On Life Lately & Turning 55 This Weekend! ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽ‰

Woohoo! This weekend marks the official kick-off to the summer season and also plays host to my 55th birthday! It’s been a minute since I’ve shared much about what is going on in my life, so I’ll be giving a quick rundown in today’s post.

This post may contain affiliate links. These links provide a means for sites like NattyGal.com to earn a small commission when a reader clicks through and makes a purchase at no additional cost to the reader. See full affiliate disclosure inย Privacy & Disclosures.

Life Lately & Turning 55!

May is a big birthday month for us with multiple friends and family members celebrating. My mother-in-law is turning 80 (today, in fact…HPD Susan!) so the family decided to take a fun getaway to the Florida Keys earlier this month. My husband, one of his sister’s family, and my MIL’s best friend joined in and we had a fun time exploring Key West and Marathon from our fantastic VRBO.

On Sunday I am ready to celebrate turning 55! I’ve never been one to dread birthdays, as it beats the alternative but this year has me feeling especially grateful to be here. I haven’t spoken much about it on the blog or social media but this past winter I was diagnosed with a very rare form of sarcoma (my doctor thinks there are less than 100 cases of my type per year in the US).

The good news is that my tumors were contained and able to be completely removed! The less good news is that my cancer has a high recurrence rate and I will need frequent monitoring via CT scans, presumably for the rest of my life. These past couple of months I’ve been navigating how to enjoy life while not just waiting for the proverbial “other shoe” to drop. A mental challenge that’s thankfully going well so far. That being said, I’m always appreciative of any thoughts/vibes for continued good health and lots more birthdays!

So…what sage piece of unsolicited advice do have at the ripe old age of 55?

Before you spend too much time being angry, anxious, hurt, or offended, ask yourself: will this actually matter a month, year, or decade from now? So often the answer to that question is NO! Try hard not to let negative thoughts take away time from your day-to-day pleasures. Life is precious and finite.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. And it’s almost ALL small stuff.

Various Sources

Life Lately: Reading & Viewing

After a bit of a dry spell, this winter I came across a couple of different books that I feel I can recommend. First up is North to Paradise. I chose this as part of the Amazon First Reads program (available to Prime members) and found it to be a great selection.

It succinctly tells the incredible life story of Ousman Umar, the son of a Ghanian shaman. At the age of 12, Ousman undertakes a 5-year journey from his home in Ghana to Barcelona, Spain in the hopes of creating for himself a different life. His tales of navigating life with other migrants and moving north via a network of smugglers are both riveting and inspiring.

The book My Friend Anna had been on my reading list for a while and when the Netflix series Inventing Anna came out, I decided to make it a priority. While I feared it might be a bit repetitive in light of the Netflix series, it actually shared a very different perspective. That of Anna’s Vanity Fair-employed friend, Rachel DeLoache Williams. After reading this book, you’ll walk away more than a bit curious about her portrayal in the Netflix series. Rachel’s book also provides more insight as to how Anna was able to run her cons, before becoming enmeshed in NYC society. A topic that was completely glossed over/ignored in the Netflix series.

If the subject of women con artists appeals to you, don’t miss the Hulu series The Dropout! It tells the true story of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes and makes Anna Sorokin look like a three-card monte shill in comparison.

Mouth to Mouth gets very polarizing reviews on GoodReads but I’m finding it to be a unique story. It’s a short book relating a chance encounter at JFK. The narrator is told a strange story by an acquaintance about saving a man’s life some 20 years early by performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Lastly, while in Florida, I mentioned to my MIL that we were in a bit of a TV viewing drought. She recommended the HBO series Julia and we happily breezed through it when we got home. Any fans of Julia Child are sure to enjoy this new series!


Have a wonderful holiday weekend! As always, thank you for reading and your kind support. Be healthy. Be happy.

6 thoughts on “On Life Lately & Turning 55 This Weekend! ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽ‰”

  1. Thank you for sharing your positive thoughts and this beautiful side of you that you are sharing! What a blessing you have been to both this family and especially to Gavin, I am so proud of you as my daughter-in-law! Also, what a great time in the Keys!

  2. Hi Betsy. It sounds like you had a really good time in the Keys. I never visited there, even though I spent much of my life in Florida, mostly Melbourne, and Pensacola. I’m reading a series by Hope Holloway, that takes place in the Keys. It’s made me really want to visit. Sorry about your illness. It sounds like you are handling things really well. Check out my other friend’s blog. It’s called Cresting the Hill. I think it would be right up your Alley. xxx

    1. Hi Christina! I will have to check that book out – sounds like a great summer read. And thank you for the good wishes – happy to be doing well at the moment. I will be sure to check out Cresting the Hill later this week, always fun to find a new blog to read. Thanks for stopping by! XO, Betsy

  3. Hi Betsy glad you found the cancer early and you are ok. i turned 55 and this year ive been thinking about my next steps because this year im truly an empty nester. Your vacations sound wonderful and I have been watching the dropout as well. Take Care!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Art.com October Banners NORDSTROM.com Bloomingdale's