In 50 days I will be turning 50. There will be no party for it or fancy holiday in a tropical location. Instead, I shall wake up in my bed, start the day with my usual espresso, and greet the spirit of the new day as I do every morning. After all, every day has the potential to become a special memory.

I have never been one for traveling or partying hard. As I get older, I find myself less and less inclined to be away from the comforts of my own space or entertain anyone other than my husband and our furry girl. Being 49 and 315 days old means I can finally accept that I have always done things my way without feeling I am letting anyone down or that they actually care.

With this newfound freedom, I welcome the next month or so as an opportunity to remind myself that I am what I am.

There are many things I wish I could have been, but I never will. – like a rock star for a starter. Although I definitely have the looks, I definitely don’t have the voice either. Or sounding like I was brought up in Buckingham Palace when I have been living in the East End of London far too long for that. I also would have loved to be known for my poise and composure, but my Latino blood and high sensitivity always have the upper hand.

I won’t magically turn into either Stevie Nicks or the Dalai Lama on my birthday. I will instead spend the coming days offering myself the gift of doing ‘things well.’ I never was the coolest kid in town, nor did I ever try and excel in any of the things I partook in. I simply showed up and thought my presence was enough, caring little about wanting to be the best one.

Believing competition was a bit of a nuisance anyway, I grew up being a bit ‘half-assed’ about life and chose not to shine even when the stage was set for me. While there may be endless reasons as to why that was, the woman I am becoming demands an upgrade.

This means doing everything with the utmost care: loving better, living larger, daring more.

I will show up, not to impress anyone, but because I can. I want to believe in something deeply and invest all my time and effort into bringing it to life, nurturing it like the most precious treasure. And then, rest a little and be proud, just because I can.

In the upcoming weeks, I shall share 50 things I have learnt (I think…) in the last 50 years. Some happy, some bittersweet, and a few a little controversial. As I age, accepting certain facts about myself becomes a must. Like the fact that I don’t do colour and I feel extremely comfortable wearing black. A little white, a bit of gray, maybe a splash of fuchsia at times, maybe. But black truly reflects my somber nature and I shall continue to enjoy our colorful world from a safe distance.

My new book will also be released around my birthday, so these next 50 days feel like the start of an exciting new chapter. This period of anticipation and reflection is not just about turning 50, but also about celebrating the achievement of sharing my thoughts and findings with my loyal readers. No matter who or where you are, thank you all!

Dear friend, may you find the blessing in each day. May you treasure your gentle heart. And when it is your time to be seen, may you proudly take center stage.

In Grace,

Antonia Lyons

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