Julie Bryant

To mark my 50th Birthday year, I will be sharing 365 different causes for celebration – on a daily basis – throughout the coming year.

My blog is a celebration of my life and those of my friends and loved ones.

A celebration of this wonderful journey that we call life!

And what a amazing year it promises to be as I have it on the highest authority that 2011 is going to be an ‘angelic’ year for us all!

I am very excited about the launch of my new Inspirational Events Company in the Spring and I’m having great fun planning lots of exciting things to share with my friends and family throughout the coming year.

Many years ago I read an inspiring poem by Linda Ellis called ‘The Dash’ – words that totally changed my outlook on life. 

Linda’s poem encourages us to consider what our ‘dash’ means to us and to those we leave behind. The ‘dash’ is such a simple line, yet it symbolises a lifetime of experience contained between our date of birth and the date of our passing from this world. 

The poem got me to thinking about my ‘dash’ and whether I needed to make any changes to ensure that I was living my life to the full – whilst being true to myself and to others. 

I realised that I had been spending far too much time fretting over the past and worrying about the future – and that life is much richer when lived in the now!

As I am learning to live more in the present moment – and to make each moment count – it feels as though I’ve moved from living life in black & white into life lived in glorious technicolour!

I keep reminding myself that all we really have is the NOW and that if it isn’t to our liking, then we must ask ourselves what can we do to change it for the better.

Even something as simple as changing the way we look at things can make a world of difference.

For a long time, I believed that all this introspection was somewhat self-indulgent. And yet, the more I learn to understand and accept myself, the more I find that I have to offer others.

As I approach my 50th birthday and times marches on, I have decided that rather than leaving it to my loved ones to celebrate my life after I’m gone – it will be much more fun to pay my personal tributes – and to organise a celebration or two of my own! 

After all, how often do we find ourselves living life for others and forget about living our own? Sometimes, the greatest gift we can offer ourselves is some personal recognition for our gifts and the contribution we have made to this world.

How often do we play small, hoping against hope that someone will recognise our goodness and be moved to pay tribute to us?

Yet time after time, our hopes and expectations are dashed as we are usually far too busy with our own lives to take time out to recognise and value someone else’s life.

Often, it is only when that person has passed on, that we will stand back and begin to recognise them for who they really were.

Ultimately, it is what we think of ourselves and the way that we have lived our lives that counts. We need to learn to give ourselves a pat on the back and say ‘well done’ for a life well lived.

How are you living your ‘Dash’?

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41 responses

4 01 2011

Nice Blogs, Julie.
Keep it up.
Best Wishes

4 01 2011

Thank you QJ. Your positive feedback is very much appreciated. Love the name of your website!

2 02 2011

Hi Julie. I could not find any other way to contact you. I have only recently started blogging but I am not as successful as you. I do not know why, maybe my blogs do not appeal to anyone but myself.. I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading your latest blog and I wish you not only a Very happy Birthday in April but also much success with your blogging.

13 01 2011

I actually have this very poem framed and hanging on the wall in my kitchen. It was given to me as a gift and I pass it daily. I will be turning 50 this year also – what a great year 🙂 Bring on the party!!

14 01 2011
Feature Friday = Facebook Fans « The Running Garlic

[…] 1961 Girl […]

16 01 2011

Great! Thanks!

17 01 2011

Hi Julie, I love your idea of celebrating your life NOW with your family and friends. I am also a “1961 girl” and I think I will borrow your idea of planning a few gatherings this year to celebrate this incredible milestone. Oh yes, I also really love your idea of “365”. If your struggling for posts look for JOY in the small things that happen each day. Blog on!!!

19 01 2011
1961 Girl

Hi Jeanne.

Thank you for your kind comments. I’m glad you like the idea of ‘365’…and you are so right…if we are ever stuck for things to write about, we only have to look for the joy in our lives and we realise what an abundance of good stuff we have to write about. Enjoy your special year!

28 01 2011
Papa Joe

Hi Julie!

I found you on Piglet in Portugal’s blog. You commented today, just after me and I followed your link to see who “1961 Girl” is.

I think you’re doing a wonderful thing to celebrate ever day of your 50th year. Wish I’d thought of that but I have to admit that I took the lemons route. You’re making wonderful lemonade.

And for what it’s worth, you don’t look a day over 35. And a fantastic 35 at that!

Happy Birthday Year Julie!

– Papa Joe

28 01 2011
1961 Girl

Hey Papa Joe,

Thank you so much for the lovely compliments. Oh, to be 35 again!!!

Yes, my intention is to find something to celebrate every day for the 365 days of my 50th birthday year. The real challenge is actually getting out into the world to do some celebrating as this wonderful blogging experience is taking over my life!

I loved your blog…you are a fantastic writer and a real inspiration…warm, funny and a real family man. I look forward to staying in touch.

Juls x

28 01 2011
Papa Joe

Thanks Juls. I like that. Hope you don’t mind if I call you that from now on. (I’ve already answered a couple of other comments with “Julie” but I think you’ll know it’s you. 😉 )

If it makes you feel any younger, you’re saying, “Oh, to be 35 again!!!”. I’m saying, “Oh, to be 50 again!!!” (and I cough as I try to get the last words out).

You’re as young as you feel Juls. Thanks for helping me feel young. 🙂

– Papa Joe XX

29 01 2011
1961 Girl

Hey Papa Joe.

Thank you for your lovely comments. You are such a sweetheart for saying that I help you to feel young. I guess we are as young as we feel. And at 1am…I’m feeling somewhat jaded!

I will have to check through the comments on your pages to see what you’ve written as I always forget to press the ‘keep me informed of other comments’ button!

I hope you like today’s post https://1961girl.wordpress.com/2011/01/29/bonkers-about-books/ I’ve given you a mention in the first paragraph!

Thank you for being such a wonderful inspiration…and of course you can call me ‘Juls’!

31 01 2011
Papa Joe

Thanks Juls. Gotta admit that I’ve been using both Juls and Julie and they both fit. And I’m a little behind on my comments but I loved your book post. In fact, if you like books, you may want to check out my post today. I have not published it yet but I’m recommending a website called http://www.quidmont.com for a particular story. But it’s a place where you can get some things to read for free. Not a lot there yet, but ya never know. 🙂

And you really do make me feel young Juls. You’re celebrating something that I dreaded. Wish I’d had your attitude back then. Thanks for every word you write. And thanks for sharing them.

– Papa Joe

31 01 2011
1961 Girl

Hey Papa Joe. You can call my Juls/Julie/or anything you like really…if you keep on saying such lovely things!

I have no idea how I am making you feel young, but I am delighted that you think this the case. Many of my friends are dreading turning 50 this year and when I told them I was going to write a blog to celebrate this special year, they looked at me in complete horror and went back to hiding behind closed doors (at least the ones that weren’t knocking at the door of their plastic surgeons!)

Thanks for the link to the site…it could be a great place to submit articles in the future. I have saved it on my ‘favourites’ and will check back again. I will submit something in the future, but for now I have yet to come up with anything for tomorrow’s post!

I will go and check to see if you’ve posted yours.


29 01 2011
Housekeeping Again!! « Things in life I find annoying

[…] the WordPress Challenge for PostAWeek2011 with her new blog Passionate About Pets. Next is Julie, 1961Girl who is celebrating all year-long to mark a special day. Please stop by and say […]

29 01 2011

I really like the idea of celebrating for 365 days, and 50 is a great time to do it. The ‘dash’ concept is great: a good reminder to pause. Have a great day.

30 01 2011
1961 Girl

When I first created my blog, my intention was to share the fun and exciting things I was doing to celebrate every day. However, the blog has turned itself into a journey of self-discovery – and what an exciting adventure it is! Thank you for stopping by – and pausing for a moment to read my post. 🙂

1 02 2011

Very much enjoying your blog, keep up the good work 🙂

1 02 2011
1961 Girl

I am delighted that you are enjoying my blog Theresa.

Thank you for taking the time to read my posts. It is good to have you here 🙂

2 02 2011

Wow! What a great inspiration for a blog. I hope that I celebrate every year with joy, especially when I hit the big 5-0 (which isn’t that far away). Happy year of celebrating you!

2 02 2011

Your blog title drew me in, as I too am a 1961 girl! This is a big year for us!
I look forward to following your blog – well done on being Freshly Pressed!

2 02 2011

Hi Julie,
I’m a brand-new blogger (found you on “Freshly Pressed” when I logged in) achieving a new year’s resolution of several past January ones, and am also in my run-up to 50 (10/14).

Trying to make sense of it all.

So much to learn, and a lot to celebrate! I will check in here throughout this very special year in our lives!

Best of luck.

Laurie in Maryland

2 02 2011

Welcome to the blogging world! One of the first things I did when I was a brand new blogger was to take a blogging course called “31 Days to Build a Better Blog” Challenge. I highly recommend it. It was a free course offered by the ProBlogger web site. Since that time, I still strive to learn new things and look for ways to improve my blog. I feel my efforts have been beneficial. Best wishes on your blog and celebrating life! Take care, A.

11 02 2011

Thank you! I have signed up. I really appreciate the tip. This helped me celebrate my day/year today.


11 02 2011
1961 Girl

Hi Laurie. I’m delighted that I helped you to celebrate your day/year. Good to meet you and welcome on board! Juls 🙂

3 02 2011

I love the reference to living in the NOW and spending less time in the past or future. Have you read Eckhart Tolle? I’m not a huge fan, personally, but the message is timeless and priceless.
You’re a lot farther down the path to living positively in the NOW, but I have [Re-]embarked on the journey as well. I like the positive outlook. Keep it up!

3 02 2011

Julie Julie Julie – you are a woman of my heart! (<– can you say that? It's a danish expression, I'm not sure if it translates well, or if I did it right?) 😀
ANYWAY: LOVE your daily celebrations, they are just what I'm about!
I've subscribed now – you are my first subscription, because you are the first one where I sincerely thought: "This is something I want to read every day for the next year" 🙂
Keep up the amazing work!

3 02 2011

You look AWESOME! Can’t belive you are a 1961 girl. Nice blog & keep it up. K

4 02 2011
1961 Girl

Thank you so much for your kind comments…it must have been the ‘soft focus’ lense!

Glad you like my blog…thanks for stopping by 🙂


3 02 2011
Adrian Pantonial

I love your blog. It’s overflowing with inspiration and life. Keep up the good work, Julie!

Best Regards,

4 02 2011
1961 Girl

Thank you Adrian…I’m delighted that you stopped by and left such a lovely comment. Good luck with your blog as well!

Best wishes,
Julie 🙂

5 02 2011

Hi Julie:

I found you through your comment on my friend, Amanda’s blog (Amanda’s Wrinkled Pages). I’m a 1961 girl too (July 17th) who loves books (real ones)…

I have subscribed…am looking forward to reading more of your posts!


5 02 2011
1961 Girl

Hi Wendy.

Great to meet another 1961 Girl! What are you planning to by way of celebration for your big 50? 🙂

I saw a couple of your comments on Amanda’s blog. Thanks for getting in touch…and for subscribing.

5 02 2011

My fiancé and I are going to a U2 concert a couple of weeks after I turn 50 (his 49th birthday is four days after mine). A couple of days away from the kids will be a nice way to celebrate our birthdays!


5 02 2011
Marion Driessen

Hi Julie,

You are a sweetheart to let us participate in the celebrations of this very special year. I love your posts and look forward to your daily surprises.

*hugs* from a ’63 girl


6 02 2011
1961 Girl

Hi ’63 girl!

Sharing my life with my ‘Blogging Buddies’ – including your good self – is turning into my cause for celebration! Oh how life holds such wonderful suprises and who knew that blogging would turn into such a journey.

Great to have you along for the ride!
Juls 🙂

6 02 2011
David Jerromes

Hey Juls, great blog babes!! You’re making me think more and more clearly. Love your writing, always has been good! Can’t wait to see you again. Finally replied to your email tonight, don’t fall off your chair at this news, but yes I did!!! 😉 xx

7 02 2011
1961 Girl

Hello my lovely…and welcome to the world of blogging…I hope you enjoy the ride!

I notice that you’ve subscribed to my blog so I won’t need to email you any more cos you will be kept up to speed with my daily reflections! Only kidding – I owe you an email…and hope to see you in March!

Lol Juls xxx:-)

9 02 2011

Here’s the link to the Facebook Group for Postaday http://www.facebook.com/TheRunningGarlic#!/home.php?sk=group_119893521414244
I understand about others seeing your reply to comments – didn’t think about that!
Debbie 🙂

13 02 2011
Find an Outlet

Hi Juls,

A lot of wisdom in this post. I struggle with “living in the now” and started my blog as a sort of therapy for myself.

You look great, and I love to see us 50-year-olds with long hair—hope you never cut it! (I’m a few years older than you but refuse to give in.)

Yes, someday we’ll be saying “oh to be 50 again.”
Take care,

14 02 2011
1961 Girl

Hi Debra,

I also find it a challenge to living in the ‘now’ and blogging is a great way to remind ourselves of all we believe in.

I intend to keep my hair long and even add a few purple extensions in honour of my 50th year!

Great to connect with you. I shall look forward to reading your future posts. Juls 🙂

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