Fifty Things

It’s a big day for me. I’m hitting the half-century mark today, and to be honest, I’m still a bit in denial. But I keep trudging forward, albeit a little more slowly and occasionally with a limp (until I work out the kinks). In honor of my half-dollar’s worth of years, here are fifty things I’ve about me you might or might not know.

1. I never got over my crush on Donny Osmond.  Nope.  Still swooning over here.

2. I thought I was an extrovert until a couple of years ago.  Now I realize I’m an introvert who likes people. 

3. I lived with my great grandmother for a while when I was in elementary school. That marked me in more ways than one.  We watched a 13-inch black and white TV and only turned it on for certain programs.  No elementary aged child should be that excited about The Lawrence Welk show, but frankly I was just thrilled to see her turn it on.  I didn’t care what we watched!  But I loved The Carol Burnett show. 🙂

4. I learned to read at the age of four.  And I am a very, very fast reader.  I can go through a book a day easily if given the time to sit down and read.

5.  In fact, I usually have two or three books in progress at any given time.  I keep them stashed all over the house and in my car so I’m never caught without something to read.  I have on occasion read an entire book on my iPhone.

6. I got my first library card at eight and it changed my life.  I read the entire Nancy Drew series and the entire Hardy Boys series at least three times.  Maybe four.

7.  Also, regarding the Hardy Boys TV series, I was Team Parker Stevenson.  Too much fan competition for Shaun Cassidy.

8.  But I had Shaun Cassidy’s album.  Two of them, in fact.  Possibly three.  Did he record three?  I had them all, however many there were.  I may or may not still have the very first one, with Da Doo Ron Ron on it.  (What does that title even mean??)

9.  I have an incredible memory for song lyrics.  Ditto movie quotes, especially from “The Princess Bride”.

10.  I also tend to break out in song randomly, usually in reaction to something I just heard.  And even if I don’t sing out loud, you can be sure I’m singing in my head.

11.  When I was a kid, I used to write out lyrics to my favorite songs (in multi-colored ink!  With Bic banana markers!) and post them on my wall.  With glue.  Oops.

12.  I started my first blog in 2009.

13.  With my first two daughters, I was firmly convinced each was a boy until the moment a medical professional told me they were girls. 

14.  There’s a rumor that when my first daughter was born and the doctor said, “It’s a girl!” my response was, “Are you sure?”  I don’t remember saying that but it makes a good story, and I do appreciate a good story, so I let it stand.

15.  One reason I was convinced I would have boys is that I am not the most girly-girl around, and I figured I would mess them up  I have three girls now and so far, so good.  God knows what He’s doing.

16.  My biological father died the day after he turned 50.  If you think that’s on my mind a lot lately, you’d be absolutely right.  He missed so much of life, and most of the health problems that caused his early death were brought on by his own choices and bad habits.

17.  I am a diabetic, like my paternal grandmother and my paternal half-sister.  That is also something on my mind lately, as I would like to live a good long time and that’s going to require me to make healthier choices.  I am much better at self-indulgent choices than I am at responsible ones.

18.  My children have been telling me lately that at 50, I’m “halfway to dead”.  I would have considered myself 3/5 or 2/3 of the way, but considering that my great-great grandmother died at 100, maybe half-way is more accurate.

19.  I came in third place in my school spelling bee when I was a 6th grader.  I was eliminated on the word “echelon”.  You can be sure I never ever forgot how to spell that word again.

20.  My middle daughter won her school spelling bee in 5th grade. I would be lying if I said I got no personal satisfaction in that win. (I was also incredibly, incredibly proud of her!)

21.  I didn’t attend my first concert until I was around 20 years of age.  It was David Meece, Russ Taff, and Pam Mark Hall, and it was awesome!

22.  Since then, I have had the joy of seeing many artists perform live, usually in the company of one or more of my children.  This may be a way of making up for lost time, or a way to bond with my children, or both.  However you look at it, I spent an evening with One Direction recently and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  Furthermore, I liked it.

23.  Speaking of concerts, I fulfilled a nearly lifelong dream when I saw Barry Manilow in concert back in the mid-90’s.  I would have loved to see Air Supply, but alas, they broke up before I had the chance.

24.  Again, not ashamed.  Though maybe I should be.

25.  I like to say that I’m not very competitive, but I can be ruthless in a game of Spades.  Like, embarrassingly so.

26.  I have a wicked sense of humor.  One of my gifts (at least I think it’s a gift) is my ability to find humor in anything.  The challenge is finding funny that doesn’t hurt or insult someone.  Which means I don’t get to exercise my fluent sarcasm much.  Sad.

27.  Especially since my children have taken to quoting Matthew 5:37 to me:  Let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no. (paraphrasing here)

28.  In line with the humor/sarcasm theme, I have a whole-hearted appreciation for irony.  I also enjoy a good farce (referred to in our house as “stupid humor”) a la Monty Python.  

29.  I am nearly always willing to laugh at myself and I like being with others who don’t take themselves too seriously either.

30.  Despite my ever-ready snicker or smirk, I feel very deeply about certain causes.  In fact, I cover the caring with humor sometimes as a defense mechanism.  If I let myself fully feel all those feels they would very likely overwhelm me.  This world is just so harsh and unfair, you know? 

31.  Moving on… I am a frustrated perfectionist.  What this means is that if I don’t think I can do it perfectly, many times I just won’t start.  Or more likely I’ll start and never finish.  

32.  I took three years of French in high school and never made less than an A.  In my senior year I took Latin because there were no more French courses.  Again, nothing less than an A.  I still don’t know what kind of career would have utilized those mad language skills.

33.  People tell me that I should write a book about my great-grandmother that I lived with.  (I know that’s technically grammatically incorrect but I stuffed a rag in my inner perfectionist’s mouth so I can get on with it already.)  Granted, some of the people who say it are my relatives, but still.But I haven’t because of #31. 

34.  I was painfully shy as a child although I’m less so as an adult.  But I am still somewhat socially awkward, and at times painfully so. 

35.  I have lived enough years to (mostly) stop caring what other people think of me.  That’s their business, not mine.  You’d think that might make me less perfection-y, but it doesn’t.

36.  If you could make a business out of judging and being critical, I’d be the next Steve Jobs.  But I’m working on finding a positive in it by setting up a proofreading and editing business.  People will pay you to point out their mistakes?  Sign me up!

37.  When I was a kid I wanted to be a librarian when I grew up.  I still think I’d enjoy that. 

38.  I worked as a Human Resources Manager for many years, despite my lack of a college degree.

39.  Did you catch that I never finished college?  Didn’t even complete the first year.  I got married instead. 

40.  (Are you still with me?)  I became a Believer…ok, not exactly true.  I grew up believing, but I became a follower of Jesus Christ at the ripe old age of 17.  I went to church off and on my entire childhood and knew the Gospel, spending each invitation hymn white-knuckled in the pew because I knew God was calling me.  Thank Him He never gave up on me!

41.  I sang alto in school and church choirs for years and on the church worship team as well.  I’m still struggling with some feelings about my last experience on a worship team and this is something God is helping me wrestle into submission.  (Hey, just keeping it real!)

42.  Because feelings are normal and good, but they do NOT get to own us.  It’s the other way around, actually.  Clearly I am still working on this one.

43.  I was married for the first time at 19, and divorced at 26.  It was a trauma I would not wish on my worst enemy.  However, God has redeemed that experience because as you know, with Him nothing is wasted.

44.  Which brings me to this.  The song “Unredeemed” by Selah is like my faith theme song.  If you haven’t heard it, go listen to it now.

45.  When I was a senior in high school I was set on a course that would lead to the adoption of my youngest daughter in China, over 20 years later.  Just one more example of how God works things out in His time. 

46.  I am an extremely picky eater and always have been.  The list of things I do NOT eat is long and varied.  I have a daughter who is also a picky eater (more extreme than I am) which we now know is a result of sensory processing issues.  It is hard to advocate for her in a world where people don’t understand why she won’t try certain foods or why we don’t make her clean her plate, but I get it because I have been there.

47. I acted in plays in high school.  I used to think I wanted to be the star and get all the accolades but now I think that’s just added pressure.  I just love being a part of the cast and the feeling of belonging that comes with it.

48.  I had an article accepted for publication by a magazine recently, for the first time ever.  To say I was stoked would be understating the situation.

49.  I like to think I’m fairly realistic about life and about myself.  I know that I tend toward the practical side of things, like my mother does.  I have ceased being surprised to hear her words come out of my mouth.

50.  I am going to have to make myself hit “publish” on this post or else I will edit it to death and spend a week doing it. 

5 thoughts on “Fifty Things

  1. Happy Birthday!! Welcome to the wonderful world of the 50s!
    I enjoy receiving and reading your blog and whilst I appreciate your #31, you did in fact finish your 50 points.

    Hugs to you for many more happy and blessed birthdays


    • Thanks, Michelle! You’re right – I contradicted myself and actually finished something I started! Could it be that I’m growing up and becoming more responsible? Surely not! 🙂

  2. Happy Birthday – I turned 53 yesterday, so a lot of your references are right up my alley. I am, however, the only one in my group who does not quote “Princess Bride” at the drop of a hat, but if I can find a way to work in a “Sure Thing” quote – I will! Loved the list – fun info.

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