Or should I say, “Count your blessings.” Today, September 13th, I am turning 70. Wow, I didn’t think I could write the number but a beautiful card came yesterday from my girlfriend and there was nothing on the face of the card but that numeral embossed with iridescent butterflies and flowers. I stared at it almost in disbelief. How could it be? Where has the time gone?
On the way to driving my teenage daughter to school yesterday I asked her the question, “Mariah, what do birthdays mean to you?” I wondered if her answer would be, “I love a party and the presents.” Her answer was quick and decisive, “Each year I get closer to becoming an adult.” She is looking forward to adding years to her life when many of us are wishing we could turn back the clock. This gave me cause to reevaluate my attitude toward this individual day that comes once a year and conjure up memories of birthdays I have celebrated, both good and bad.
Although my childhood was chaotic and dysfunctional and we had very little money, my mother made an effort to make each birthday a special occasion. She would let me pick whatever I wanted for dinner and would make a delicious home-made cake of my choice. There were very few presents but one year I do remember opening tiny doll clothes, for my Madame Alexander doll, that my mother had sewn by hand. They were unique because she had fashioned underclothes, i.e. bras and panties as well as outfits. (Keep in mind in the 40’s there weren’t companies making lingerie and accessories for dolls like there are today.) I was thrilled with this wonderful gift and appreciated the delicious meal and cake baked in my honor.
During my 20’s and 30’s, when my codependency was in full swing, I actually don’t remember celebrating any birthdays. Surely there must have been something but that period of my life was so deeply troubled and unbalanced I am fairly certain the anniversary of my birth went unnoticed by everyone around me including myself. I am aware I spent many birthdays alone; it was just another day of surviving.
What a difference since I married Bryan almost 25 years ago. He has made sure that every birthday is a special day for me. Two years ago he and Mariah put hundreds of my CD’s on a new I-Pod and presented it with a sound deck. One year he bought me a tiny fountain for my studio because he knows how I love the sound of running water. I remember tickets to The Wiz, the Broadway Musical which I had wanted to see for years. Never does September 13th go by without gorgeous flowers, candy or cake and a wonderful gift. I feel blessed to be appreciated and loved every day of the year.
Most of all today is a point of reflection, looking back to the joys of these past 12 months and looking forward to the renewal that occurs every year at this time. My book, “It Had To Happen This Way” is now on Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook. This was a major accomplishment for me. I am grateful it is being read and that I am inspiring people to find their own path to peace. As I look forward to the days, weeks, and months ahead I feel fortunate to have achieved the wisdom that will enable me to continue teaching and sharing my work with others. I will close by wishing myself a Happy Birthday.