It’s 11:35 p.m. on June 29, 2016. The last few minutes of my birthday are ticking away. It’s been a very good birthday. A delicious birthday dinner prepared by my younger daughter, surrounded by my family. My favorite cake and birthday song as my grandsons sit on my lap and help me to blow out the candles. A day at the beach and swimming at the pool with my daughters and grandsons. Special time together. Nothing over the top. Just quiet, happy, precious time together.
Unlike years past when I usually get depressed on my birthday, today I am satisfied. Usually, I’m very good at beating myself up on my natal day with the coulda…woulda…shoulda’s. You see, I’ve only recently realized that I set my goals way too high at a very early age, and each passing year reminds me of what I didn’t accomplish and never will. Then I look into the future of a very narrow passageway and know that time is running out on the things I used to want to do.
But this year, I’m not thinking too much about the future. I’m trying just to focus on and enjoy this day and all the joys it is bringing me. I’m trying to live life that way in general. Just one day at time doing what I can with what I have and not dwelling on loftier things. I’m learning to accept what is instead of beating myself up over what isn’t. I am standing on even ground.
I looked over at my daughters this afternoon as they were watching a video on one of their phones together. They were laughing over something then looked thoughtful over something else. They didn’t know I was watching them. In that moment the thought “you did good” came to mind. Look at what I did. Those two wonderful daughters of mine turned out to be very good people. Kind and smart and loving and generous and beautiful inside and out. And I had something to do with that. And that is enough. They are the pride and joy of my life. When I look at them, the need to do more, be more, have more vanishes. And when my twin grandsons run to me and greet me like I’m a rock star with their gleeful smiles screaming, “Mimi, Mimi!” I know there is nothing better in this world.
As I drove home tonight, I was thinking that this year my birthday is different. This year I am happy. I yearn for nothing in this moment. Sure, life has not been easy. Who has an easy life? And many dreams did not come true. So what? How many people live a fairy tale life? But the fact that my family loves me enough to plan a special day to celebrate my birth – well, how great is that?! And what more of a dream come true could there be?
It’s 12:17 a.m., June 30th. My birthday is over for another year. I re-read my cards and come across one from my 88 year-old (ex) mother-in-law, who still thinks of me as her daughter, and it reads, “Sweetest Birthday Wishes to You….May each moment of your birthday be filled with the sweetest memories.” At the bottom of the card she writes, I like to remember the good ones, I hope you do, too. I love you! Mom
This was a good one. I’ll remember and cherish it forever.