Cynthia’s Yearlong 50th Birthday Bash–June Update

J0341653As I described back in April (you can read the post here), I’m celebrating my 50th birthday with a year of activities and challenges designed to honor this milestone. I’m calling it Cynthia’s Yearlong 50th Birthday Bash, and so far it’s been pretty amazing.

Here’s what I did in June to mark this big and badass year:






  • Launch—Last night I hosted the second Whistlestop Writers Open Mic at Swirl on the Square in downtown Livermore. The turnout was even better than the month before. I’m so happy that I can offer this new event to my community. Great wine, great food, and great writing—how can anyone lose? I also launched a new partnership with my friend Melanie. She’s a CAbi (Carol Anderson by invitation) consultant and I offered to host a party for her. Everyone had a great time “playing” with some amazing clothes. Plus it was a fun way to celebrate my recent weight loss. If you live in the SF Bay Area and are interested (or want to know more), please let me know. I will definitely be doing this again!
  • Submission—I submitted a story to The Sun. In 2008, as a challenge from my life coach, I submitted to this magazine (and was subsequently rejected). Doing it again, six years later, still made my palms sweat. I won’t hear back on this submission for up to six months, so you’ll have to wait along with me.
  • New Things—1) I drank an El Diablo. I was intrigued because the description said it included ginger ale and on a hot day, that sounded quite pleasant. Too bad I didn’t taste any ginger ale. The drink was really strong and not all that great. 2) I sold my first item on Craigslist—in a single day! Unlike the El Diablo, I will definitely be doing that again. 3) I held my first garage sale.
  • Challenge—For the Nurturing You workshop, I wrote a letter of appreciation to myself for surviving tremendous loss and change over the past ten years. Despite a dark, dark period that I call the “total life meltdown” that included not only my daughter’s adoption and subsequent autism diagnosis, my husband walking out, two relapses (his not mine), our subsequent divorce, and the death of two beloved pets, I’ve done an excellent job of overcoming obstacles and adapting to changed circumstances. It was a difficult letter to write, but wow, I felt such relief and gratitude when it was complete. A big thank you goes to Sheila Pai of A Living Family for suggesting the exercise.
  • Bonus Activity—I stood up to a bully. For years I had watched this person harass and intimidate others (or at least suspected as much) and then listened to her justify this behavior due to theirs. Over time it made me uncomfortable, but she moved away, so I let it go. Then she turned on me. After months of attempting to ignore her online harassment, I finally confronted the situation head on. I did it as lovingly and compassionately as I could and then walked away. Letting go, even in toxic situations, is tough so I am giving myself a gold star for this difficult action.

I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year will bring!

Until next time,
Cynthia Patton

About Cynthia J. Patton

Writer, Editor, Advocate, Speaker, Special Needs Attorney, and Autism Mom. Also the Founder and Chairperson of Autism A to Z, a nonprofit providing resources and solutions for life on the spectrum.
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