I turned 53 this month.

I’ve accomplished a lot and at the same time I feel like I’ve not accomplished much. I graduated from high school and college. I’ve had a couple of careers, with varying degrees of success. I’ve had romantic relationships, a few serious, many not. I’ve been a wife. I’ve been divorced. And widowed (sort of),

I’m a mom. I am blessed with a wonderful daughter. 

I’ve been blessed with wonderful friends and family my entire life. I’ve only recently come to realize what a true blessing this is, and not something to be taken for granted.

I have regrets. But, they don’t define me. I’ve handled situations badly. I’ve handled other situations with strength and grace. I tried, really tried, to make my marriage work. Sometimes I made bad choices. I reacted poorly. Things could have been different. Maybe.

I had the courage to leave when it was time. I had the courage to move across country, with no help but from a 12-year old and a cat.

I had the strength and courage to go back to Colorado after my ex-husband died and to do what had to be done. To deal with the house that held 20 years of memories, both wonderful and terrible. I don’t really know how I got through those trips to Colorado. It’s like a higher force took over and held me and guided me throughout.

I learned a lot about grief. I felt its crushing weight and also it’s deep lessons. Death brings us closer to life, someone said to me. I agree. I thought I could push through it and live and work as normal. I was wrong. Again, the higher force took over. It told me, “Stop. Everything. You need to heal.” That same week, my house sold. I was able to take a few months off from work and focus on healing. On radical, extreme self-care.

Today, I feel a deep sense of contentment with life. I feel grounded. My new home feels like home. My kid is happy and has made good friends. I am happy and have made good friends. I’m physically and emotionally stronger than I’ve been in years. I love my work. I’ve got much to do still. I was derailed for a long time.

I’m optimistic about life and the future. Stepping into 53. Owning it. Like a badass.