My mother turned 68 yesterday. She says that she likes being older because you are allowed to be as silly as you want. (I have to admit that I had to ask when her age had stopped her from being silly.)
She has taught me a lot of good things over the years. Most of which seem to boil down to "don't get side tracked by your problems, solve them". I remember being on the dock at the summer house her father had bought when she was a child. I had dropped something in the water and as I started to cry, she shouted at me "Action, not reaction". That sort of sums up my mother...she is a problem solver, a quick thinker and a creator. She builds things, but they are usually more functional than beautiful. Presented with a problem she would not complain instead she would find a way to solve it.
She was not one for drama or tears, and if she was angry it wasn't something she held onto. She let it go. When I dropped and broke the glass canister for the blender, she walked in, grabbed the broom and dust pan, and confidently stated "I always wanted one of those in plastic". Then handed the broom to me and had me sweep up the mess.
She trusted me and trusted my judgment. She let me make decisions and taught me to live with the consequences. (You don't have to take your coat if you don't want to but don't complain about the cold if you choose not to.) When I tried to be mellow dramatic and take the weight of the world on my shoulders (or at least be responsible for ruining everything). She would say "Don't take so much credit, you couldn't be responsible for all of that if you tried."
She is retired now and enjoys her gardening, and her chickens and most of all her grand children. So for her birthday I drove down and had lunch with her and then my sister made dinner and cake. I hope she enjoyed her birthday and I am wishing her many more.