“Go outside. Don’t tell anyone and don’t bring your phone. Start walking and keep walking until you no longer know the road like the palm of your hand, because we walk the same roads day in and day out, to the bus and back home and we cease to see. We walk in our sleep and teach our muscles to work without thinking and I dare you to walk where you have not yet walked and I dare you to notice. Don’t try to get anything out of it, because you won’t. Don’t try to make use of it, because you can’t. And that’s the point. Just walk, see, sit down if you like. And be. Just be, whatever you are with whatever you have, and realise that that is enough to be happy.
There’s a whole world out there, right outside your window. You’d be a fool to miss it.”
~ Charlotte Eriksson
Early next month I will celebrate my fiftieth birthday.
My husband has been bothering me for months, asking what I want to do to celebrate. And I kept avoiding his question. I didn’t think I wanted a big party, but part of me was trying to juggle the possibility, and all that ended up doing was deflating my party mood.
To further muddy the water I’ve been working on the final draft of my memoir, and combined with a year of hospitalisations, near-death experiences and lingering complications, as well as my background companion Lyme disease, the realisation of just how long I have been living with chronic illness and all that has stolen from me has been quite confronting.
Finally, after a long walk down to the river and back, I had a clear head. I am alive. That is what turning fifty is all about. I am still here, and it is up to me to fill my bucket with the things that matter to me. Fifty is no mean feat for someone who has nearly croaked it four times now. So I came up with a list of options. A birthday celebration list, and this is it:
- A road trip with Ben, and he has to make some excellent playlists for me as a soundtrack for our adventure
- A small but fancy and delicious High Tea with my sister and a group of my closest girlfriends
- A weekend away writing, where all I have to think about is words on the page or going for a long walk to ponder a plot point. A place where my meals are cooked and my bed is comfortable, and I can get a cup of tea whenever I want.
- A holiday, somewhere new, anytime in the next year, where I can sip champagne with Ben and count my many blessings
- A raucous dinner party at home with my neighbours and Byron Bay pals, followed by a bonfire in the backyard, under the stars
- A big meetup with Dana and all my students, YOMmers, and Cauldrons and Cupcakes peeps – with tasty treats and crystals and lots of hugs and fun
- An early morning beach walk and meditation, with time for ritual, journaling, oracle cards and reflection time, just on my own with the big sky and my Aunties and Ancestors above me and the earth beneath my feet.
I brought my list to Ben. This is it, I said. I’m going to do one of these. Can you help me pick?
He read over the list, and then he smiled.
Do all of them, he said.
We’ll start with the road trip.
So today that’s what we’re doing. A few totally unplanned days away, wherever the road takes us, while a dear friend looks after the dogs and the farm.
Elle, I haven’t forgotten your question about God, the Universe and why stuff happens. In fact I’ve been thinking about it all week while we’ve had no phone or internet here at the farm. I’ve begun a blog post to answer it but it till needs a bit more thought. It was a big question, and it deserves a decent and considered answer. Expect one in the next few days.
Meanwhile, maybe it’s time for you to write a list of your own, my friends. Just because you can. Just because you’re alive. And that’s worth celebrating every day of the year.
Sending you all my love, some hugs and a very good virtual cuppa, Nicole xoxo
20 thoughts on “I’m Taking A Short Road Trip”
I’m so happy you got to do many things on your list . Road trips are the best something new around every turn almost like life I guess
What a joyous list and lovely husband! May heaps of joy fill each moment and the moments beyond – Happy Birthday!
Happy Birthday Nicole!! I hope you have fun doing all the things on your list!! You are such a gift to us and you deserve everything good!! <3
Love it, just love it – a perfect list.
Right on Ben! My sentiments exactly when I read the list. Do ’em all!! Lol! Have a wonderful 50th birthday year Nicole!
Have a super happy birthday, fellow Virgo. i like the way your wonderful Ben thinks! Enjoy celebrating YOU! Sending lots of love and birthday thoughts your way xoxoxoxo
Ben has the right idea! I did a Festival of Me for the 50th, nothing hugely expensive but a week off work, couple of nice presents to myself which were also needed. There’s no time like the Present! Celebrate and revel in it, goodness knows you deserve it. Xxx
Nic, that is a perfect list. I love it and am excited for what is ahead for you. Ben is such a gem. Enjoy, the celebration is so deserved.
Woohoo 😊😊😊 what fun 💖💖 Me ~ on a bus on my way to Coffs… to meet a new friend. Exciting times… to travel and explore, inner and outer worlds. Lotsa Love ❤❤
What fun! Brenda Hoffman sent me your blog and you have inspired me. I turn 60!!!!!!! (Very unreal) on this coming Sunday.
A small party with about 10 close friends and my two grown up (they are WAY older than me) kids. We will play team croquet, badminton and some fun card games. Pizza and a potluck.
But I like the idea of extending it, especially since my hubby won’t be there (both his very elderly parents does this summer and he is helping his sisters with the house, etc). He gets back the next week.
My husband calls September, “Jimtember” every year, so why not me? 💓💓💓🎉🎉🎉😀😀😀😀🎆🎆🌼🌼🌸🌸🎶🎶🎶🌞🌞🎇🎇🎇
Although, Elizagust, doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, does it? Hahaha
Happy birthday to you and thanks!
Much joy and silly to you,
Yay to the list!! Yay to the road!! Yay to you Nicole Cody!! Thank God you are alive!! I too am just about to turn 50…two days away now. Thank you for the reminder that it is ok to do everything on my list!!
How fabulous. How knowing of Ben to say do them all. Have fun. Enjoy!
Road trips are amazing, I do like them don’t do them very often though.
Yay, lots of fun times coming up for you Nicole. Enjoy! Ben’s a very wise man.
Enjoy your list, making memories and the enjoyment of the ride! Thank you, i plan on making my own list.
Darlin’ Nicole…smiling ear to ear reading your post. Yes life is for living & celebrating and you certainly deserve it…enjoy the road trip & can’t wait to see you upon your return. Big hugs to you both XOXO
How exciting Road Trip 🙂 The whole list sounds wonderful Nicole. I love that Ben said do them all. Why limit yourself to only choose one thing?
Enjoy your road trip adventures xx
Good man of yours, that Ben. I totally agree, do all on your birthday list, and enjoy every moment .🌻
Enjoy your road trip Nicole. It sounds like a great adventure ahead. I can’t wait to hear about it. Take care, Rita