What’s one of the biggest benefits of having a photographer in the family? You can schedule a photo shoot whenever you desire!

When I was 28 years old, my father died of a massive heart attack at the age of 54. Less than two years later, my mother had a massive stroke at the age of 54.

Needless to say, 54 is not a good age in my house. In fact, I’ve outlawed it. (More on that in a minute.)

Since that time, I’ve undergone significant changes in my life.

I started reading books on heart disease almost immediately. I changed my diet over time. When my daughter declared herself vegetarian at the age of three, I thought it was a phase. It wasn’t. So I learned all I could about a plant-based lifestyle. In 2012, I too became vegetarian. Today I consider myself to be a “lazy” vegan: I’m vegan at home, but I won’t scream if a restaurant includes cheese in my meals.

I‘ve changed the way I work. My dad passed away after years of stress. His company had him reinterview for his position over and over again, with the threat of termination always lingering if he didn’t get in. His goal was to hit 55 and take an early out. He was less than three months short. When I felt the same pressures at a JOB building up in my life, I quit. I started my own business, and I’ve never looked back. I’m not saying entrepreneurship is any less stressful. But it has allowed me to do whatever I choose with my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I reinvent myself all the time. Life is short. TOO short. So I say YES to many things. Starting a new business? Writing a novel? Crowdfunding a new idea? Traveling to a new country? Moving … just because? Sure, why not.

There’s more. A lot more. You can read all about it if you follow me here on my site.

But let’s get back to the photo shoot. And forbidding the age of 54.

When my husband had his last birthday, he had a choice: 53-again or 55. Ask him, and you’ll hear his choice.

I turned 53 just a few months ago. And I’ll be hanging on to 53 and 53-again for quite a while.

So why not have some fun with it? Why not play up being 53!

Because in my household, it’s an accomplishment. I’m inching ever so close to that very large number that’s loomed in my mind for many, many years.

It’s here. And I’m healthier and happier than ever. Why not celebrate it with a portrait? Why not display it proudly on my site? (You have seen my new homepage, haven’t you? What do you think?)

Any age – 53, 54, and beyond – is just a number. I’ll be the first to agree.

Age is worth celebrating, no matter what your age, by being exactly who you’re meant to be.