Sunday, January 09, 2005

On Turning 50 - The Philosophy of C.

My mother spent a couple of weeks over the holidays with my brother, sister-in-law and their three kids. On New Year’s Eve, she asked my 7-year-old niece, C., “What’s your biggest heart’s desire for this next year?” And my guru, otherwise known as my niece, responded, “To be a good girl. Or else an angel.”

I’ve been “a good girl” for 50 years. I hold a Ph.D. in People Pleasing. Need someone who’ll morph into whatever you need her to be at the moment--to help YOU succeed? Then I’m your gal. But I’m hanging up my shingle, starting today. Like C., I’d like to be “a good girl” this year, but from now on, I’m going to be good to myself first. That’s where the “angel” part comes in. Because I’m still going to be an angel in other people’s lives. But instead of loaning you my wings, I’m going to show you how to grow your own. (And by “you,” I hope you realize I’m not speaking literally. My blogsisters who visit here have been the most special angels in my life this year!)

Some who know me might argue that I already lead a pretty selfish life. After all, I haven’t passed all of the ‘normal’ mileposts one usually tags on her way to 50. I didn’t graduate from college (I’m a smarty-pants who hated school)…didn’t get married (I’ve been with my mate for 10 years but still feel my inner rebel kick in when I think about getting that piece of government paper)…didn’t have babies (I didn’t meet the right guy until I was 40 and decided I didn’t want to spend my perimenopausal years changing diapers, but I adore kids and I’m very good with them)…didn’t buy a house (the thought of a 30-year mortgage sounds like a prison sentence to me, but we did just buy some land)…moved dozens of times (for a few years, I traveled with all of my stuff in the trunk of my Monte Carlo)…and held so many “permanent” (ha!) and temporary jobs that I couldn’t possibly list them all (so no retirement plan). I’ve lived an untraditional, but often fun and interesting, life and lived it on my own terms. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s all on the outside.

But on the inside, I’m a good girl. I like to help people. And I don’t do it with some ulterior motive. If I see something that I think would interest or delight or assist someone, then I pass it on or willingly provide it. Few things in life make me happier than helping someone pursue her dream(s). But there’s a flaw in that scenario. I often do it to the detriment of my own--not because the other party asks me to, but because I always end up feeling like their dreams matter more. They don’t, I just haven’t valued my dreams enough.

And it’s not that I don’t have dreams--I have loads of them. You don’t lead the kind of life I’ve led if you’re not a big dreamer at heart. But I’ve let their stock price drop way too low. So today, I’m starting over. New stock, new price. You think Google had a hot-shit IPO? You just wait.


Blogger Katherine said...

Happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy birthday!!! :)

10:40 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

Not a "blogsister", but happy birthday anyway!

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dreams are lives lived by angels passed on to our hearts for safe keeping and expansion....may your heart be full and your life continue to expand across the horizen of dreams with sens of purpose, peace and knowing you are worthy!!! Much love and Happy Birthday. Daisy-Winifred

11:06 AM  
Blogger lizardek said...

Happy Birthday, Marilyn! Here's to treating yourself right this year and all good things :)

11:10 AM  
Blogger secret agent josephine said...


1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rock on, Miss M! Happy Birthday, and I look so forward to spending time trading our stories -- which are, in many ways, strangely parallel.

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy HAPPY Birthday, Marilyn! That sounds like a fabulous plan for the next 50. I hope today was special and made you feel special. Cupcakes for everyone!! ~bluepoppy

9:08 PM  
Blogger lynn said...

oh, marilyn: d'you suppose it's still sunday somewhere in the world, so that i'm not actually technically late in wishing you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY?
i hope, i KNOW, that this will be your year to thrive and shine, and i'm pleased to share it, even a wee bit, and over here, by way of your wonderful words...
it IS a milestone; it was my best year of all, as i hope it will be for you...until the one after it, of course..:-) congratulations!

5:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wishing you a wonderful year. happy birthday marilyn!

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am LATE in wishing you a happy birthday - but I mean it, nonetheless! I'm all about extending the birthday celebration. I am loving that you are going to grow your own wings! I look forward to what this year will bring for you! - Sam

1:35 PM  
Blogger Will said...

I came over from the "Dating God" weblog to say Happy Birthday.

And just know that I'll be thinking of you with climate envy as I cross our huge freezing cold parking lot tonight.

God bless.

3:09 PM  

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