Friday, April 2, 2010

Thoughts for My Day


Today is my birthday.

I remember when birthdays were exciting. They meant cake and presents and parties, or finally being old enough to drive, or at last being able to call myself an adult.

Birthdays, now, are very different. Oh, I still have a birthday cake--my family sees to that. I get a nice meal that I don't have to cook (or clean up after). And I usually get a present or two, which is nice, but the promise of gifts is no longer something that makes me too excited to sleep. And since I'm already driving and have been an adult for a pretty good while, I feel no need to mark the days preceding my birthday off the calendar in a vain attempt to push time forward.

Now, birthdays sometimes sneak up on me. They catch me unawares. I'm how old? Really?

It's not that I have a phobia about aging or mind telling my age. I guess it's just that I'm surprised at how quickly life passes.

Instead of cake and presents, what I now think about on birthdays is what a great gift life is, and how I only have one. I want to live it wisely. I've been making a point lately of seizing moments, usually small ones, and consciously living in them--experiencing them instead of letting them slip by, almost unnoticed. I've been asking myself what gives me joy, and then I've been trying to do more of those things.

I've been trying to finally give myself permission to be me. Real. Honest. Unedited. Wouldn't that be a great gift to receive?

By the way, in case you're wondering, this birthday's not one of the "big ones," so I'm not having a mid-life crisis--just a thoughtful moment.

5 comments:

Ash said...

Happy Birthday! Mine is at the end of the month...I think instead of feeling down about how life is flying by and dwelling on the things I haven't accomplished, I'll start taking your approach.

By the way, I've greatly perturbed my husband by asking for a waffle iron, even though that's really what I want.

Jennifer said...

Happy Birthday! I hope it's a great day for you...at least it's on a Friday! (You should declare this whole weekend your "Birthday Weekend". I do, and no one has had the nerve to argue with me yet!) :)

Stephanie said...

I like that Birthday Weekend idea.

ecarson said...

Happy Birthday!I think the beauty of aging is that we (you) can look at your state in life and feel good about what you have achieved. Thus, think about what is next. Book? Climb a Mtn? Oh, I want this too.

Stephanie said...

You're right, Carson. I've always been a "What next?" kind of person. I think that makes life more exciting. I like to be pursuing a dream rather than just drifting along.

And Ash--a waffle iron? Really? :-)