I turn 50 in 2021! How can that be? I work with friends who did not have children when we started working together, and now those children are graduated from college, and some with families of their own. I have a married 29 year old and teenagers!!! I have a daughter-in law!!! (and she is awesome) I remember Grandad telling me how fast time went by. Now I understand. He and 3 of my Great-Grandmothers were octogenarians so according to genetics (God willing) I still have 30 good years left. How much faster is it going to fly by?

I woke up this morning content. What a joy to be content. I wasn’t sad, depressed, or even melancholy to be 50.

I am feeling particularly reflective about my life and my life as a business leader. The company I founded is 21 years old this week. Does that mean it is “all grown up”? Certainly we have a powerful and talented management team that has spent years refining our culture of inclusion and innovation. I think we are poised for more… am I the one to lead us into the next set of challenges? Am I holding us back? Is bootstrapping growth and expansion always the right answer? The good news is that I am surrounded by a team of leaders who are much better at their job that I ever could be, and that is a good foundation for us to keep growing and doing more. What a joy it is each and every day to work alongside these talented teammates and friends.

This week, usually, there is the unveiling of the brightest and newest things of the consumer electronics world. So each year I traipse out to the CES show in Las Vegas and spend my birthday week. I get to experience all the gadgets, catch up with all our technology and content partners and see old friends. While I miss my annual drink with Netflix Paul and Lenovo Brian, bestie Tim Burton,…and always the wild times with my friends from Broadcom, or the amazing spa and suite experiences by our friends at TCOLV… it is lovely beyond measure to be here at home for my birthday.

I also appreciate not having to wear Las Vegas “fancy” this week. One of the best things about quarantine is returning to the comfort clothes of my college years. Instead of Las Vegas flashy high heels, I am loving my return to flannel shirts, yoga pants, and ball caps.

Comfortable clothes is not the only thing I am enjoying these days. I am more comfortable than ever in my own skin. I am thankful and grateful for the blessings and for the trials in my life that have made me who I am. I am excited to live the upcoming years guided now by the wisdom hard won. I have paid the consequences for my good and bad choices, but both have yielded the dividend of wisdom. I’ll share and see if you agree:

Stretchy fabric rules.

Family time is the best time.

Seek out contentment with all your mind/body/spirit.

Look at yourself honestly in the mirror and don’t let the mistakes of your past haunt your ability to make better choices in the future.

Surround yourself with the best, kindest, funniest people you can find.

Never skip the criminal background check. Trust me.

Unfortunately, bullies are everywhere, but they can’t bust your lip if you are already walking the other way.

Writing a check to a good lawyer is painful, however; writing a smaller check to a bad lawyer always costs more.

Anything is a super power if it can be used for evil.

There can never be too much snuggling.

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the Bible, Harry Potter, Pride and Prejudice can never be read too many times.

If someone wants to play tug of war with you, they can’t do it if you drop the rope.

Don’t panic. You panic, you die.

Music matters.

Poetry powers.

Art arms.

Learning brings freedom.

Fear fuels, but love leads.

Equality is a job for every person.

Democracy is still an experiment that we choose.

Yoda was always right (800 years old).

No matter how much you don’t like the way you look in a picture, be grateful, because in 5/10/20 years there will be another picture… and you will love the earlier picture. A friend today sent me these pictures of me playing music with my friend Terry at my 30th birthday party. I remember thinking that 30 was getting old, and yet now I look at this and I was sooooo young.

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Thank you to my friends, family, and associates who have celebrated today with me. I am blessed to have you in my life. I am grateful to have spoken today with both my parents. Thank you Mom and Dad for all that you taught me and the incredible siblings and family you gifted me with. Paul and children, I am blessed beyond measure to have you with me, teaching me to be more each day. I know as I look back to today I will recognize how much more I have to learn. Here is to sharing and learning 50 more with you all!

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