Monday, February 20, 2012

Now I'm 50


































Ninety percent of life is showing up. ~Woody Allen
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. ~Goethe
Experience is the name we give our mistakes. ~Oscar Wilde

I only cringed a couple times when I went back last night to take a look at what I wrote here on my birthday 2 years ago. Overall, I'm happy to report I stand by every word, even as I regret some of my verbosity.

Now I'm 50. I think it's a milestone that permits me the indulgence to offer a piece of unsolicited advice.

That's a long time to have lived, don't you think? Fifty years? I've seen half a century. I've lived in historic times. I should by now know most of what I'm ever going to know about life. I've still got my health. I love my work. This should be my time, baby!

Here's one thing I know: Goethe was right, there is magic in boldness. If 90 percent of life is just showing up, then I'd say another 9 percent is boldness.

Of course boldness must be formed from something; otherwise it's just brashness or, worse, its even more embarrassing cousin, braggadocio. I've found you do need at least a little genuine, deep-down confidence to pull off boldness, and that, for me at least, can only come from experience or out-of-this-world innate talent. Since I never discovered my world class talent, I'm left to rely on experience. 

I'd say that 90 percent of boldness comes from that confidence. And 90 percent of that confidence comes from experience.

And experience is the name we give our mistakes.

So, you know, show up and make some mistakes before it's too late.


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14 comments:

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Happy Birthday Tom!
50 is indeed a milestone, and yes, I think at 50, we can say that we can speak from experience, and act with boldness, born of confidence!
Excellent words of wisdom, Tom!
Cheers!
Enjoy your birthday!
Brenda

Danielle said...

Happy Birthday Teacher Tom! Thanks so much for you ongoing dedication to the children and families in your program and our Early Childhood Community! Something to aspire to over this next decade.*

Danielle
Margaret's Garden

Shannon Carnegie said...

Happy Birthday Teacher Tom! Thanks so much for your inspiration and insightful posts! Keep going...it's the kids who will keep us forever young!

Stephanie Leah said...

Im sticking this post (sage advice indeed!) in my pocket!!! Happy (belated?) birthday Tom!

Scott said...

Happy Birthday Tom!

Show up and make mistakes. Great advice. And included in there is try stuff. I've always tried things but this year I decided to just try different things - things that may on the surface seem a little, well, nutty. I've made some mistakes, certainly, but also discovered some great treasures.

Here's to many more years of building experience!

Sian Lile said...

teacher tom! happy birthday! i love your blog and love reading about the school and the kids and have learnt so much from you.x

MaryAnn said...

…/\„,„/\.........//^^\\
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.../*♥♥*\......._/''*''\_
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*•. ¸*•.¸*•.¸*•. ¸*•.¸ ¸.•*¸.•*¸.•*¸.•*¸.•*
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❤☆«•.*❤Happy☆Birthday☆Tom❤*.•»☆❤
¸.•* ¸.•*¸.•* ¸.•*¸.•* *•.¸*•.¸*•.¸*•.¸*•.¸

I am trying to be bolder with my "truths", but it is painful. I'm getting better at it though!

Juliet Robertson said...

Happy Birthday Tom! All the best for the next half century and beyond! Just keep blogging, brother.

Practical Parent said...

Those of us lucky enough to work with you, spend time in your classroom and read your blog have discovered your talent. Happy Birthday! Dawn

Kristi said...

The happiest birthday to you.

We're glad you showed up.

Blessings to you and yours.

SquiggleMum said...

Happy birthday, O Wise One.
xx

Natalie said...

Happy Birthday Tom!

Shimshon Stu Siegel (shimstu) said...

You're a good man, Tom, and an inspiration to all of us who love to educate but struggle against the deadening paradigms of our current ways of being.

And you make me feel young and excited to journey these next 13 years until I reach 50 too.

Thank you and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, youngster!

I am a writer. said...

I'm not sure if you'll see this comment.

First, happy birthday. The second half of a century seems to be different. Like going from adolesent to adult, we're finally far enough over into second phase of life to be past the "average experience".

Second?

Hmm, here's a challenge.

Can you express one experience today in one word? Will that word be inclusive enough so that I, a complete stranger, would understand not just the basic emotion but also specifics of the event.

For example, I can could use the word, "wet" to describe today because it did rain but I'm not sure if it's specific enough to ensure that the response would be atmospheric. After all the word "wet" could describe a sunny day at the beach or giving the dog a bath.

So there's the challenge from a complete stranger to celebrate their birthday.

I hope that the one word for a day this year is "bliss".

Hugs,

AuthorAnn

.

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