It’s my Birthday Eve. Not many adults would reference this day, let alone give it a name. I, however, have been so excited all day, randomly shouting, “Tomorrow is my birthday,” and hell, it might as well be Christmas for all that my brain and my heart know right now.
By the time this posts it will actually be my birthday and festivities will be in full swing. Interestingly enough, and like Christmas, the time leading up to a special day is often just as exhilarating as the day itself, if not better. That’s why it’s always good to relish in the “pre-game” excitement. It just means more joy.
You might be wondering what I could possibly be this excited about, seeing as how Covid birthdays are not nearly as much fun as non-covid, go-out-and-party, eat-at-restaurants, buy-yourself-new-clothes, kind of birthdays usually are. Well, look at this.
I took the picture as I was walking Zoey this evening and even though it was pretty cold out, I think both us gals felt invigorated! I was compelled to pause when I looked up to the sky and noticed this beauty. I had to capture the moment. Why? Not only was the sky gorgeous, but I had this achingly, wonderful feeling that all was right with the world.
There I was, on a beautiful, crisp winter’s night, walking with my sweet pup. I had my health. Last year I was still in a boot, nursing my foot after coming off surgery for a torn plantar plate, but there I was, physically fit and mentally sound, walking through my beautiful neighborhood, listening to a new podcast, learning and growing. I was on my way to drop off something to one of my wonderful friends, and as I was out, my husband was at home cooking dinner. Hopefully the kids were setting the table and helping out. (Update: They weren’t) I had them to go back to, so we could share a meal and talk about our day. And as I cleaned up after din-din, I face-timed my parents and had some good belly laughs. Now I’m laying on my bed with Zoey at my feet, writing, another of my most favorite things to do.
Let’s count up those blessings: my pup, nature, health, friends, podcasts and growth, hubby, kids, connection with them, a healthy meal not cooked by me, my parents, and a cherished hobby, writing. Damn, life is good.
So when Paul asked me, “What do you want for your birthday,” and I told him “absolutely nothing because I already have every possible thing I could want or need,” he balked. He knows that even though I’m a grateful girl, I also happen to be a girl who LOVES presents! But this year, not so much. I am beyond content.
Here’s the thing. I am well aware that life is not static. Things can and will change at any moment, and we can’t avoid it. It’s part of the human condition.
I remember December 31 of 1997. My roommates had gone out for New Years Eve, but I chose to stay in. I wanted to write (gee what a surprise) and reflect back on my year, as it happened to be one of great change in many positive ways. I was closing out a journal, and get this, I was actually finishing it up on the last page! That never happens. The TV was on, and Brad Pitt was being interviewed with his then wife, Jennifer Aniston. Ahh, the good ol’ days. I believe it was Barbara Walters who asked him if he believed in happy endings and he replied with, “I believe in perfect moments.”
And interestingly enough, as I was closing out 1997 with so much joy and pride, that was what I was having. A perfect moment. I’m having one now, as well.
There have been many other perfect moments since then, along with some, no joke, truly horrific ones, and then lots of in between. As I mentioned before, that’s what life is. But as I am in this beautiful moment, I am so grateful for all I have, and I am fully aware of the need to pause, recognize, and appreciate it.
And because I am well acquainted with joy and the things that bring happiness and peace in my life, these are the things I know I can return to when the proverbial shit hits the fan. When chaos is abound and I am searching for the calm, what is the bringer of peace?
It’s not the external material gifts, but life’s most precious: It’s the amazing friends and family who are always there to support me, my pup who gives endless unconditional love, nature, which will always be a balm for my soul, podcasts assisting me as I navigate my path, journals that help with getting out crappy, poo-poo feelings, and the biggie – my health. I’m still here, still breathing, despite whatever heartbreak or challenge might occur. I am alive, able to have the opportunity to face what comes my way with the greatest gifts life has to offer, by my side. Perfect moments or not so perfect moments, I can look to the abundance all around me to help me find peace.
No, Paul, I don’t need any gifts this year. Truly, I have it all.