In some ways turning 50 is pretty arbitrary – just another year. In other ways, significant – you really are getting old!
For me, every birthday is special and a wonderful opportunity to give thanks for another year of memory making opportunities with special people. After initially being stressed about 50 (it has come around so quickly!), I am back to embracing the joy of another year around the sun and all the joys – past, present and future.
I had big parties for my 21st (Blaauwklippen in Stellenbosch), 30th (top of the Carlton Centre in Johannesburg), 40th (Higher Ground at St Stithians) and always thought that I would have a massive bash for my 50th. However, as the time has come closer to this milestone – and the start of my mid-life crisis I like to say as someone who is aiming for that century! – I have realised that that is not what I want.
Instead, I am trying harder than ever to be conscious in:
- Moving. Doing exercise. Being active. Appreciating my body. While I will never be a model, I love sport, fitness and activity and want to use my body. My flexibility is dreadful and so I am trying to improve that. As someone who can’t stand stretching, a challenge ….
- Taking a breath. Slowing down. Giving myself the luxury of time. While I love teh breadth of my life and the many diverse happenings every day, I also want to consciously enjoy it all more deeply. Depth getting some attention alongside the breadth. And also taking time to do nothing!
- Exploring more religion and spirituality in my life
- Donating more of my resources to charities and organisations, especially ones focused on entrepreneurship and education (Kiva and Thandulwazi are good examples)
- Reading more
- Working even harder, much harder, with the amazing teams at EasyEquities (my fulltime day job), KleinBlouKlip, CN&CO, Sparky’s and Ami to realise all our dreams!
- Every night thinking about what I could have done better that day. Like all of us, I make mistakes, have regrets and sometimes fall short of the expectations I have of myself. But, like all of us again, introspection and forgiveness helps us to start anew each day. Perhaps the greatest gift of all
- Laughing – a lot. Especially at myself
- Continuing to see the glass as overflowing and helping others to realise their glasses are also half full, not half empty.
In addition, each month of my 50th year, I am wanting to start/make something new and to share that with my special people. This month it has been to create a playlist of songs which have moved me over the past 50 years.
I started off by thinking I would have only 50 songs – but soon realised that was going to be impossible. Plus, why limit myself to 50 – more is after al more. And my maths has always been creative – the one tattoo on my leg testifies to this fact : 1+1=22. Seize more from each opportunity 🙂
All of these songs have a special meaning. A couple are very recent but most have stood the test of time. Some are fun(ny), some are sad. All are beautiful to me. Many of you will know why a particular song is important to me. Some songs are special because of one person or group. Others are deeply personal and only I know why they are important to me. I look forward to sharing all these stories with people. So take a listen and let’s chat next time we connect about the meanings they have for me and you. After all, music – like art and artists broadly – really makes the world so much better.
I’ll have a few gatherings with as many of my friends as I can – throughout 2024. Instead of that big bash, I’m aiming for a multitude of ways to engage with the people and things that have influenced my life. And to try and do so with deep gratitude, humility and a sincere belief that to whom much is given, much is expected.
Enjoy the playlist!