A message from a 51 yr young birthday junker

Funky Junk's birthday

“I can’t start now, I’m too old!”

I was met with a very unimpressed face. Β And a disgusted reply of, “SAYS WHO?!?!?”

This very small but significant conversation transpired approx 4 years ago right before I fired up Funky Junk Interiors.

Funky Junk's birthday

The thing with birthdays is, they come once a year whether you want them to or not. With some things we have no choice.

Funky Junk's birthday


But as luck would have it, we have many other super cool choices, despite our age.

We have a choice to be happy and follow our hearts, no matter what.

We have a choice to wake up each morning, wondering what adventure will transpire.

And we have a choice to stay young, despite a creeping up age, that tends to stereotype where we should be, what we do, what we wear, what we eat and maybe even how we look.

Funky Junk's birthday
This newly 51 year old junker has a message for you. You can either choose to follow status quo and play it super safe, or jump off the cliff and enjoy the wild ride ahead of you.

I’m not cutting my hair. I like it long.

I’ll lose weight when I feel like it. Or maybe not.

I want to go barefoot and wear jeans and hoodies and flannel shirts and love rust until the day I die.

I want to be happy and enjoy every single day, rather than live with regrets.

I’m willing to take chances. Life is a big fat chance. We have no guarantee for a tomorrow so why not live right this minute the way you want to? Doing what you love?

I want to take care of myself. I do care that I eat healthy, exercise, live a clean life and follow my faith.

My friend (ahem… maybe) once again was (maybe… cough!) just a little (uuuggghhh) right.

Age really is just a number with no boundaries. It’s what you do with it that counts.

And don’t you worry. I still need to practice what I preach. I have a few more scary cliffs to jump.. the same cliff is getting real old… time to change that!

– – – – –

My birthday was Saturday. Went out for lunch with my buddy Dorothy, had a nap, then went out for dinner with my buddy Sue. I got spoiled rotten both rounds. And today, I went out for lunch with my buddy Cyndi, and after picking up my son from his dad’s, my son flipped me a $20 and directed me to the nearest grocery store with instructions to GET A CAKE. It’s truly been a wonderful, friend and food filled weekend! And you may even be impressed I stayed offline nearly the entire time. πŸ™‚ I shall do some features from the weekend party this week!

So! Tomorrow I pack up my junk for the Milner Village Garden Centre event on Tuesday. Nothing like breaking in 51 right! If you’re in the area, I’d LOVE to see you there!

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Categories: About me, Family, Inspiration, Personal, Rambling

103 thoughts on “A message from a 51 yr young birthday junker

  1. Happy Birthday Donna. I have not found my early 50’s to be too bad. I have been challenging myself with things that have stretched me in ways I would never even guess I wanted to go. Age is just a number. Your desire and drive to try new things and see new places and experience new firsts are what are important and you have all that in spades. That and a really good wrinkle cream is all you need. I am glad you had a wonderful and friend filled weekend.

  2. Happy Birthday Donna from a fellow “51er”!! I just love your philosphy on life…I am about to embark on a new venture myself and I’m not cutting my hair anytime soon either!!

    Becky @ Vintage 541

  3. Well Happy Birthday, Fellow 51er! Let’s make it a great year filled with adventurous cliff jumping and continued nonconformity!

    Thank you for your generous spirit. The world is better with you in it! XO, Maria

  4. The fifties can be a bit of a weird transition. By the time I reached 61 I found this new phase to be wonderfully freeing. It’s great to feel the self confidence that comes with this level of maturity! Since you already march to a different drummer, you’ll be the most fabulous 51 year old ever!

  5. Happy happy Birthday my hubbys was FRIDAY so lots of cake going around…you my friend could easily be 31 great jeans…o genes yeap I get it….I think you will inspire me …on my birthday ….when I turn 59….and still have long hair …I did cut some but still long…will stay a redhead thank you no gray….and my weight need to loose but being healthy is what counts…and my grands like my silly self …..so to you I wish many more and loving your new look…..when I get myself in gear I want to change mine…happy happy 51

  6. Happy Birthday from another 51 year young one! I’m embracing my age and thinking I am lucky to be doing something I like to do every day. This is not the life I planned but sometimes things turn out the way they should. I’m all for new adventures in my second half…as I am sure you are too.

  7. happy birthday…I too had a birthday on friday and hope I look as stunning as you when I reach 51 which is only a few years away I might add….I pigged out on pizza and red wine and loved every minute of it…thinking you might like my jars my partner gave me…very junky looking but very cool…
    hip hip hooray!
    Bec x

  8. Happy Birthday! I love that you have such good friends that want to be with you on your birthday. Live that your son even remembered your birthday. Love even more that you love rust! ME too!

  9. Hi
    I normally don’t leave comments on the blogs that I follow, but this one struck a nerve with me! Thank you for writing this! I will be 51 on April 19th and I am trying hard to live like you wrote about. I bought a horse last fall and am a little fearful of getting on him even though I had horses many years ago and I have already ridden him before but I am determined to enjoy him! I too love jeans, tee shirts and hoodies and junk! I love the things you make and the pictures that you share. I am trying to live my life without regrets sometimes it is a challenge but reading what you wrote today gives me such an uplifting feeling and an incredible boost!! Thank you again!

    • I wasn’t going to comment until I saw your comment Melanie … I read Donna’s post and thought to myself, she’s right, I’m 51, I should just do what makes me happy and finally buy a horse. And then I read your comment … coincidence? I think not! Maybe it isn’t too late for me yet … and I’m rooting for you to get up on your horse! Thank you!

  10. You wear it well, Donna…the number 51, the long hair, the rust, the flannel shirts! Enjoy being who God made YOU to be and live your one life to the full! I hope you have a wonderful birthday week and celebrate on and on!

  11. Happy HAPPY Birthday, Donna.

    You inspire me, give me courage, and remind me of ‘the big picture’ of this journey we are all on and the importance of living it fully.

    Thank you.

    Bless you.

    May this be the very best year yet for you!!

    <3 Christina @ I Gotta Create!

  12. Happy Birthday Donna! Have a blessed NEW YEAR! Enjoy the grace of God, the talents He has blessed your with, and wonderful family….we are blessed with your writings and the fact you share all your ideas with us! ~Hugs~ Lynda

  13. You’re one hot 51 year old. πŸ™‚
    Happy birthday, and keep walking with the earth touching your feet!

  14. Congrats my friend!! So glad to know there are a few bloggers out there that are my age. You are right, you aren’t too old to do something new. I love living in my jeans and boots and plan to do so as long as I want to.

    You are beautiful!! And to quote George Eliot ( A female British author from the 1800’s, who dressed like a man) “It’s never too late to be who you might have been.”

  15. It looks like you had a wonderful birthday and I know that you’ve got a wonderful perspective on life. I’m just a couple of years ahead of you and I’ll admit that the transition to my 50’s was strange but since I’ve been “here” I finally gave myself permission to start doing the things that I love and it’s been wonderful! Here’s to the “next” 51 Donna…I can’t wait to see what you accomplish and I’m thrilled to have you for a friend so that I can be along for the ride. xo, Kimberly

  16. Happy birthday from a soon to be 40 year old who quit a full time job in December to work our business full time. I saw this on Pinterest and it sounds just like your post “She took a leap and built her wings on the way down”. best wishes for many more happy years.

  17. Happy Birthday Donna! I enjoyed reading this! You are so right if you put your mind to something you can do anything you want and what ever age you are!!! I have some goals I am working hard to achieve.I know they will happen!BTW I am not 50 yet but close approaching.I will be 48 this year πŸ™‚


  18. Happy Birthday! I am a new reader and you are such an inspiration to me. I am attempting to create an english cottage garden and I love to decorate my yard, so you have given me a few great ideas.

    On another note, I would love to have you write a guest post on my blog: http://www.aviewtoathrill.net. It’s a travel blog and if you could create something related to travel and write about it, I would be so grateful!!

    I know you are a busy woman, so there is absolutely no rush, should you decide to do it.

    Keep inspiring us!

  19. Happy Birthday, Donna! Wish I could have been there to say it in person!

    You are one beautiful 51 year old and having just turned 49 myself, I sincerely appreciate the message to be who you are and try new things. For the first time in my life, I’m actually starting a bucket list. I’ve been too busy with kids up until now, but my last one graduates in a couple of months and the future looks bright. Maybe I’ll even have time for that trip to Hawaii! πŸ˜‰

  20. Good Morning, Donna and Happy Birthday!! Some of the best birthdays I’ve had have been celebrated with awesome girlfriends… so glad that you had that kind of a birthday. I hope your year ahead is the best ever, filled with amazing junky adventures!

    Hugs to you,


    P.S. I linked over to the Imagination Corporation from your post and WOW does Grampa Dan have quite the office! Loved perusing that website. Is he a local where you live?? Amazing creativity in that sign making business.

  21. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Donna! That cake looks delish. Sounds like the perfect birthday weekend. There’s something very liberating about the 50’s. I’m 53, a casual, non-conventional type of gal, and I love it.

  22. Happy 51st Birthday to you dear Donna ~ You inspire me, and this post was wonderful for me. I just turned 64, am newly widowed, and I look to your blog, with thoughts from your heart, for encouragement and inspiration and fantastic photos. I have a workshop full of tools, my husband told me before he left this earth, that the workshop would now be mine, to me, it is ours. I know how to use some of the tools, not all, as I worked with him and watched him through many projects we did together in our 43 years of marriage. Do you have any tutorials on how to use small power tools? Or can you recommend any?

    You are a lovely lady. Your happiness and love of life shows. Thank you.


  23. well Hi, Iam 51 very soon too. sounds like you have lovely friends. I live in Perth ie the West of Australia. My lovely mum is taking my to Melbourne on the East for a little break and birthday shopping. Love your outlook on life. Keep happy what you do. and have the time of your life. I enjoy seeing what you are up to. thanks.

  24. You rock! I love it all and especially that you stayed offline. We need to break from the grid once in a while. Thanks for ALL the inspiration. There’s lots of it you give to us all. Stay beautiful and keep posting!

  25. Hey! Happy Birthday!
    You look great and you’re surrounding yourself with the things and people you love. Life can’t get any better than that. As long as you have your security blankets (jeans and flannel shirts) while you’re stepping outside your comfort zone, you’ll be fine.

    • Haha! I’ve lived my life for many years in clothes that weren’t me. Once I changed my job and didn’t have to any longer, I felt like I finally came home. I’ll always be a farmer’s daughter. πŸ™‚

  26. Happy Belated Birthday! I met my husband the year we both turned 50. I considered it a new page with lots of new opportunities. You look terrific and the cake looks delicious. The philosophy for success is “do what you love”, so keep up the good work, because we all love it too!

  27. Kudos to you for your wit and wisdom! I can identify – I’m 52. By the way, you look fabulous! Have a blessed week!

  28. I quote you, “Age really is just a number with no boundaries. It’s what you do with it that counts.” And I will continue to quote you to others and I’ll post your comment where I can be reminded when things feel uphill and slow! You are an inspiration. Thank you. Linda

  29. Morning Donna, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Thanks for sharing sound advice. We are so truly blessed. Thank you Lord!! Blessings and smiles, Emilou πŸ™‚ p.s. Age really is just a number!

  30. Hi Donna!
    I must say – THIS post was a surprise for me!
    You are an inspiration in so many ways for me due to your creativity – And more and more as I get to know your blog, more and more I simply just LOVE the personality you have! Honest writing with a true heart!
    And the love of Junk… It’s SO inspiring <3 Congratulations on the birthday saturday and THANK YOU for sharing your all of your thoughts and ideas – I enjoy every single of them along with my morning-coffee's, afternoon-coffee's and evening tea's.

    Best thoughts,

    Pernille / Polly,
    Denmark, Europe.

  31. Bless you! I may print this post out and past it on the wall. Happy, happy Birthday to you!!!

    A fellow lover of jeans and flannel shirts. πŸ™‚

  32. So true, says your older “sister”! Great words to live by!!

    Happy birthday…it’s going to be a great year!


  33. Sounds like a wonderful weekend – Happy Birthday! I took the jump off the cliff a year ago and I’m not looking back! You’ve been an inspiration to me! Enjoy that cake – it looks delish!

  34. Sounds like a great birthday!!! I turned 60 two weeks ago and I’ve been on the junker train for just about as long as you! I’m so happy to have found that there are so many of us!!!! No worries, there is and always will be plenty of junk to go around. Belated best wishes, Girlfriend!!!!

  35. Happy Birthay!!! It is good to be loved. πŸ™‚ It was great that your son had you get a cake. (& it certainly looked delicious)
    Like you, I have decided that jeans, flannels, comfy shoes, and doing what I love is what I will do. So I am often covered in paint, sawdust, dirt, etc. You have found your niche–that is wonderful!!!

  36. Happy Birthday….just reading blogs and stumbled upon yours..love it! I will be 51 this saturday! I agree with you! This midlife weight gain is driving me nuts…yes I will lose it when I feel like. Hair comment too…have been growing mine out….hoping for a ponytail by summer!! Your post just gave me a lift! Thank you! I am looking forward to 51!!

  37. I remember thinking and feeling the same way about launching my business and vision a couple of years ago and I am now less than a year from “50”! I let the story of Grandma Moses by my inspiration and dove right in, with no regrets. Saw you at Bella Rustica and your were great!! I hope that your birthday was awesome and can’t wait to see what you do with the next 51 years!!! πŸ˜‰

  38. Happy Birthday. Don’t let the numbers get you down. I am 62, and I have no idea when that all happened. Just enjoy every day. I’m glad tht you are having fun celebrating. And…..you do 51 very well.

  39. hi donna,

    happy birthday! I just turned 52 in january – it really is just a number! I have begun some new pursuits this year just to prove it – mainly to myself!
    thanks for sharing your blog!


  40. I just turned 59 and gasped, “oh no next year I will be 60!” Yet I am healthy and at a good weight. I work out and do my yard work and work at a full time job. I travel and sew for my 11 grandchildren. I couldn’t be happier. Yes age comes whether you like it or not, but you don’t have to become OLD!! Hapyy Birthday to you and hope you are just as rust loving when you are 91!

  41. Hi Donna,
    Just want to wish you a very happy birthday!!
    I ABSOLUTELY LOVE YOUR BLOG! There’s no one like you here in the UK, you have changed my and my family’s life, the way we look at junk and life. On a recent trip to Spain we were wandering round a museum when some 16th century machinery caught my husband’s eye, ‘Wow, Funky Junk Donna would really love that!’ was his comment. I also love to hear about your life, the happy and the sad,and thank you for sharing so honestly with loads of people you’re never going to meet.
    You enrich our lives, bring so many cool and creative ideas, and I look forward to each and every post.
    We wish you a truly wonderful year ahead, full of health and happiness….and junk!
    B xx
    You look fabulous for 51!

  42. What a great post. Happy Birthday! I find your blog and all your “junk” transformations so inspiring. I just love everything you do and I had no idea what your age was, but I had thought maybe you were between mid thirties and early forties. Knowing you are closer to my age makes me feel even more inspired. Thank you for all you share. Have a blessed year!

  43. Happy Birthday! 51 is a good age! So is 52, etc. I turned 60 April 5th! Now I’m waiting for 61! It’s all in keeping the faith and enjoying the people around you! Congrats on 51!
    Oh and keep on Junkin, you were born for it!

  44. Great attitude! And Happy Belated Birthday! My 50th is next month, and I’m giving serious consideration to getting a purple streak in my hair to celebrate! I’m not cutting my hair either, as I’ve always had long hair and like how it looks. Love your site, and looking forward to hearing about the next cliff you decide to jump off of!

  45. Happy birthday! You look fabulous at any age! The best part is that you are doing new things, meeting new challenges, and making great things happen in your life! You are never too old to start anything, and really, age is just a number and a state of mind. So you might be 51 chronologically, but you’re 25 in the ways that count! Best wishes for a great year!

  46. A VERY BLESSED BIRTHDAY TO YOU !!! It’s always so good to hear someone enjoying their age. I am now 63 years old but my thinking is that of myself at 35. I am loving life and my family more every day. It’s never too late to try anything. We need to enjoy every single day of our life as we never know how many days we have left. I am a cancer survivor and know first hand how precious life is.

  47. Amen! I am going on 55; I have a long hair. Nothing stops me from enjoying life at every moment. I am not afraid to take risks , I am always working on that every day. Happy Birthday to you! Good luck .

  48. Happy Birthday! Sounds like a good time was had by all. I just love your site and your love for rust. You are never too old for anything, keep on keeping on.

  49. Happy belated birthday. It’s great you had a wonderful birthday and I totally agree with doing what you feel is right for you…no matter your age. And I am praying that I look this beautiful at 51.

  50. Happy happy birthday to you!
    I lovel this post! Good for you, and I hope you keep junkin, livin, & smilin for a good long time!
    This saying:
    “Birthdays are good for you…afterAll, the more you have the longer you live”


  52. Very timely post for me too! I like your attitude. My birthday was on Sunday and I turned SEVENTY!! I really have to laugh every time I say “seventy.” πŸ™‚ I had lots of comments from friends and family to the tune of: You don’t look it, and you certainly don’t ACT it! (I think that was a compliment!?!)

  53. Happy belated birthday! You are a very gorgeous 51 year old!!! I am working the other end of the 50’s myself (57) – it is very surreal, lol!!!!! Please keep inspiring me the waay you do, maybe I will jump off that cliff myself one of these days!!!!! lol

  54. Happy Birthday Donna! Thank you so much for sharing that with us.
    I will be turning 50 this summer and seem to have some things in common with you. I love my long hair, jeans and hoodies, and things old, rusty and flaky too! I too live in beautiful B.C. on the island now, but I grew up in the Fraser Valley, not far I’m sure from where you are, (the areas you photograph look so familiar). I don’t act my age as some people wish that I would, and I don’t like to play it safe. We only get one go around and we should definitely try and make the most of it no matter how often we get knocked down. I believe in Karma and all of the good energy that you are putting out there will one day come back to you.
    Thank you for taking us along on your journey.

  55. Hey, Happy Birthday Donna! Keep on keepin’ on, who cares about age as long as we’re able to carry on doing what we love! I’ve got a few years on you and I just can’t quit doing my thing either. I have sooo many projects that I still want to do and not enough time! ‘They’ say the older you get the slower the time goes…who said that?…the days seem to fly by! We Canadians are tough!!
    Good health & good junking!

  56. Happy Birthday, Donna! You look fabulous! And I have to say, your close-up of your birthday cake is just about the prettiest photo of a cake I have ever seen! Any chance you would ‘dish’ on where you found it? πŸ™‚ since I live in the Lower Mainland too πŸ™‚ It is so pretty! And I absolutely LOVE your business cards!

  57. It’s interesting how many I refuse to lay down and die posts I keep stumbling on. I feel a quiet revolution amongst us.:) good for you for being part of it. Now go jump off a cliff!

  58. Happy Belated birthday, my friend, and THANK YOU for writing this post. It’s just like you to GIVE gifts on YOUR birthday. :). These are words I need to hear and the thoughts I have been battling in my 45.5 year old heart. Time to jump off a cliff!

  59. Happy Belated Birthday! I can totally relate to this post. I’m 54 and I’m not cutting my hair either. My mother always said you had to wear your hair short after a “certain age.” Who made that rule up, anyway? I still wear flannel shirts and hoodies. I even wear shorts … the kind that don’t fall at the knee but are shorter. I still feel like a 25-year old girl inside … just wiser. My goal this year is to step outside my comfort zone without fear as often as possible. I’m also a runner because it’s the one sport you can do no matter what your age. Did you see the video of the older Boston marathon runner who fell down at the bombing? He was 78! Anywho, thanks for the post about age. I hate that our society tends to favor youth. I think the Chinese had it right back in the day when they revered the elderly!

  60. I could not find a 52 Birthday post, so want to wish you a belated Happy Birthday and hope it was as fun as this one in this blog. I turn 55 on June 23, and agree with what was written here.

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