Today is my birthday. I'm not a huge birthday person--I don't expect parties, big dinners or to-do's, or even presents (I told my husband what I wanted). Instead, I like the "little extras": cake, nice dinner, getting hellos and good wishes from friends and family.
This year, I really thought about this as a milestone. Unlike Rosh Hashanah or January 1st, this is my personal new year. It is when my clock changes over and a new measure starts. In that spirit, here are some thoughts:
I'm supposed to be the age I am. I don't feel old (because I'm not) and if anything, I still feel a little young. But that is all because of life-stage. I have two kids, a minivan, a house, a husband, a job I love, and I'm in my early 30s. I hope I am always able to use the measure of life, not numbers. There will come a time, God-willing, when I will feel I am supposed to be 60, or 70, because of the measure of life experience and blessings. I just pray I have the health to enjoy it.
Speaking of blessings, I am blessed. Simply, truly, honestly. Life's too short to be too upset about the little things. My family is healthy, we have what we need, we do work that is meaningful...I am blessed. On this birthday, I really just wish for this feeling to continue. In this past year, I came through pregnancy safely and with a healthy baby boy who, along with his sister, astounds me every day. I look at them and am without words because I am overwhelmed with a feeling of love, blessing, and the miracle that these two human beings exist and I have the privilege of being their parents.
For the first year, I didn't get annoyed by the Facebook wishes. They are sent with love and give an opportunity for reconnection. My birthday resolution is to follow up on many of these birthday wishes which came from people I only can see through Facebook, to make it more than a passing encounter into something more meaningful and lasting.
My birthday present from my family was a purse that I picked out (I sent my husband the Amazon link). I didn't feel badly not having the surprise because instead of just getting it for myself, I gave my family the opportunity to give me what I really wanted. They made me a scavenger hunt and it was given with love and appreciation. That's better than any surprise.
So, on this special birthday, I offer this prayer (and maybe you'll want to use it too):
God, thank You for bringing me to this moment in time.
Thank You for my health and strength and for the many blessings I have in my life.
In this coming year, help me to take time to appreciate them.
Give me the discipline to slow down and be present in a piece of each day of the next year.
Help me to find the perseverance to pursue the goals I set for this year, and help me find comfort when I feel the ways I have failed.
Guide me towards a year of goodness, health, and blessing.