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It’s almost my birthday. For the last several years I’ve actually downplayed this date – not wanting any fuss and trying desperately to forget I had wasted another year of my life. This birthday is different. This year I have a full weekend’s worth plans with friends and I am almost giddy over people making a fuss to celebrate ME. Why? What’s changed so much? For starters, I’m getting a year back.

Oh what’s this? Did I find a time machine? Ha – no such luck. Instead I found out I’m just bad at simple addition. You see I’m 45 – what I have long considered to be the midpoint in life. I viewed the entire year as teetering on the pinnacle edge before spilling over into the latter half of my unremarkable lifespan. From here on it’s the proverbial downhill slide.

Then my lovely mother reminded me that I’m only 44.

Do you know that this means?!?! DO-OVER!!! One of those rare cosmic twists  where I get a second chance. Ok, so it’s a second chance to be something I wasn’t really in the first place. Except that I truly thought I was, and therefore it has been my reality. But since I’ve already spent nearly twelve months fretting over what I have/haven’t/should’ve/might’ve/wish-I-hadn’t done, I don’t have to do it again.

It’s incredibly liberating!

I actually get some time to enjoy balancing on this precarious edge (it’s a Libra trait). In these last few days of ol’ 44, I can take an appreciative look back and see that I’ve actually accomplished quite a bit, and started a lot more, and dreamt of even more. This lets me look ahead with greater optimism and decide which of those plans and projects to finish, which are best laid to rest, and give myself permission to accept new and braver challenges. After all, I’m only going to be 45! With technology and a healthy stubborn streak, that means I’m actually not at the halfway point yet. I can revisit this conversation for several years to come. Unless of course I skew the numbers again and lose another year or two somewhere, then I may just start randomly drawing numbers out of a hat -a brightly decorated, super glittery, birthday hat!

PS: I wish you all a very Happy Birthday – whenever that may be.