Sweet anticipation perfumes the air today, my daughter is coming home. I’ve stocked the fridge with her favourite things, her sheets are clean, her room is tidy. It’s this moment of tender expectation—her arrival, our reunion—that brings me such pleasure. I want to savour this moment.

This is a big birthday year for me, with an out-loud promise to actually live, instead of cowering in this itchy fear coat I put on a few years ago. I’ve outgrown it and if I am honest, never really liked it. (Like those ill-fitting “comfortable” clothes I bought online during Covid).

It’s time to change. Into what, I’m not sure, but I’m listening to what is true for me and that’s a start.

I’ve become an apprentice to living.

There have been past lives: radio talk show producer, television host, film maker and entrepreneur. All these versions were true, and who am I now? It’s a powerful question.

When I started this blog eight years ago, I left my full-time job to write a book called “Creative Retirement”; planned on interviewing amazing humans to learn how they navigated the transition from working-for-pay to working-for-purpose. I kitted out my cramped basement for a video podcast, outlined a book, created a timeline. I was eager to get going.

Then life happened. I willingly became my mother’s fierce and loving care giver, a life as Professional Daughter. I wrote a manuscript about it. And it helped. So did reading books, talking to others, and focusing on the small moments of almost unbearable beauty amidst the relentless chaos—what I think of now as the gratitude crucible.

Instead of writing a chirpy book about the endless possibilities at midlife, I dug deeper, uncovering a throughline of prairie resilience* that connected me to my past and my future.

Parents falter. Children leave home. One day you’re cutting rhubarb and realize yours are the hands of a much older woman. What I am trying to say is life changes us. The shoes—or those Covid-era pants—no longer fit. The truth is maybe they never did.

Whether because of the year or the evening, I find myself rooted in the pleasure of right now. I don’t know how the world goes, or when the story ends. I do know we are on this earth for such a short time, as young now as we will ever be.

My beautiful daughter is coming home. I know she’ll be gone again soon, to follow her own path. I wish her grace. Tonight, I will hold her and tell her how much I love her. She is an amazing young woman.

And there it is, gratitude for everything that has brought me to this moment.

*Let me leave you with a simple recipe, passed on to me from my mother, and hers. If you find yourself meandering down an alley under a warm summer sun, or a full moon—and it feels right— pick the rhubarb. Enjoy the walk. Anticipate the sweetness.