I often describe my mom as fabulous and feisty. What better words for a woman who at 92 years old, horseback rides regularly, travels the world, and exercises more in a week than I do in a month. Though what I admire most is her determination to never let age define her and to live life on her own terms. Mom is not someone you can tell what to do, ever… Some may find this frustrating. I say, mom, keep doing what you’re doing. It’s led to your golden years being filled with laughter, friends, and adventure.

When people tell us we shouldn’t do something because we’re too old, it wouldn’t be prudent, we won’t succeed, or whatever else, many of us listen. We believe these words. We let them define our reality. Not my mom. If you tell mom that she can’t do something, you bet she’ll find a way to do it. Mom has never been one to back down from a challenge. If anything, it motivates her even more.

If she believed the words of others, she’d never have ridden a horse through Malibu to visit Stanley, the famous giraffe. She wouldn’t have become friends with a charming Italian 20-something who told her she’s the most amazing woman he’s ever met. And she certainly wouldn’t be joining me on yearly road trips through Ireland. All of this at 91. I can’t wait to see what new adventures will come at 92.

So thank you mom for being utterly unique and spreading your inspiration to everyone we meet. But most of all, thank you for showing me that anything is possible and never to let others define me. Happy Birthday!

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