Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Happy Birthday

Today is my birthday so I’m treating myself to writing in the early hours about it. It’s 3:15 AM. Coffee is brewed. It’s dark everywhere in the house except for the glow of my laptop. I hear the fan whirring upstairs, a trick we used to muffle sounds that could potentially wake the sleeping baby. Seventeen years of whirring later, the girls still like their white noise makers.

When I think of the time that has passed, I picture someone flipping through a small day calendar at a fury’s pace. Days blur into months and years. I’m 48 years old. Seriously? That adds up to a lot of hours on earth and when I grapple with how I spent that time, I get a pang of anxiety.

Has it been wasted? Have I loved enough? Have I accomplished what I set out to do? Do I even know, yet, what that was supposed to be?

The quiet of the morning forces a pause. There’s no calendar. No worries. No place to be. Just stillness. I can give thanks in this place. Here, I don’t have to peruse my mind and obsess on the rough spots in my life or try to focus on all that is good. Here, I just sit and feel thankful.

Every bruise is just as wonderful as every smile. As I get older, I appreciate the rougher moments and see them like a roaring river after a storm. The fallen branches litter its bank as the waters gush, my heart that stone being tossed around. I bump along not even realizing how smooth those rough waters have made me. People who know me know when I tossed in that river. People who don’t will wonder. That’s life, isn’t it? We can’t know every detail. But I will say that what we should know is that everyone gets tossed about. It’s part of the journey. I’m also starting to believe that no matter how much we have endured in life, the endings are all happy.

The good news for me on this day is that I realize I am still writing my life’s story. I can still make choices.

Some promises I want to keep:
1. Accept I have hot flashes AND braces and it’s OK.
2. Don't take friends for granted, ever.
3. Encourage those aching knees as they walk down the stairs, remembering they've walked me to many places in my life.
4. Take risks in the creative realm because no one really cares.
5. Dive into my heart even if it hurts.
6. Eat to nourish, but never say no to chocolate.
7. Say thank-you more than please.
8. Notice light as it dances around the world.
9. Remember sexy comes from the inside.
10. Love. Love. Love. Especially those who have to put up with me on a daily basis.

Finally... Smile no matter what because all endings are happy.

"The wrong in the world continues to exist just because people talk only of their ideals, and do not strive to put them into practice. If actions took the place of words, the world's misery would very soon be changed into comfort."