|Contemplations on a favored day
||[Apr. 24th, 2003|12:22 pm]
|[||Tags|||||contemplation, family, garden||]|
|||||They Might Be Giants - The Birthday Song (okay, in my head)||]|
I was all prepared to have a very bad day today. theferrett is going out of town and I have to work and study and go to school, and then I was just going to go home and sit alone for the evening.
Not a very pleasant way to turn 45.
Fortunately, the people who love me rescued me from a deep bout of sorry-for-myself-itis. neorxnawang and his daughter have baked me a birthday cake, which I will be able to enjoy this evening after class, Ferrett made my morning by getting me exactly what I asked for as a birthday prezzie, and there were lovely birthday bagels and a mocha waiting for me at the office. And the porch swing arrived, though it’s not hung up yet (we have the lure of the other half of the money to get the landscaper back out to finish, so I am not worried about no follow-through). My garden is in, but not so "finished" as to leave me with nothing to do.
As it turns out, a very pleasant way to turn 45.
I woke up this morning and found myself singing: "lalala, I’m 45!" I’m actually remarkably happy about this particular birthday, which surprises me because, while 30 didn’t bother me, 35 did. So when I welcomed 40 with open arms, I figured that 45 would be another difficult landmark. So I’ve been poking at it, like that place on your arm you smacked really hard into a filing cabinet and are sure must be getting swollen and bruised. Am I just numb? Am I really not feeling any pain there?
Apparently I am not.
I’ve been contemplating the source of this contentment. And real happiness. Because despite all the frustration and exhaustion and continual battle with health and injury and school, I am, at the base of it all, happy.
I think it has something to do with the fact that my life isn’t settled. I’m back in school, working toward a major career change, instead of looking back on 20-odd years of working and wondering where it’s gotten me. I’m looking forward and seeing challenges and adventures, rather than another 20 of the same thing and the terror of not being able to retire. I’m looking around me and liking what I see: I love my little house, particularly now that I have a garden that calls to me; I have good friends to buoy me up when I’m down, to encourage me when I’m discouraged, to need me back so that I feel useful; I have family with whom I am at peace, for despite a rocky childhood I have come to know them all as people and do not begrudge them their faults; I have children who, even when trying, are beautiful and intelligent and fun to be with; and I have love, the kind of great love that sustains and nurtures.
Is anyone really richer than I?
I have probably passed the halfway mark for my years in this incarnation—and certainly have lived the majority of my healthy, strong and vibrant years. It is not yet twilight, but the sun is past midsky. Yet I do not fear the years ahead, nor regret those left behind. I am who I am because of what I have known, who I’ve known, how I’ve lived. Not perfect, not even always strong in the right ways. But unique and powerful in my own right.
Happy birthday to me.