A Birthday New Year's Resolution -or- 101 reasons to celebrate

What a week it's been! I have 101 reasons to celebrate life right now.

Last Friday, my baby girl got married to the love of her life and started that incredible journey called marriage. It was a beautiful wedding, well attended, and pulled off without a hitch. I had the privilege of preaching the charge and officiating the vows, which means I have both given away in marriage and solemnized the vows for all three of my girls.

How could you top that?

gene-and-cakeWell, I can't and I don't want to. But I can add a cherry on top of the delicious red velvet wedding cake my wife made and my gifted cake guy son-in-law decorated (with an assist from his wife).

You see, today started the new fiscal year for me. I turned 55 yesterday (which was the speed limit when I got my driver's license back in 1977). I remember how depressed I was when I turned 40, feeling all "I haven't accomplished anything much and here I am at mid-life." What a dumb kid I was then.

Celebrate hitting the speed limit, but no speed bumps

Fifty-five seems like one of those watershed numbers for reasons I can't quite put my arms around. Maybe it is the impressive double-nickel plating. Maybe it's knowing that those two fives don't make a 10, you have to make your life a 10 by hard work, hard loving, and harder decisions...all immersed in the grace and goodness of a loving, forgiving, patient God. Maybe it's the senior discount these smart alecs want to saddle you with at the buffet. (Not that I will turn that down or anything.)

There is something sleek and aerodynamic about 55. I feel much cooler today than I did two days ago.

The biggest reason 55 has not hit me the way 40 did is Facebook. For all the complaining folks like me do about social media and its attending evils, there is no birthday quite so cool as a Facebook birthday, because friends and family - some of whom you communicate with every day and some you hardly ever interact with - come out to celebrate YOU. Man, that feels good. People stop down in their busy lives and take the few seconds or minutes it takes to say, "Hey, I noticed you today and you matter enough to me to say so. I want the best for you. I am thinking about you."

101 Reasons to embrace double grace

101birthdayreasonsI looked this morning and saw that 101 Facebook friends had posted to my wall and thought, "Now there's 101 reasons to look on the bright side of this whole aging process."

Sure, I am not as far around the retirement curve as I ought to be at this stage, but thank God I am no further behind than I am.

Yes, I have made my first million and change by now...and am only about a million bucks short of being a millionaire.

OK, so, the pepper has given ground to the salt in the salt-and-pepper hair I had last birthday.

Fine, I am not where I wanted to be by now in a lot of areas, but I am better off than I ought to be, given some of the missteps along the way.

Besides, I married a gal whose beauty is ageless and have three daughters who are all happily married and locked into productive, quality lives...

And a grandson who still calls me DooDah at age 11, because he is cool enough not to be too cool to do that.

My mother-in-law called to wish me a happy birthday and reminded me that five is the number of grace, so at 55 it's like double grace.

Yes, I can think of at least 101 reasons to rock on.