Yes, it is true, I'm a year older. My Facebook page is filled with well wishing, and it feels kind of overwhelming to know that, even for a few seconds each, people have thought of me and sent good wishes my way! I am inhaling deeply and taking it all in. And it feels gooooood!!!!!
I am giving some thought today to what a birthday means. When my mother was alive, I used to tell her that she should be the one getting a gift, because after all, she was the one doing the work on this day. I just showed up. But showing up is doing something - on many levels. It means something to show up in the world, to show up for other people, and especially to show up for yourself. I don't take it for granted when others show up for me, nor do I imagine that others take it for granted either.
So today, when a surprising number of people have wished me well and asked what I am doing to celebrate, I suppose my first answer is to be present in gratitude for the gift of my life and all the beautiful people that have been, are, and continue to be part of that life. I don't take affection for granted. That is the biggest gift I receive today.
My five year old niece begins Kindergarten today, and not long ago, when I was visiting her, she took her Barbie microphone out of its stand, (like an old entertainment pro and not a five year old), and she proudly said into her hand-held mic, "Now I'm going to walk around the room and you can tell me how much you love me." I burst into laughter as I held my arms as wide as they could go and said, "This much." But I envied her joy, her confidence, and her immense, doubtless certainty that she was quite loved. My prayer is that she never loses that, but it's also that we grownups can all remember that, because regardless of our stories, we are all children of a God who surely feels that way about us.
So today I'm starting my birthday with a few minutes of closing my eyes, and allowing myself to take in all the love that has been so generously offered to me. I gratefully accept it and return it tenfold to a world in desperate need of it.
As for the rest of my day, there will be roaming in my favorite bookstore, and having dinner with family and friends. Whatever your day brings for you today, I hope it includes knowing that you are loved.
Thank you for stopping by and for all your good wishes. I deeply appreciate it. - Ilene