Birthdays are a blessing!
Another day that I’ve been blessed to wake up. It means I get another chance. But it’s not just another day. December 8th holds a special meaning for me. It should because it’s my birthday. Some people call it the “born day” but I still prefer birthday. For quite a few years I’ve written a letter to myself on my birthday, only to be opened the following year on my birthday. I sometimes do it in the wee hours of the morning and I remember one year I waited until 11:50 pm to start writing it and had to cut it short because it had to be done before the clock struck midnight. I’ve reread some of them and have cried, laughed and shaken my head at what I wrote.
For some, another birthday can be a happy time and for others, it can be a sad time.
I’ve had both experiences. I recall a birthday when I was alone (except for my children), on the other side of the country, going through a heart-wrenching divorce and had no one familiar around me. That was definitely one of those birthdays that I’ve tried to not look back on but thinking about it right now, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was because a friend I’d met (Laura F.) in the same apartment complex directly across from the bay in Alameda, CA celebrated my birthday with me at her apartment so I would not be alone. That was almost 20 years ago and we are still friends.
I use the hashtag and year for awhile after each birthday. So it was #50Strong, #55Strong which I also called double nickels for the entire year. This year is #57Strong. Yep….57 years on this earth. 684 months. 20,818 days. As of 5 a.m., 29,979,079.7 minutes and 1.798744782E+9 seconds. When I look at it from that perspective, it makes me pause and think about those sayings “treasure every day, every minute, every second.” While they may seem like an eternity, they are fleeting.
It’s why the metal heart sculpture I won in a silent auction this year at Galer Winery earlier this year means so much to me. I won it just a couple of days after my oldest sister died. The steel heart with its shreds of entwined steel that is standing alone shows how resilient we are when we need to be and as I look at it right now, it’s tugging at my own heart.
Every year my mom, God rest her soul, would be on the phone with me. We were both early birds so it wasn’t unusual to be on the phone with her at 5 am in the morning. I can hear her on the other end of the phone saying, “it’s really not your birthday yet because you weren’t actually born until the afternoon but Happy Birthday now and I’ll call you later.” I miss her calls.
My dad and I would usually talk separately, being the daddy’s girl that I was. I can hear him saying “Happy Birthday sugar. You’re getting older now so what does that make me?” Funny when I look back on that since when I was born, my dad was 48 years old and my mom was 31 years old. Were he still living, he would be 105 years old. I miss him terribly too.
It’s those little moments, those minutes and seconds that I reflect on every year on December 8th.
Inevitably someone today will say 57 years old. You’re still a baby! Or another will say damn, you’re getting old! Well, I’m not a baby anymore but in my mind, I’m not old either. It doesn’t matter if you’re older or younger because what matters is how YOU feel about it so I use the word seasoned. Yes, I’m a SEASONED woman who looks at age as just a number!
My #56Strong year has been challenging and exhilarating. I think I’ve grown more during my 56th year of life specifically for me than at any other time. I’m looking forward to #57Strong. I’m looking forward to continuing my journey of growth professionally and personally. I look forward to old and new friendships. I’m looking forward to continuing to grow my business and to expanding the Social Health Empowerment movement. I look forward to seeing my family continue to grow and thrive. I look forward to FINALLY publishing my book “Live Your Life GRAND” because the cover is ahhhhmazing! I even look forward to continuing my journey for a healthier me even though the struggle is truly real.
And as I go though the day of celebrating life, I’ll write my letter to myself, gently fold it, write the date on the front of the fold and put it away until December 8, 2019. I pray that I’ll get to read it. I pray that my children will get to read my letters, see the dates and read my thoughts and reflections on the previous year and what I wanted for the following year. I pray that they will start a tradition to do the same. And most of all, I pray to Live Life GRAND because it’s the little things that count, not the things!
#ThatsTam #ShesIt #LiveYourLifeGRAND