The Studio (MDR)’s owner and CEO, Lisa Hirsch, on the biggest birthday surprise she got this year … 10817824_1498150457117000_629638988_n

November has come and gone, and as anyone who knows me knows it’s my absolute favorite month of the year. The air is just a little bit crisper, my Rag and Bone booties are in regular rotation, and, well, it’s my birthday month.

Remember that excited feeling you used to get when you were 7 years old and your birthday was coming up? Did it involve a countdown to the big b-day, party planning, and a discussion with your mom about what kind of cupcakes she’d make for you to bring in to school? Full disclosure: This is still the kind of excitement I feel before my birthday and the kind of planning that goes into my celebration—minus the school cupcakes.

This year, however, I found myself looking at my looming birthday through a different set of eyes. It was the first time in my 43 years that I seemed to have an issue with my age. Normally, I am the one to embrace the number, celebrate it, and shout it from the rooftops. But this year, for no apparent reason, it suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks that the passage of time may not be such a joyous feeling after all. All of a sudden, I felt as if there was not enough time to accomplish all that I want to do in this life of mine.

You may think it sounds silly or even dark, but this wasn't coming from some place of sadness or depression. It was my reality that I tried to lay out in front of me so that I could take steps to smartly approach and figure out the next half of my already blessed life—a life that I have not taken for granted. But in the grand scheme of things, life is short, and I want to ensure that I appreciate the days to come and make the time to cherish the things that are most important to me: my family; my nephews; my work; and my health and happiness. Turns out the longer I’m here on this earth, the more I’m realizing how important it is to take everything in and to truly enjoy life—because it’s in that enjoyment that things start to blossom and flourish.

I came around by the time I rang in my 43rd year. I’m a firm believer that when we learn to think positively and make a regular habit of it, we can do so much more of what we initially think we cannot accomplish. So I’m going to go ahead and cut myself some slack for feeling anxious about getting older last month, and then—like I have every year for as long as I can remember—I’m going to embrace it. Here’s to all of us having an amazing December filled with self-discoveries and much to celebrate—and know that I am thankful for each and everyone of you.

Lots of love and let’s get this holiday season kicked into high gear!