Happy Birthday

You say it’s your birthday
It’s my birthday too, yeah
They say it’s your birthday
We’re gonna have a good time
I’m glad it’s your birthday
Happy birthday to you

I’m 34 today! Whee! I made it through thirty four years of this life, with this last year being perhaps the wildest ride of all. The absolute lowest low and some of the highest highs, with face-distorting twists and turns.

I was fortunate when I was in my early twenties to have a regular customer at the bookstore who was celebrating her fortieth birthday — only I didn’t know it when I stuck my foot in my mouth. Up until I met her, every person I ever met who was turning 40 was incredibly sad about it, or disappointed, or scared or fill-in-the-blank-negative-emotion here. So when Rachel said to me (I’m relatively sure that was her name, but it will work anyway, ’cause there’s no one out there to say different), “Today’s my fortieth birthday,” my first impulse was to offer condolences. She laughed and said, “I’m happy to have made it this far! Forty years of glorious life, forty years of experience.” I stood there, somewhat giddily stunned as she went on. “Even if I weren’t forty, I always celebrate my birthdays because hey — I made it another turn around the sun.” Right then and there I decided that would be my attitude towards birthdays. No moping over 30 for me, no moping over 40 or 50. And after Jasmine’s death, I’m even more keenly aware that every year is a gift and an opportunity.

It might help that I’ve honestly never created a road map for my life. Some might say that’s short-sighted. How do I know what to do next? How do I account for my time? I say my life is not a business plan. I’m not useless and I have a pretty good idea what my purpose is, so I don’t need to tick items off a list to get there. It’s more (for me) about living in accordance with that purpose, letting it alone be the guide. That and my values. It’s not easy — don’t let me give you that false impression — but it’s also not about feeling disappointed because I didn’t reach Goal No. 457.2, Subsection D. And I don’t know very many people who would say I live a wasted life.

So yeah… today’s my birthday. And while I had a small celebration a week ago, I’m going to celebrate again today. Another turn around the sun. Thanks, Rachel!

And thanks very much, too, to MarshAster for my birthday presents — they got here yesterday. I wish you were here to help me with this knitting thing. I am very intimidated and wish I had your patient hands to guide me. Maybe the book will help!

I have some other thankfulness to take care of today, in alphabetical order. Cat got me a great DVD; Creda had two fabulous books sent to me from Amazon, one of which is a great journaling book and some of the benefits will be reaped here (that was an amazingly awkward sentence, wasn’t it?); hiss was the first, and she sent me a CD that had been on my Amazon Wishlist forever; ladyavalon42 and differedfrom for the great Umberto Eco books; Marcy for the fabulous Joss Whedon graphic novel (see you soon, neighbor!); Robbin sent a black heart that Jeff is still trying to find a setting for and that I LOVE; Rowan sent me a black heart necklace that I haven’t removed since I got it as well as some words from Jasmine that jived an awful lot with some words willow_rahne delivered. Most of all, thanks to everyone who participated in the meme, because I really think the gift was in the giving this year.

If I missed you, I may not have received your gift yet. I was feeling so confident in Amazon until yesterday, when they delivered 23 Switchfoot CDs to treesssa instead of the ice-tea pitcher I ordered.

Also, thanks for the “thanks” to those of you who wrote in your journal (yes, Beth, I sent the game, and thank YOU for the great gift idea for Gabrielle!) thanking me. I have truly loved this Wish List thing and hope to do it again last year. I still have a thing or two to send out, including something overseas, which will probably be late for the Solstice.

Happy Friday!

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