Happy girl in pink t-shirt that reads, "Happy Birthday to ME," wearing a rainbow hat with pink gauze

Fifty x Five

Two years ago, I started planning a trip for myself to celebrate turning 50 years old in 2021. Alas, with the way things are now, that trip is not to be—at least not this year.

Instead, I decided I would celebrate all August long. (FTR, I’m a Virgo, in case you hadn’t guessed at the “two years ago, I started planning” comment…)

So what does celebrating all month long look like?

LET THERE BE CAKE Well, for starters, I’m treating myself—and my family, let’s be honest—to a different cake or dessert treat each week. One of my kids also has an August bday, so I actually get to try one extra, too. It’s an embarrassment of riches I’m all too excited to reap.

MUSIC TO MY EARS My parents couldn’t afford music lessons for me as a child, but I’ve always wanted to play. I took adult violin lessons years ago, before my kids came along, but I didn’t keep up with them. It’s debatable how well I played, but I really enjoyed the heck out of those lessons. We have an acoustic guitar sitting around the house, from a failed attempt at getting the kids into it, so I’m going with online guitar lessons. I’m committed to playing every day this month, even if only for a few minutes, as a way to start a habit of daily practising.

REST AND RELAXATION Frankly, I’m shite at relaxing. I’m always fighting the unsettling feeling that I’ve left something undone. Which, yeah, of course I am. There are always way too many things on my to-do list than I’m actually capable of finishing. So, the point of this item is to practise taking a break. I’m going to try taking most Fridays off this month plus the week of my birthday, too. (Gah, even typing that out is giving me hives..!)

RELATED TO THAT… I’m going to practise saying what I actually want instead of considering what I could maybe get once I also consider what might work for everyone else. If this sounds like you, then I heartily invite you to practise this with me. We’ll start with August and continue from there, ok?

How else can you celebrate with me? I’m so glad you asked!

LET’S SPREAD A LITTLE JOY I’m going to donate $50 to a different charitable org every Sunday in August—making 5 total—and I’d like you all to join me. Please donate whatever amount you’re comfortable with. You don’t have to donate to every one, though if you can afford it, that would be truly wonderful. And, of course, whether to not you can or want to join me in this, please help me spread the word. This would all be a meaningful gift to me, and I hope, to the charitable causes I choose.

I guess I’ll make this a rolling blog post. (Honestly, I’m literally making this up as I write.) Please watch my tweets and IG posts for additional charitable orgs and links, as well as occasional updates on the other stuff above.

Charitable Orgs and Causes:

Week of Aug. 1 – Indian Residential School Survivors Society (https://www.irsss.ca)

[Added August 5th]

Okay so I realized I can just list out the organizations all at once, instead of “revealing” one a week. That way, you all can choose the ones you’d like to support right from the get-go. Hopefully, this means more donations overall!

Indian Residential School Survivors Society — Donate here: https://www.irsss.ca/donate

iHuman Youth Society — Donate here: https://ihuman.org/give

Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice — Donate here: https://ccncsj.ca/donations/support-us/

Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton — Donate here: https://www.sace.ca/donate/

Trans Equality Society of Alberta — Donate here: http://www.tesaonline.org/donate.html