A letter to myself on a Milestone Birthday


August 14, 2019

Hey you,

You made it to sixty-five. Congratulations. Many people don’t.

Or they make it, but have health issues. Mobility restrictions.

Take too many pills.

Suffer loneliness.

Become bitter.

Not you.

You enjoy great health.

While aches do appear, you can still take the long walks that you love and get up off the floor.

You can tie your shoes.

Hear the cardinals chirp.

Hike up a waterfall.

Polish your toes.

Host the holidays and cook for a crowd.

Getting your Medicare card was quite incredulous.

Am I really this old?

You feel like thirty-eight on the inside. Well, maybe forty-two.

You need glasses to read and grip railings on stairs, especially when the cat darts between your legs.

You are fearful of falling.

Sleep has become a problem. When you wake up to pee three times in the night, your over-active brain takes over.

What was the name of that movie with Lee Marvin?

Who won the World Series last year?

What should I make for dinner when the Steffen’s come on Sunday? Did I do pork the last time?

Did I leave the laundry in the dryer?

Now it’s 4 am and I’ll never get back to sleep.

I’ll be a zombie all day. Damn it.

Hey you.

You are the luckiest lady alive.

You’ve celebrated a happy marriage that’s been intact for forty-two years and you still hold hands in public.

You raised two healthy, thriving adult children, now happily married, with wonderful spouses you adore.

These said children actually call you frequently and want to spend time with you. And take vacations with you.

Don’t gasp. Very Terry never embellishes the truth.

You welcomed a granddaughter and grandson that are the brightest stars in the sky.

You cherish a diverse circle of friends that you can count on and trust completely. They make you laugh, let you vent (thank you Meaux),  meet you for coffee,  share their Belvitas (thank you Mary), forgive your flaws and never judge, even when you eat Cheryl’s leftover pastry at Ambrosia.

The roof over your head is paid for and the hot water tank provides clean sheets, towels and clothes.

You love your dentist.

You have an obscene amount of grocery stores nearby.

You wave at the mailman and UPS driver.

Many experience none of these.

You appreciate and are grateful for all of this.

You take none of this for granted.

But, you are often hard on yourself. Way too hard.

You waste time on stupid errands and playing solitaire when you should be painting or writing.

You worry too much.

You make to-do lists that zap your energy when you can’t check each task off by the end of the day.

You answer email too promptly.

You won’t go swimming because you just washed your hair. Really? Now that’s pathetic.

You drink wine and watch “House Hunters International” when you should be reading the book Jacquie recommended or staring at the moon by a bonfire.

You can be better.

You can do better.

Go ahead.

Eat that piece of carrot cake.

Lick the frosting off another piece.

After all, it is your birthday.

The empathy you feel for others, without fail, can be spread a bit on yourself now and then.

You can allow self-care.

You can slow down. Take a nap.

You can say no without a reason.

You don’t have to do everything.

You can do nothing.

You have my permission.

You are still a work in progress.



When I see nine-year-old me with such promise, I hope I lived up to her childhood dreams for a life well-lived.

I didn’t achieve greatness, fame or accolades.

I could lose a few pounds.

I should have worn my retainer when my braces came off.

I should have been more diligent with sunscreen.

But in the end, I am loved and I love back. Wholeheartedly.

Isn’t that really all that matters for a happy life?

Sixty-five years. A magnificent life all around.

Happy Birthday, you.

I wouldn’t change a thing.




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Filed under: Lifestyle, Observations

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