|A birthday gift from a dear friend. |
She knows me too well.
Hard to believe a year has passed since my last birthday post. And what a year it has been! Last February when I blogged about my intention to celebrate my eighth decade, I had a hint the world was on the precipice of a pandemic. But I had no idea how many lives it would affect and to what extent. Then, just as vaccines brought a glimmer of hope, an Arctic blast wreaked havoc in a large portion of the nation, resulting in further loss of life, health, property, or finances.
I actually had a birthday post ready to publish over a week ago about how I was still determined to celebrate. A few days before, the lyrics of “Still the One” (the upbeat 70’s one by Orleans, not the sappy 90s one by Shania) came to me. I was going to parody it with “I’m seventy-one/and I’m still having fun.” It makes a great rhyme and would’ve been a lot of “fun” to write, but in light of the sufferings experienced by so many, blogging about "having fun" seemed a bit Pollyanna-ish, if not downright insensitive. But while I’m not exactly partying, clueless to the suffering of others, I’m still looking for and finding reasons to celebrate.
Amid the current upheavals and the gloomy days of winter, moments and people that bring light to my life are still plentiful—are still reasons to be grateful: family, friends, community, faith, health …. As I listed them here, I realized they are the very same things I blogged about last year at this time, so I won’t repeat myself. But for me, it’s therapeutic to stop—not just on my birthday—and take inventory of and meditate on the “shiny things” that are part of my life every single day. They remind me that even at the ripe ol’ age of of seventy-one, life still offers lots of good stories with hopeful endings.
My birthday wish this year is that we all discover lots of good stories to read, to write, to share, to live.