It feels like I turned 50 yesterday, but here we are one year later. Time flies by faster each year, which is all the more reason to try to make each day meaningful, happy and fulfilled. Of course, there are bad days, anxiety-provoking situations, and stresses in life that are unavoidable. But I can at least try to fill my day with positive energy, view challenges as opportunities, give people the benefit of the doubt, support those who are struggling, take care of loved ones, be patient, kind and empathetic, and practice self-acceptance.

When I fail at doing these things, I can start over, and strive to be a better person than I was the day before.

I am a planner who likes to be in control. Organized and disciplined, I follow through on my goals. I’m constantly ticking things off my list, planning ahead, and trying to be prepared for “what if” situations. There are advantages to all this, but it also means that I sometimes spend too much time on future plans, and too little time enjoying life in the moment.

I want to change that, and be more present for the small and wonderful things that happen day-to-day. I don’t want little moments to pass me by because I’m focussed on what needs to be done, or on the next big event. That anticipation can be a waste of valuable time.

So, on my 51st birthday, I am officially holding myself accountable to slowing things down a bit. I will continue to focus on getting things done, because that’s who I am. But I will try to relax more and roll with the punches. Life is about choosing joy, and finding happiness in the small things. Less planning and control. More spontaneity and seizing of the moment.

Now more than ever, I wear what I like, and I’m confident in my choices. I continue to have fun with fashion and style, because it’s a social, creative outlet that relieves stress. Looking older is not the enemy, and being older brings the benefits of memories and experience. Especially in light of all the events of the last 16 months, I’m grateful that I can continue to enjoy and celebrate this wonderful journey of my life.