I actually think my title was an advertisement for Virginia Slims cigarettes back in the day when they were still advertising those insidous, heinous health stealers. Okay, I'm better now. I loathe smoking. My mother smokes like a chimney and is in the beginning stages of emphysema. After many years of arguments, she finally does not smoke in my house or my car and cuts down when I am visiting her house. A smoker's house always smells like smoke to a non smoker. My eyes start watering and my nose either stops up completely in self defense or runs like crazy. I am thrilled that smoking is banned in most public places. After all I have to breathe and for years had no choice except to politely ask if smokers could blow their toxic steam somewhere else. My husband and I have some friends that smoke like they are never going to see another cigarette again. At work, our friend was complaining that she had to smell everyones perfume but yet she had to go outside, across the street to smoke. I am sure that some perfume and men's cologne is probably toxic as all get out, however, unless you have asthma it is still better than smoke. I love my smoker friends and family...that is why I wish they would/could quit. Lest you think I am totally angelic, I did smoke when I was about 17ish because I wanted to be cool. Hey, it was the 70's!!! I very quickly decided this was not an investment I wished to pursue at the expense of my health and my pocketbook! I have been in a reflective mood lately and have discovered many things about myself that I wish I knew when I was younger. Hence the old saying, "Youth is wasted on the young." It has taken me a very long time to realize I do not have to live by anyone else's rules or expectations. This is very liberating. I obey most rules, if they make sense and I obey the law except maybe the one about speeding! Approaching the age of 50, I have discovered that I like who I am. And what I don't like, I can re-invent should I CHOOSE to do so. Ain't life grand!!! I have discovered that friends come in all sizes, shapes, colors and ages. I am amazed and astonished at the level of intellect and confidence that my younger peers exhibit! They teach me so much. I love learning. It is a never ending process. I can devour books, articles, stories and gain a better understanding of all things. "Blogging" has opened up a whole new world for me and I find it slightly addictive. I look forward to "knowing" what is going on in the minds of my friends in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida and many other places in the U.S. and abroad. I love feedback and it doesn't necessarily have to be my point of view. I do not understand people that leave nasty comments on any one's blog. I guess the anonymity of it brings out the cowardice and meanness of some people. All we can do is not take it personally, it diffuses a blowhard pretty quickly. Reflecting on my life I realize I have been so blessed in so many ways. It has not come without adversity. Adversity makes one a stronger person. I really like my life. I have experienced many, many adventures and have some great ones planned for my "middle" years! I adore my grandchildren and am looking forward to travelling and playing with them until they are too cool to hang with Nonnee! Some random thoughts from Dr. Seuss keep running through my head such as the places you'll go and the things you'll see. As one of my friends mentioned to me, you sure have some lofty goals. If you don't aim high, you will never reach the stars!!! I just found an old birthday card that I saved...it has a Japanese symbol on it for dreams and says "Dreams don't follow the clock, they follow the heart." So now that I am not so busy rearing children I am following my heart and it feels great!
P.S. as to the list of things to do in the post on turning 50, one of my friends has sworn me to secrecy...she wants to get henna tattoos...I said sure, but you are not turning 50! Apparently it is something she has always wanted to do. (Henna tattoos are NOT permanent) Who knows I may soon sport a henna tattoo for a time! I am still entertaining suggestions for new adventures.