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.