool but the last bites of conversation or being are still being savored
  37. late afternoons at the pool watching my kids swim and reading as the heat of the day ebbs away
  38. prepping and making a sunday dinner as tom takes the kids out on boat and the house gets quiet and I can prepare a simple ‘feast’ to mark the best day of the week
  39. sundays
  40.  my family still being connected despite all of us being different and in different places, we are and will be there for each other
  41. watching my nephews graduate from college with my sister
  42. a baby, especially my babies, falling asleep on my chest
  43. the difficult events in my life that have scared me, tested me, indeed darn near or indeed broken me…because I healed stronger.
  44. being able to give an assist, however small, to others who’ve found themselves struggling with the same or similar events or issues
  45. the Liturgy of the Hours
  46. telling my kids jokes that only their dad and I get, sharing the high fives with him
  47. making sure my kids know I’m a laugh riot
  48. the smell of tom’s neck and his arms around me
  49. bubbly water, bubbly anything
  50. waking up to face this next era, knowing that life is beautiful, challenging, and all gift.