The View From 52


A few days ago, I celebrated my 52nd birthday. It was a low-key day without much fuss and hoopla.  As far as passages go, 52 is a benign year. Nobody is excitedly awaiting your arrival but they haven’t called in the gravediggers yet either. It’s a good place from which to float and observe. Considering you’re past the midway point on the giant climb, the view is vast. It spans all directions, inside and out. Oprah is always going on about “what I know for sure.”  Well, here’s what I know so far:

  1. Dogs are great role models. They’re friendly, enthusiastic and love unconditionally.
  2. Unchecked expectations will bite you in the ass. Every. Single. Time.
  3. A tight posse of close girlfriends. An awesome gay boyfriend. The best sister ever. These are lifelines to all that is good and true.
  4. Crazy is lurking everywhere. Your best defense is your instincts. Trust them. Take heed of red flags immediately. Avoid nonsense and bullshit.
  5. There are no guarantees with anything in this life, especially parenting.
  6. Hope, like sugar and alcohol, should be used in moderation.
  7. Kindness works really well.
  8. The space between how you wanted it to be and how it is can be treacherous or serene. Acceptance, humor and humility can improve your odds for the latter.
  9. Anyone who fires up a weed whacker or leaf blower before 9am on a Sunday morning is exhibiting a fundamental lack of empathy. Anyone who runs the aforementioned lawn tools nonstop for over three plus hours is a textbook sociopath.
  10. Everything does not “happen for a reason.” The universe isn’t tidy like that. There’s some random-ass shit out there. With grace and courage as our guides, we endure as best we can.
  11. Dance is the best drug that I know of.
  12. It’s true that someone somewhere has it much worse than you do. But this doesn’t mean that your pain isn’t real or that your struggle is invalid.
  13. The test of time is a really good metric, especially when it comes to boots, recipes and friendships.
  14. This wild parade is full of color, wonder, joy and mystery. It was meant to be enjoyed. It can also end abruptly at any time, without warning. We should live accordingly.
  15. The older I get, the less I know. Sharp lines are blurrier. Absolutes release their grip. Certainty softens into curiosity. Peace is relative to our willingness to soar untethered. To anything.


“People and places we love are finite and there is urgency.”

–Cara Francis