I am very blessed to be able to celebrate my big birthday in my own house, with a loving husband (who went all out for my birthday), with my parents who are still active and in a reasonably good health, and, of course, with my lovely daughter who also went all out making me a fantastic present. I feel very grateful and very happy today.
When I think back on my life, I think of moments that were memorable. Most of them were "high moments" - like pleasant childhood memories, being accepted to the college of my choice, falling in love for the first time,... and for several times since then, getting married, giving birth. Some of my memorable moments were quite dark, but they make this birthday even more sweet. I am not really the one to rejoice in suffering, but suffering does produce endurance, "and endurance produces character, and character produces hope". Hope is something that I have for my future and for the future of my family. I hope to stay healthy, to enjoy rewarding experiences with my friends and family, like a wonderful dinner yesterday that we went to with our closest friends. I hope to see my daughter to grow into a young woman, to choose her career, and to start her own family. I hope that my child and her children will live in a safe and clean world and that the future will be kind to them, the way my future of the past was kind to me.
I want the next year of my life to be healthy and productive. I want to see new places, to read new books, to learn new things, to try new recipes. At the same time, I also want to cherish familiar things, spend time with friends, and enjoy the comfort of our home. I want to make a difference at my job, and to be a good mother, wife, and daughter. There is so much that I still want to do in my life that I feel that 50 is just the number and it does not really matter except that it marks a milestone and provides an opportunity to launch into the next decade. For this opportunity, I am grateful.