Yup…that sure is a lot of days. I even counted in the extra days for Leap Years.

Although these musings may seem self-indulgent, my hope is that people who have only lived 11,323 days (or some other time span shorter than my days on earth) will read it and take away a thing or two or three.

I’ve blown out many candles and made lots and lots of wishes. I’ve celebrated alone and with friends and family. I’ve been snowed-in during blizzards. (Being a February baby has had its disadvantages.) And, since 2005 have received lots of Facebook messages and birthday emojis. I’ve ruminated on the meanings of birthdays and listed all the lessons I’ve learned over the years. In my very first blog (which now looks positively ancient) I summarized the decades of my life.

But now I’ve decided to stop looking back and I’ll map out the second half instead. I will, after all, live to be 120+ and I’m not really getting older, I’m simply re-booting and disrupting.

The lessons I’ve learned can be distilled down to a few simple facts:

  • Be genuine
  • Be kind
  • Be fearless
  • Love unconditionally
  • Laugh a lot and don’t take yourself too seriously
  • Spend time wisely

This year (and throughout the second half of my life), I will:

  1. Continue to take care of my body and soul. We don’t get spare parts, so we need to respect the ones we have.
  2. Use my time wisely. We don’t get more of that either.
  3. Have exciting new adventures.
  4. Trust the right people and say buh-bye to the haters, takers, and drama kings and queens.
  5. Give back. Mentor. Teach. Inspire.
  6. Change those things about myself that need fine-tuning. Accept feedback gratefully and learn from those wiser than I am (both young and old)
  7. Write often, because it makes me happy and fulfills #5.

In short, I will commit to disrupting aging and creating the playbook for those of us who know we don’t want to live like our grandparents or even our parents — but will listen to their lessons and incorporate them in our own (long) lives.

According to the BaZi (Chinese horoscope), this year — The Year of the Earth Pig — will be a good one for me. I think I’ll start Day #22,647 with bacon as a tribute.

Because, after all, Every day is better with bacon. You don’t have to live as long as I have to learn that lesson.


  • Nancy A Shenker

    The Silver Hair Playbook: How to Be a Bad Ass >50™

    Nancy A. Shenker is a marketing innovator, brand builder, writer, speaker, and self-proclaimed rule breaker. Over the course of her 40-year business and marketing career, she has been a C-level executive, an entrepreneur, and a mentor to hundreds of small businesses at all stages. Founder of theONswitch marketing, Nancy was formerly a senior executive for major consumer and business brands, including Citibank, MasterCard, and Reed Exhibitions. She has written four books, and publishes a women’s entrepreneur community (www.sheBOOM.com), as well as AI/machine learning/robotics site www.EmbracetheMachine.com and travel and lifestyle site www.BleisureLiving.com. She also wrote a column for Inc.com called Bots & Bodies (about the human side of tech) and is a contributor to a wide range of consumer and business media. She recently won the "Killer Content Award" for a major project for a fast-growing technology company.