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When I turned 40, I was so happy that I didn't even get mad when Stacie shoved cake in my face. My 30's were shitastic. I'd had a series of terrible relationships with terrible men, I'd lost my job, and then my house and just about everything in it. I was broke and incredibly unhappy. You know how some memories repeat over and over? I remember standing at the top of the stairs in the house I'd bought when I was 32, in the hallway in between my office and my bedroom, yelling at myself. "How could you be so f*cking stupid? What is wrong with you? Why are you so stupid?" I don't remember exactly how old I was, somewhere between 32 and 38, because that's when I lived in that house. What's most haunting about that memory is that it wasn't a one-off. I yelled at myself a lot back then.

I told myself I was stupid. I berated myself on a regular basis. Now, in hindsight, I realize I didn't like myself very much.

So, by the end of my 30's I was very eager to turn 40. I thought it would be a magic number. That life would suddenly become wonderful with the launch of a new decade. Maybe somewhere in my subconscious I thought I might finally start to like myself.

But my 40's were not much better. Later that year, I started getting sick. Then I got dumped by a man who was not terrible and that led to a herniated disc. (An energy healer once told me. "There's heartbreak in your lower back." She was right.) That led to lying on the couch high on pain killers, crying, unable to move and thinking, "Maybe I need to get some help." That led to somatic and talk therapy and my long, difficult, fascinating healing journey from Chronic Lyme disease. The other day, while on an ampcoil ambassador call, one of the experts said, "If you think you can heal the physical without healing the emotional, you're wrong." I couldn't agree more. My healing journey has not only been about Lyme Disease. It has included healing my mental, psychological, emotional, and spiritual self. That spiritual journey has led me to 50.

I feel incredibly fortunate to make it to my 50th birthday. Not only because I survived Chronic Lyme Disease, but also because I've lost so many loved ones along the way.

This life is hard. It is school. But it's also fun, and loving, and invigorating. Inspiring, uplifting, hilarious, sexy, wild, quiet, peaceful.

And it's mine.

Today is my 50th birthday. My 50 is so much different from my 40. At 50 when I talk to myself, I don't yell mean things. I say, "Hey Suzie! I love you! You're the BEST." (Seriously. Out loud. In the mirror. Every morning and multiple times a day. Try it. You'll like it.) 50 is like finally getting to where I was supposed to be all along. 50 is love.

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