Tomorrow, I turn 52 years old.
So many clichés, so little time.
It's been quite the ride, you know? Day by day, month by month, year by year. Changes. Lessons learned. Mistakes made. Growth. Evolution.
Millions of them, patch-worked together to form a life.
One I wouldn't trade for anything, with anyone.
One I can't wait to explore further.
Part of being happy, content, satisfied, exhilarated with life is knowing, without question, how very lucky, blessed, charmed you are to have what you have, to value what you have, to want what you have.
To be filled by what you have, to overflowing, with every emotion known to man and some not yet defined.
To be grateful for all of it. Not just the choice bits of it. All of it. Every scar, every smile, every tear, every squeal, every gently nodding knowing, every mind blowing wonder. All of it.
ALL of it.
And to beg, plead, strive for more, every day, with every waking breath.
This is what I've learned in 52 years. All of it matters. Every moment builds on the ones before it to create the life you dwell inside, the life you inhabit, alone. The life that is yours and yours alone, at the end of it all.
What will you do with it? With them? With those moments you are given to squander or treasure, but never, ever to bank. They can't be hoarded away; 525,600 pennies in a Mason jar equaling a year "saved." They must be used. They must be lived. Well or poorly - that's your choice. Your prerogative.
Use them or lose them. Forever.
What'll it be?
More to the point...how will it be?
Will you be brave? Bold?
Will you cower? Fear?
Will you love, wide open?
Will you learn, without end?
Will you define yourself, your life, on your terms?
Or will you be defined?
It's up to you.
It's my birthday.
It's my life.
It's up to me.
all of it.
*Title quote borrowed from Lewis Carroll. Of course. Who else?