The past 50 years have included a whole lot. I have had more jobs than I can count. I've been fired. I've been married. I've been divorced. I've given birth. I've fought for my children. I've lived in fancy places. I've lived in simple places. I've been 50 pounds heavier. I've slept in a tent. I've slept in five-star hotels. I've run birthday parties for preschoolers and election parties for presidents. I've raised money and I've raised awareness.
My 50th birthday celebration feels like a rite of passage and does not scare or depress me at all. It feels good. To be honest, I have never felt better physically and more in tune with myself mentally and spiritually.
I still feel pain, I get mad, I suffer setbacks and think of tweaking this or that when I look in the mirror but overall I've become my own cheerleader and because of that more positive things seem to be happening around me.
We are the sum of the experiences in our lives. There comes a point when we know what we need to take with us to get where we're going. As I enter the next 50 years these are 50 things I'll take with me:
1. I'll take my best investment, me.
2. I'll take EVERY ounce of moisturizer I can get my hands on.
3. I'll take looking into people's eyes more.
4. I'll take a walk on the beach as often as I can make it happen.
5. I'll take feeling over not feeling.
6. I'll take warmth and connection.
7. I'll take Champagne AND Gin.
8. I'll take praying for someone who's causing me pain over letting it eat away at me.
9. I'll take breathing.
10. I'll take saying "I love you" more.
11. I'll take laughing.
12. I'll take the JOY of being the mother of my princes, James and Harry.
13. I'll take more time to be present for my princes, James and Harry.
14. I'll take sharing the memories of this past 50 and fully living in next 50 with incredible friends.
15. I'll take hugs and focus on being the last one to let go.
16. I'll take humility.
17. I'll take my newfound money saving technique of using half a dryer sheet instead of the whole one because those things are expensive!
18. I'll take cashmere anything.
19. I'll take Humor.
20. I'll take Grace.
21. I'll take Spirit.
22. I'll take diplomacy.
23. I'll take my scale because it's helped me stay true to my commitment to myself.
24. I'll take the moon and take more time to take it in.
25. I'll take the sun as long as I'm wearing a nice big hat!
26. I'll take the people I love and be ready for new love.
27. I'll take the events I plan.
28. I'll take the events I don't plan.
29. I'll take suggestions from a trusted few.
30. I'll take my rosary beads.
31. I'll take my college roommates.
32. I'll take essential oils.
33. I'll take my freckles (the exact number I have and no more).
34. I'll take yoga.
35. I'll take my books on Jackie Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Shirley MacLaine.
36. I'll take Terms of Endearment, my favorite movie.
37. I'll take A Fish Called Wanda, my favorite comedy.
38. I'll take Ave Maria, my favorite song.
39. I'll take (only fresh) candy corn.
40. I'll take my inner Goddess.
41. I'll take smiling over not smiling.
42. I'll take all the elephants I have collected and visions of the ones I will ride.
43. I'll take the letters and cards from my children.
44. I'll take chocolate.
45. I'll take what I need from "NO."
46. I'll take THANK YOU and never abbreviate it.
47. I'll take every stage I can as an improviser, speaker and messenger for positivity.
48. I'll take more time to play golf.
49. I'll take waking up.
50. I'll take -- AND GIVE -- "YES" all day, everyday.
Jeanne M. Stafford is a professional speaker and communications trainer. Stafford trains her audiences and clients to communicate powerfully using improv techniques. Jeanne is writing a book about communication techniques she learned through her adventures with Improv, Asperger's and Politics. Sign up for her FREE 30 Days of YES and find out how using YES words can empower you to possibility. Follow Jeanne on twitter @jeannestafford and visit her website http://jeannemstafford.com