I went to bed teary eyed last night in Todd’s arms still effected by the news of the day. As we laid there together my mind wandered back and forth from what was going on with the situation and what I had to do to prepare for my final exam the next day and the fact that in a few hours it would be my birthday. I asked Todd if he thought birthdays were less special the older we got. He said yes, that he guessed so, explaining that when you are a kid that’s all you have, that and Christmas. There is nothing big really going on in your life, that is why it feels like such a big deal. As you get older, he said, there is so much other stuff happening in your life that it maybe isn’t quite the big deal it was years prior.
Although honest and probably mostly true, his answer made me sad. I have always thought birthdays are a big deal, other peoples at least. I don’t mean buy-the-person-a-million-balloons-and-make-a spectacle-out-of-them big deal, more like I-am-so-thankful-you-were-born-and-we-get-to-hang-out big deal. In that sense I think birthdays should always be special. It is the one guaranteed day of the year that people remember to be thankful for other people. When I am saying Happy Birthday to someone what I am really saying is, I love you and I am glad you are alive! Your birthday is your guaranteed day, it’s about you and people being thankful for you. So I guess somewhat opposed to what Todd said or maybe just restating it in a slightly different light, I do not think birthdays become less special as we get older, the meaning just changes. Or not even that the meaning changes, but as an adult it becomes less about the fanfare and more about the actual meaning. Yes, I like that last explanation best.
Honestly this year, from where I stand at least, my birthday has been a bit of an after thought. I mean I just got married, took a honeymoon, am getting ready for another big trip, plus it is exam week and I have a final exam scheduled for 7pm on my birthday. Not to mention I am turning 31, what is there to be excited about, it is kind of a boring in between age right? Wrong. My birthday started off very special and it totally infused a level of enthusiasm back into the day and about what it should mean.
So with that I would like to count my gratitude on why I am personally glad I am alive and get to celebrate being 31, which I am quite sure will turn out to be a very exciting age.
– My family, our relationship, how we support each other and balance each other and accept each other through everything.
– More specifically my mother for her bravery in raising a strong willed, at times completely impossible, little girl into a strong willed, principled woman.
– My husband. I have gratitude just for being able to write that word, husband. For his kindness and support and encouragement. For his understanding of who I am at my deepest levels and his love for everything I am. For all the things (big and small) that he does for me and most importantly his friendship.
– My new family and their total acceptance of this passionate, sensitive girl into their family.
– I am grateful for the last year, settling into this wonderful house together and making it our home, adopting what has turned out to be the sweetest rescue boxer we could have hoped for, being accepted into my program and maintaining straight A’s throughout the semesters, the volunteer work I have been fortunate to be involved in this year especially with Hospice..
– And finally the direction my life is taking. We don’t have every detail of our future planned out but I am excited for whatever comes next. Work, children, travel, school, who knows..