For the last two weeks or so I have been struggling to come up with a blog post to mark 50th Birthday. I wanted to write something particularly insightful, witty and wise. Something that would make my readers, think, smile and most of all remember. I wanted to come up with some gems of wisdom which you, dear readers could quote and perhaps use as positive affirmations. I waited for this flash of inspirational wisdom which should accompany great age.

I sat down a number of times and I have about 5 half arsed pieces of nonsense – all sitting in a folder on my PC which is euphemistically titled Fabulous 50. The essays were a lot short of fabulous. It just shows you doesn’t it – good writing just comes – spontaneously… it can’t be forced to arrive to coincide with a particular occasion, birthday or otherwise.

So may I apologise for not having something beautifully moving and insightful to share with you at this juncture. I remain hopeful that the muse will return some time over this coming year and perhaps then I shall write what I wanted to share with you on the 11th of January to mark my half century.

However in the meantime, let me tell you that I am happy to be 50 – unlike last year when I definitely did not like being 49. But 50 is a kind of fulcrum like birthday – not a midpoint clearly, unless I live to be 100 but a kind of peak place from where I can look back over the last five decades and from where I look forward to the next. It is at this point that I could head off into self absorbed baloney… but I will resist that as it would bore you to tears. I will not talk about my journey thus far, or about all the things I have to be grateful for. But I will share with you a couple of small observations which I feel are important!

Life can change in the matter of a couple of minutes. One phone call, one meeting with someone and the entire scenery of your life can be transformed. I know this to be a fact. It happened to me at least twice. So – no matter how bleak things can look, hang on to hope. That old cliché about not knowing what is coming around the corner is true and has as much chance of being positive as negative.

Be open to all the possibilities life can present you. Sometimes the most wonderful opportunities can be hidden in what may not look very cool or interesting at all – think diamonds hidden in a lump of coal. Again – another cliché ‘suck it and see’ works well here. You are far more likely to regret chances not taken than ones taken that didn’t work out.

Never lose your sense of humour. I am firmly convinced that our ability to laugh especially at ourselves is one of the most precious gifts God has given us. If you haven’t laughed in a week you are in trouble. Even in the middle of the most awful crisis and traumas there can be humour. Never, ever be afraid to laugh.

Ok, this is beginning to sound like a sermon, although I seem to be on a roll all of a sudden (hello Muse – where the hell have you been?). Final thought for you and it’s a biggie. Always remember that you are in control of your emotions. We choose how we feel. Get into the habit of taking your emotional temperature throughout the day. Ask yourself ‘how am I feeling’ and if you don’t like it, change it. Choose to smile. Choose to rise above the bullshit. Choose to be optimistic. Choose NOT to be a victim… of the past, or the economy or of your current circumstances.

OK – I could actually go on for ages now… but relax I won’t.

Suffice to say….

My name is Barbara.

I choose to be optimistic and positive (most of the time – sometimes I forget!!)

Life is funny.

I am 50!

By the way – photo is of the very best card I have ever received. It is from Roisin and Mia and was made entirely by Mia, 11. Photo doesn’t do it justice!