Thoughts from the Cliff’s Edge


I wrote my first blog post on my birthday five years ago (and maybe ten friends read it). Here I am, entering my sixtieth year, and I have something to say:

  • Don’t tell me it’s just a number. I know the number. It’s 59, dammit. πŸ˜‰ And yes, I’m very aware that I’ve just entered my sixtieth year.
  • I talk to myself a lot these days, especially in the supermarket when I’ve forgotten my list.
  • I still make mistakes, but I laugh about them. Mostly. 
  • I used to pull all-nighters. Not so much anymore, unless insomnia taunts me until sunrise.
  • Kids know so much more then we did, and we thought we knew everything. They’re way too grown up, though, which is a little sad. Kids shouldn’t have to worry until they’re sixteen and driving. Then everybody worries.
  • I rarely wear makeup anymore, unless I go out. And if I go out without makeup, I’ll definitely run into someone I don’t want to see.
  • I don’t wear perfume, either. Deodorant, yes. Sunscreen, definitely.
  • I wish I’d worn a lot more sunscreen in my younger days.
  • I don’t miss full-time work at all.
  • I have never made a “bucket list,” and I never will. There are places I’ll never get to see, things I may not get to do, and it’s okay. I’ve traveled a lot. I’m not done traveling, either, or learning. But no lists.
  • Well, maybe one. Today begins the Year of Living Minimally. Throughout the coming months, I’ll be posting about this journey. 
  • There were a few Mr. Wrongs in my twenties and thirties, but at 35, I met the man who could not have been more right. I’m very grateful for that, and for him, and for the hands of my father and his mother who guided us to each other. However long we have together is a gift, something to be cherished. 
  • And speaking of gratitude, I’m thankful for coffee in the morning, a good bed at night, and air conditioning in the summer. And for you, the reader of this blog post!
  • By the way, I was just kidding about that title. Really.

Tell me something good today. Or make me smile. After all, I only turn 59 once. πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‚πŸŽΆπŸŽˆπŸ™Œ

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37 thoughts on “Thoughts from the Cliff’s Edge

  1. Dear Martha, Happy Birthday! I hope you had a wonderful day. I am more than ten years ahead of you, but in my mind I’m still 39. Some days my body agrees, others not not so much. I enjoy reading your blog and will always be grateful for your warm welcome to ARIA when I felt a bit of an impostor. (Sorry these thoughts are a few days late.)

  2. I love everything on this list. It’s all true. I turned 60 in March and I can tell you it’s pretty much the same as 59. And somewhere inside me the 25 year old girl I once was lives on.

  3. Happy birthday, Martha!
    I’m really looking forward to reading more about your Minimal Year. Best of luck for the 365 days ahead… and beyond.

  4. I’m right behind you on the 59 thing. I am now grateful that my friends have birthdays earlier in the year (when I was young it was a penance to be the last to get a drivers permit, drink (legally)…) but now come October, I am kind of mentally prepared for the next year… even one as momentous as 59. I often think, in reading your thoughts, that we should have been closer friends in college… alike in many ways (especially because my fantasy profession is to be an author… like people think they want to be movie stars hahaha). Except, though I do go without occasionally, I still gotta have the makeup. Even if it’s “minmally”. πŸ™‚

  5. Happy birthday Martha. I stayed 24 until my 40th birthday, so maybe that is why I do not feel like I am 70 now. I gave up wearing makeup on a daily basis when I retired and I have all sorts of perfume bottles sitting on my dresser but smells really seem to bother me in my ‘old age’. For me, the worst thing about being 70 is having to take money from my IRAs just so the government can get its taxes.

  6. Happy Birthday, Martha! For some reason your list reminded me of the Christmas preference list you, Mel and I completed maybe 10 years ago. Many years have passed since I first met you 39 years ago. I think there’s comfort in knowing we have lived,loved and traveled well and there’s no reason to think that won’t continue. Every time I receive one of your musings, it takes me back to our happy experiences so long ago, no matter the topic you are writing about. Thanks for that! XO, Mary Ellen

    1. 39 years, Mary Ellen! And a trip to Florence. πŸ˜‰ What a time it was.
      Even though I don’t see you, I think of you, and always with a smile. ❀️❀️❀️

  7. Happy Birthday, Martha. I don’t have a bucket list either. I keep thinking I should make one because I’m a list maker, but then I’d feel pressured to check everything off! Don’t need to add another fifty things to the already too long to-do list. Enjoy your day.

  8. Birthday, Martha!!! I chuckled through your whole blog. πŸ˜€ And thank you so much for your comment about The List (or lack there of) and that there are places you’ll never see. I have only recently come to the same conclusion. Now I don’t feel so alone! Can’t wait to see what Minimally looks like! πŸ˜€

  9. Happy birthday, Martha. May this year bring you the soccer announcer shouting ‘gggooaaalll’ ‘gggooaaalll’. Just kidding – you’re beautiful and talented and we all love you the way you are!

  10. Happy Birthday, Martha. I have been enjoying your writing for 10 years and have always enjoyed your perspectives, insights, and humor. I look forward to following your future journies and writing. Your blog today hits home with me as I, too, am working towards getting rid of “stuff” and living minimally. Enjoy your birthday, and keep on writing.

  11. I was one of ten who read your blog five years ago and I’m happy to say that not only am I able to still read them πŸ˜‰ but how much I enjoy reading them. Have a very happy day my friend! ❀

  12. I love reading your blogs. So much of what you wrote in this one I could have written. I was just thinking about the makeup one the other day. When I was younger I would never have thought about going out of the house without it. Now I do. Well I always wear lipstick. It is nice to feel secure enough within to leave the house without it. The best thing about getting older is that I care less and less about what most people think. There are the select few that are important.
    Happy Birthday and enjoy this steamy July day.

  13. Happy Birthday dear friend! May this year be full of beautiful surprises, great health and enjoy all the small things in life! πŸ’œβ€οΈπŸ’œβ€οΈπŸ’œπŸ˜˜πŸŽ‚

  14. Nice, I just turned 66 and when I run into a old friend or school mate it hits me like a brick, and I instantly calculate, I have known that person for 50 years.

  15. Happy Birthday! Dearest Martha, here’s wishing you much joy, good health and a wonderfully productive 60th year. Looking forward to learning more about your Year Of Living Minimally. On this special day however, I hope you can max out on all your favourite treats and are being very spoilt . Have a splendid day β€πŸ’›πŸ’™πŸ’š

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