An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Monday, February 6, 2017

Fifty and a Day

Yesterday was my birthday ... my 50th birthday, to be exact.

Did it bother me, turning fifty? Scare me? Make me feel old? The answer is no, no, and no. I felt the same yesterday, on my birthday, as I did the day before. I feel the same today as I did 10 years ago. A birthday is a birthday is a birthday.

BUT, it is an important milestone and I had some definite thoughts as to how I wanted to approach it. The first thing I decided was that one day wasn't enough; that is, I didn't want to focus on a single day but make the entire year one big birthday adventure. So I said no to a big party, but yes to a weekend in Atlanta; I said no to jewelry, but yes to a one year membership for the High Museum of Art; I said no to a spa day, but yes to a road trip. I plan to do things I've never done, eat food I've never tried, hang out with people I've never met, and visit places I've never seen.

Lord Byron wrote that there is pleasure in the pathless woods, and that's how I want to move forward.

That's my plan. This is how I will celebrate.

Of course, I did have a lovely weekend. Friday night my parents gave us tickets to the Italian American Club Pasta Festival, after which we traveled to Uganda, Philippines, and Guatemala via The Compassion Experience. Saturday afternoon Edible Arrangement #1 arrived, and later we had dinner at my parents' house where they decorated the dining room with all things 50 -- banners, balloons, and signs. My mom (per my request) made homemade pizza (because it's the best) AND  homemade cannoli (again, the best). On Sunday I woke up to two heart-shaped Boston cream donuts, went for a morning hike in the woods with Joe and the boys, and graciously shared my day with the Super Bowl while we munched on Edible Arrangement #2. (I have a funny story about those Edible Arrangements, so stay tuned.) That evening I logged on to Facebook and read email and felt the love.

The whole weekend was warm and fuzzy, just the way I like it.

Believe me, fifty is a big deal. And it should be celebrated. And it does make one introspective. But more than anything it left me floating on a cloud of gratitude -- for this life God has given me, for my husband and sons, for my friends and family, for morning hikes and midnight walks, for the imperfect and perfect.

And for adventure found in pathless woods.

photo 10/16

There Is Pleasure In The Pathless Woods
– By Lord Byron
(from Childe Harold, Canto IV, Verse 178)

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.

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