Cynthia’s Yearlong 50th Birthday Bash-July Update


As 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 July to mark this big and badass year:





  • Launch—A month ago, a friend read about my yearlong birthday bash and commented that I’d forgotten to add celebrations. I looked at my list and realized she was correct. I’d completely forgotten FUN! Sadly, this is kind of typical for me and I’m determined to change that habit. So this month I’m launching The Fun List! (More on this in my next post.) I’m also adding a fifth category to my monthly update. You can find it below.
  • Submission—Today I’m submitting three poems to the Emeryville Poet Laureate for a cool project called Poems on the Emery Go-Round. Poems by local writers will be distributed on buses throughout Emeryville. I don’t usually submit poetry, let alone short poems, so this is a stretch for me. But I love the slogan (Put down your phone, pick up a poem!) as well as the idea of someone commuting to work and reading one of my autism poems.
  • New Things—1) I took Katie with me to a family-oriented party (instead of leaving her home with a sitter). If you want to know more about how that turned out, you can read about it in last week’s post. 2) I bought some half-priced CAbi samples from my friend Melanie. I’m in love with my new clothes and how they look on my slimmed-down body! 3) I finally went to the Livermore Premium Outlets. Excellent window shopping on a warm summer evening.
  • Challenge—I’m writing a business plan for my soon-to-be-launched special needs law firm. I created a visual right-brained plan a few years ago and have added to it over time, so I thought the traditional, left-brained version wouldn’t be that difficult. Boy was I wrong! Compiling a business plan is tough work. It’s taken far longer than expected—as with most things—but I’m not stopping until it’s completed.
  • Fun—This month I did several incredibly fun things. At the beginning of the month I went to San Francisco to join five amazing women who I met nearly 32 years ago in my dorm at U.C. Davis. We all turned 50 this year, and we had a joint birthday party to celebrate that included a champagne brunch, spa treatments, cake, and lots of laughter. I also met my friend Deborah in Half Moon Bay for a day at “Dog Beach” with Katie and Delta. There was lots of wet, sandy fun followed by a yummy seafood dinner. In the middle of the month I attended a party in Marin with a big chunk of my law school classmates. I hadn’t seen one of them since graduation. Just as in law school, there was plenty of debating and drinking, but the wine was far better and there were spouses, friends, kids, dogs, and even some chickens added to the mix. The house was much nicer too! To top it off, Katie joined me and we both had a blast. Then last weekend Katie and I went to the Oakland Zoo with my parents plus Clara and Calin, my niece and nephew. Except for the heat, it was a super fun day and we can’t wait to do it again. Katie and Clara rode the little tiger rollercoaster together, and let’s just say the expressions on their faces were worth the price of admission.

I’m four months into my yearlong birthday bash, and I’m thrilled with the results. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

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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