Birthday thoughts half-way through nineth decade

Birthday thoughts swirl on the eve of my eighty-fifth, the centre of my nineth decade. First, being eighty-five is much better than the alternative, as my dear Dad used to say in his later years. Second, it happened very quickly. My childhood sometimes seems like yesterday. And it’s only a few years ago that I reached a half-century. Then it felt as if my life opened up to new adventures. Third, I’m aware how few years may be left and how much ground there is yet to cover.

Officially old old

Tomorrow, although I’ll be officially old old, I’m still young enough to swim and walk. To shop and cook and keep house for myself and my husband. To enjoy family and friends, play with the babies and little ones, celebrate milestones and write a blog. I can’t help thinking that officialdom has this wrong.

Anyway, old old? Not me! Not yet, although sadly I’m not quite young enough to accept a spontaneous invitation from my sister and brother-in-law to go to Thailand with them for a holiday.

Eighty-five is a good age. It’s uncomplicated, comfortable, not like one of those ‘Big O’ years. Some of those have been pretty wonderful. Others, well, not so much. At this age, it would be easy to slump into regret for things left undone, and those better avoided. That’s not a good option.

Birthday thoughts

My birthday thoughts every year encourage me to think about the past year, and plan for the new. While this year has had a few setbacks, on the whole it’s been another good one.

A major highlight has been the addition of three new great-grand-babies to our already large family. I’m delighted and thrilled to be involved in the early lives of these three beautiful little humans.

I’m grateful for the care and help I’ve had from my family when confounded by several unexpected, minor health problems.

A head wound and concussion from falling in the middle of a busy road meant I needed to be cared for, as did a general anaesthetic for some oral surgery. Thank goodness my setbacks were not more serious and I’m now fully recovered. Here’s the blog I wrote about being concussed on the way to the dentist.

Birthday goals

Each birthday since 2000, when a dear friend gave me an especially beautiful notebook, I’ve carefully reviewed and recorded highlights of each year. (Thank you, Karen Anderson.) I’ve also written a list of things I want to achieve in the coming year, and plans for how to achieve them. Some years, they’ve been grand plans. This year seems to be heading in that direction.

  • Get really fit. I need this because for almost the last three months the pool has been out of bounds. I’ll swim, walk, do strength and balance exercises.
  • My blogging needs attention, so from now until this time next year, I’ll post 52 blogs.
  • I plan to write, every night before I sleep, five things I’m grateful for. This means dusting off my gratitude journal, and taking it seriously. I’ll also meditate.
  • I’ll do three new things I’ve never done before.
  • Now for the big one. In the next twelve months, I plan to write at least 60 000 words of fiction. It sounds a lot, but divided by days, not so much.
  • I’ll report back, twelve months from now, in a birthday thought blog, how I’ve done with my plans and goals.
Van gogh newsletter
Copyright, Maureen Helen 2022

Join the Conversation


  1. Happy eighty five dearest friend and look forward to your 60, 000 words. Always an inspiration. Maybe I can follow.

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. Good to hear from you. Come with me on my journey to 60 000 words by your birthday next year! Mxx

  2. Beautiful thoughts. Love the three new things. Entering my 5th decade I have made that part of my commitment too! Happy Birthday

    1. Thanks, Bhen. I’ve had ‘three new things’ on my list for years, and love the way inspiration strikes, and new things appear year after year. Looklooking forward to seeing you tonight. Mx

    2. Happy birthday! Hope you achieve all your goals. I’ve kept a gratitude diary every day for 1439 days. It’s a great practice.

      1. Thank you Mel. I plan to work hard at my goals and see how I go. I’m very impressed that you’ve kept a gratitude journal for so long. It is a great practice, but you must also be very disciplined.

        1. I have an app for it that reminds me daily! Much easier, and it only needs a few sentences.

  3. Happy birthday Maureen!
    I enjoyed reading your thoughts & ideas.
    You are inspirational! XX

    1. Thank you for reading my blog, and for your kind words and birthday wishes.

  4. You are an inspiration, Maureen! Congratulations on your 85th birthday!
    I think I’ll take a page out of your book and restart keeping a gratitude journal. I’ll keep it on my bedside table and set an alarm for each night.
    May your year ahead be all you wish it to be.

    1. Thanks, Susan. I like the idea of a gratitude journal, but find it very hard to remember to do, unlike morning pages. Setting an alarm’s a good idea. Thank you for your kind birthday wishes.

    1. Thanks, Linda. I don’t think I’ve seen your name in my comments before. Welcome to my blog.

    1. Thank you for your kind wishes, Gerry. What date in December is your birthday? I’m glad you still feel young at heart. It’s the only way to navigate this phase in our lives well, I think.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Privacy Preference Center





%d bloggers like this: