The last seven months of my life has been like a movie set on fast forward…all in a good way! To top it off, today is my birthday AGAIN!

The fact that life is an extremely short and limited experience has never been more of a reality than it is today.

Have I really lived on this planet for 53 years?

The reflection in the mirror tells me it is true, but it sure doesn’t feel like that many years have passed unless I really think about everything I’ve learned.

“You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.”
~ Abraham Maslow ~

pink blooming rose 1

When I was born, I didn’t know how to do anything and was completely dependent on others just to keep me alive. With each passing day, my sponge-like brain constantly soaked in information.

Some things I learned and never used again.

Some things I mastered.

Some things I have to keep on trying to master.

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you already mastered, you will never grow.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

pink blooming rose 2

One thing is for sure…I won’t ever have enough time to learn or do everything I want to experience. Finally, I’m okay with that fact. I can honestly say that I’m enjoying being me for the first time in my life.

I enjoyed being a daughter, sister, niece, student, aunt, wife, employee, friend, neighbor, and mother, but I never enjoyed being me.


That’s easy to answer – I’ve never appreciated myself through the growth process. I have been patient and forgiving of everyone except myself. That inhibited my growth and fed my fear.

The fear of embarrassment.

The fear of being shunned.

The fear of not being loved.

The fear of failure.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned thus far in life is that being patient with yourself is absolutely mandatory to the growth process. Everyone is a work in progress. No one is perfect and no one will ever be perfect before they die. It’s just a fact.

pink blooming rose 3

Today I’m better than I’ve ever been because of all the knowledge I’ve accumulated. Some I learned from other people and some I learned the hard way.

Some lessons COULD be taught, but many had to be experienced directly by me so that some of the rough edges of my soul would be polished off like a smooth river rock.

Moving into the senior years doesn’t mean that you have to lose your zest and spark for life. There’s still so much to enjoy! The body may move slower and need a little more maintenance, but inside the spirit is still young, excited and eager to live.

Live, not just be alive.

“You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.”
~ George Burns ~

pink blooming rose 4

I can now appreciate what I’ve already experienced and accomplished. I like me. No, I love me. Even with all my flaws and a past filled with flub ups, I still love me.

I won’t ever invent something like the computer, be the President of a country, or take a trip to the moon, but I’ve accomplished some pretty amazing things in my life. I’m not living in horrible shame because of my mistakes, missed opportunities or inabilities. So not only do I love myself, I’m proud of myself!

Having reached this belief about myself and life, I hope to be able to always cling to it and make it a solid foundation to lift me up during the hard times that will still keep happening. Getting older doesn’t mean you run out of struggles. Hardships bring about growth and that’s what life is all about…experiencing and growing.

I may be slowly starting to fade on the outside, but I’m still vibrant inside!

“My past does not define me. It has enabled me to learn, grow, attain my goals and live my dreams.”

pink blooming rose 5

On this beautiful 53rd birthday, the only 53rd birthday I will ever have the joy of experiencing, I wish you all a wonderful day.

A day of growth.

A day of realization.

A day of accomplishment.

A day of appreciation.

A day of happiness and sincere joy.

Live every day like it is your birthday!

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Skip_D January 17, 2016 at 1:18 am

Happy Birthday, Sherry!!!


2 Sherry Riter January 17, 2016 at 1:21 am

Thank you so much Skip!!! {{{hugsss}}}


3 peter petterson January 17, 2016 at 5:48 am

Hope you had a great day. Hope you have a great new life.


4 Sherry Riter January 18, 2016 at 11:10 pm

Thank you so MUCH Peter!!!


5 Joan January 17, 2016 at 1:21 pm

Ummm, so you think you are slowly starting to fade on the outside? I got news for you, Birthday Girl, you’re not fading at all – you’re blooming! The fifties and up are when most women finally come into their own, stop caring what others think of them and morph into the magnificent women they were born to be! 🙂

And I think your awesome husband, Brent, will confirm that not only are you vibrant on the inside, but you are so vibrant on the outside that now he has to put on sunglasses every time he looks at you because you are his sunshine (and his sunset)! Hey, that came out pretty good, if I have to say so myself. 🙂 Maybe there’s still a chance that when I grow up I’ll be a writer. 🙂 See, this comment only proves if I sit long enough, (over an hour so far), that something insightful will come out of me. (And people think these insightful comments just come pouring out of me when really they take a lot of thought and time.) LOL LOL LOL

Okay, I’m not laughing anymore. Over an hour to spend writing one comment is a long time to waste, except if I made you laugh. Then that will be my birthday gift to you, because laughter is a wonderful gift. Tell me, Sherry, did I make you laugh? (If that didn’t make you laugh, think how long it takes me to wash one head of organic cabbage. You know how long it takes me to wash one head of cabbage because you have been on the phone talking with me while I was washing cabbage. You know that I wash every leaf separately because I don’t want to eat one of those tiny worms with brown heads that eat through the cabbage and live in the cabbage, even if they are protein. That is not the type of protein I want to ingest.)

OMG! How did I get on the subject of cabbage? I digressed. (See what happens to me when I sit too long trying to write a comment? Now I have been sitting for over an hour and a half.)

I wish I was smart like Skip and just said, “Happy Birthday, Sherry,” then I wouldn’t have spent over an hour and a half trying to make you laugh – and I still don’t know if I made you laugh. Have I made the Birthday Girl laugh on her birthday?

Ohhh, I know what will make you laugh, if I told you I was buying you that $15,000 sewing machine, that we were talking about yesterday on the phone, that embroiders as a birthday gift. That would surely make you laugh because you would know I was joking. But since I don’t have $15,000 to spend on a birthday gift, I can’t give you anything but laughter. That’s the only thing I have plenty of – time and laughter. (Speaking about time and laughter, it has been over two hours now that I have spent writing this comment. Honestly, I’m not lying. Who else but me is going to spend over two hours writing a comment to you on your birthday? That should show you how much I love and adore you and how much your friendship means to me!) 🙂

Happy, Happy Birthday, Sherry! May this be your best birthday yet!


6 Sherry Riter January 18, 2016 at 11:13 pm

You are such a hoot Joan! Thank you!


7 Jane January 17, 2016 at 7:55 pm

Happy Birthday!!! Wonderfully said!


8 Sherry Riter January 18, 2016 at 11:09 pm

Thank you Jane!


9 Teresa Custor January 18, 2016 at 12:30 am

You are an amazing daughter and woman. You make me proud and happy. I have watched you struggle and be sad and have grief and come out glowing. It makes my heart sing to see you happy for a change. I love you My Sherry, my little red on the head , skin so white like Snow white and a fiery temper that has calmed over the years, lol. Thank you for coming to me and making me a mom.


10 Sherry Riter January 18, 2016 at 11:08 pm

Thank you for being my Mom! I love you!


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