My Forty-Fifth Birthday: Celebrating with Adventure

I’ve published a birthday post every year since 2011. It’s a reflection of my outgoing year as I consider the new year ahead. In that first birthday post, I confessed to my behind-the-scenes health issue. Little did I know how much worse things would get for me. It’s ok to laugh ironically, I promise. I have at least some sense of humor about it now. A pained humor, but humor none the less.

Rereading about the last five years I can’t ignore that my body has been through a lot. Some things that weren’t blog worthy, along with the things I did share. Some issues are related to aging, but many lie outside of that—mainly substantial injuries.

The details aren’t actually important but the big picture is that my body is one hell of a mess. And you know what? I don’t care. I’m going to keep doing what I do until I simply can’t anymore. And when I can’t do things the way I do now I’ll find another way. Because this is who I am and this is what I love.

I don’t want stuff. I want life. To me that means exploring, seeing the world, meeting people different from me. That’s why this year I’m celebrating with adventure. This is the spirit of eating the cupcake and that’s why I’m currently headed to Baja on my motorcycle.

I turned 45 today. I’m not waiting until a “big” birthday—one with a zero. I’m doing it now. Because I know too damn well there’s no guarantee I’ll see 46. I feel I’ve dodged some pretty big bullets lately and I’m not going to squander my chance to make the most of my life. None of us know what’s around the bend, do we? So grab life, embrace it, live it.

In the big scheme of things, year 44 for me has been one of transitions and making bold decisions for myself. That’s the long play—the choices that lead to the life I want in the long term. Having launched a new chapter in my life, and having survived a lot of things in the last five years, I’m celebrating the right now of still being here and in fairly (I use the term loosely) good health at 45.

I’m doing this now before I hurt too much to do it anymore. Or I’m not here to do it at all.

Eat the cupcake, my friends.

birthday - val in real lie
As part of weaving the tapestry I want, today I woke up in Death Valley. This place has grown more and more important to me in the last few years, on par with the Great Smoky Mountains and Great Sand Dunes. I’m eating the cupcake. And savoring it.


  1. An excellent post, as usual. Enjoy 45, and that cupcake, figurative or otherwise. I wish I was 45 instead of 50, but won’t split hairs over a few years. Or various behind-the-scenes health or other challenges we all face. You’re doing it right. Cheers, my friend!

    1. Thank you! Yep, just rolling with it. There are some things I’ve already had to face not doing ever again, mainly because of the leg but I’m damn well going to keep doing what I can. 😀

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