Are you listening?

Mid-life Rocks. Today begins my next rotation around the sun. It’s August 27th and my birthday; my own personal new year, a time to look over my shoulder at the last three hundred and sixty-five days. What did I do? What did I learn? What trail did I blaze? I made a list—a very long list—because it’s been a year of non-stop adventure. After quitting my career eighteen months ago, I launched my next reason to greet the day each morning by becoming a Writer of Life and living the Lifestyle of a Writer. It’s not an overstatement to report there has been adventure in every blessed moment.

Like most, I’m not immune to the shock of middle age; those moments when the number that represents our lifespan no longer bears any relation to how we recognize ourselves. If you’re like me, you’ll use the trick of reality to calm the fear triggered by aging. Which is why I filtered my trail-blazing list of the past year into a specifically age defying list:

What did I do this past year for the very first time?

Vicki Marie's first Twisted Handspring at Pole Dance Factory in Barcelona

Vicki Marie’s first twisted handspring at Pole Dance Factory in Barcelona

This Is Fifty-Five:

1) Published my first article (thank you, David Lee of Medellin Living)

2) Finished my first manuscript, The Bachelor Chapters (thank you to every author I’ve ever read—you are my teachers)

3) Revised it—twice (thank you, Stacey Donovan, the editor that made me a better writer)

4) Lived in four countries (thank you Colombia, Spain, Antigua, and the miracle of a USA passport)

5) Convinced Colombia that I deserved their visa of domicile (thank you Alan Gongora, the attorney who drew the map)

6) Became a pole athlete, and nailed the infamous Twisted Handspring (thank you to my teachers; Cata Tobon, Bianca Huls, Laura Fly & Estela Diego)

7) Declared war on cancer and marked my first year of victory (thank you: simply thank you)

8) Talked to God—and he talked back (thank you, dear angels, for leading the way)

What struck me about the list was how interdependent my accomplishments have been. Nothing of significance happens without facilitation. I claim my motivation and my dreams—but my achievements are always the result of collaboration. And so today, on my birthday, I plan to celebrate my collaborators. I am nothing without you, and I am more than I ever knew I could be—because of you.

Are you listening? Mid-Life Rocks. So, let’s party.