My birthday was a couple of weeks ago and it got me thinking. Usually, I’m not great with birthdays. There’s something about them that just doesn’t sit well with me. I’m a generally optimistic person (or I try to be) but getting older every year doesn’t make me bubble over with happiness and enthusiasm. Especially as I watch the wrinkles get deeper and the steadily increasing number of grey hairs popping up on my head.
I often use my birthday as a time for reflection – how did I do this year? Am I where I want to be? What do I need to figure out before my next birthday?
If I’m not 100% content with where I am in any given year I feel like a failure and as though the year that has gone by has been worthless.
As I write this out I’m realizing that I am putting way too much pressure on myself. No one is perfect, just getting up and going forward on a daily basis is an accomplishment I should be proud of.
I’ve been through a lot and it’s taking me time to get back on my feet but that’s ok. I’m putting one foot in front of the other, going in a positive and productive direction and there’s not much more I can ask of myself.
I recently read a post on The Mighty by Melissa Fuoss entitled 37 Little Things I’m Thankful Cancer Couldn’t Take From Me.
I found Melissa’s post inspiring and decided to countdown the 38 things I’m greatful for on my 38th birthday (in no particular order):
1. Sunshine on my face
2. Having a wonderful family that cares for me and will support me no matter what
3. Snuggling with R before bed and listening to him fall asleep
4. Being married to a kind, funny, thoughtful and all around amazing man
5. Resting my head on E’s shoulder
6. The smell of my mom’s house on Friday night
7. The first sip of a yummy latte on a cold day
8. When R sticks out his hand for me to hold
9. Coming home to a clean house (doesn’t happen often with a little boy at home but when it does it’s amazing)
10. Cooking a great meal and enjoying it with friends and family (however I could do without the clean up part…)
11. Living so close to my parents
12. That we have the ability to financially contribute to charitable causes we care about
13. That we have the ability to travel and explore new cultures and share these with R at such a young age
14. Putting on comfy sweats at the end of a tiring day
15. Listening to R sing while he plays
16. The moments of quiet that E and I occasionally get to share
17. Visiting R’s junior kindergarten class and watching the students laugh, play and sing together
18. Chocolate cupcakes
19. That my body is still strong despite cancer
20. That my resolve remains strong despite cancer
21. That I’ve had the opportunity to visit many wonderful and amazing destinations around the world (and I look forward to visiting many many more)
22. My education and the opportunities it has afforded me
23. The friends I’ve made along the way (so far)
24. Getting engrossed in a good book and having the time to read it
25. Having a good laugh – whether with friends, family or just watching tv
26. The ability to purchase food and necessities when we need them
27. Working in a relaxed environment doing a job that is helping people
28. The sound of the ocean
29. The lovely, cozy feeling of getting into my bed at night
30. Fresh flowers – tulips, roses, sunflowers. I love them all
31. Having the ability to grow our own veggies in the garden and maybe eat them before the bunnies, squirels and racoons get to them
32. When a kind person opens the door for me or lets me go in front of them in traffic
33. The sound of rustling leaves underfoot when I go for a walk in the fall
34. The look of wonder on R’s face whenever he sees something he’s never seen before
35. An air conditioned room on a really hot day
36. The feeling of getting on an airplane knowing I’m going on vacation
37. Falling back asleep on a Sunday morning when E and R are downstairs together
38. Looking through pictures of all of our amazing memories
We all have many things in our lives to be grateful for. From our children to the roofs over our heads and the food on our plates. Creating a list like this reminds me that despite my challenges there’s much to be thankful for and to look forward to experiencing.
What would be on your list?