I'm stealing the title of Byron Katie's book for the title of this post as these were the first words that registered as I logged on. In light of the recent celebrating of my birthday, I'm noting how it took me a year to finally decide how to celebrate my 40th. I suppose "Loving What Is" seems like an appropriate theme for this milestone.
For some, birthdays are not eventful and for some others, better left forgotton. A little history of my first 39 birthdays.... they always began at the crack of dawn, with family calling and singing "Happy Birthday," and presents mounted on a still waking body as lights turn on and birthday cheers wake me up. Parties as a child, sleepovers as a teenager and special shopping trips to San Francisco with my Dad as a young adult, "Exactly what I've wanted!" from my husband, and the sweetest, most creative homemade cards and gifts from my children- all made my years memorable. Could a girl possibly ask for more? Well, maybe. Needless to say, my expectations have run high on my birthday and with my 'Queen for a day' attitude I admit submitting lists in previous years, of all the things I would LOVE on my birthday. Spoiled? Some might think so.....but I know BLESSED is the better word.
Something was different as 40 approached but I couldn't name it. Something new was taking up residence in me that was leaving me a little baffled. I was in no man's land without a plan and without desire for a specific THING! Did I want a big bash like my friend Angela had, complete with dancing until 2am and renting the Green Energy Bus to drive us around and tons of fun- she was willing to put one together for me! At her birthday, I was the one who wanted to bring the party to my house after the nightclub. Appealing, yes, but I wasn't feeling it. What about my sweet husband's suggestion that we invite some of my closest friends and he could have a nice evening catered for me? Very sweet, but again- that didn't call to me either. Dinner with parents and family? That is our usual protocol, and although wonderful, complete with lots of beautiful and thoughtful gifts, I couldn't put my finger on this elusive feeling. Friends had talked a lot about reaching forty, some were sad, happy, others felt liberated, some felt older, younger, healthier and not healthy at all. Some have bought themselves expensive and beautiful things, others have given away much more. Now some might think, so? So you couldn't think of anything, so what? It is just a regular day anyway, we make entirely too much of this. Others might think- GIVE- that will make you feel better. I did feel good already, life has been generous and continues to be. So on my 40th, we ordered pizza and rented a movie with our kids. Typical Friday night stuff and I LOVED it. I didn't feel deprived, or 'un-special,' or forgotten. Weird.
So on this 41st this is what I came to. There will always be a long list of wants for me, but they sit somewhere outside my heart. They are a constant....just when I think, wow! I have so much, how could I possible want more? The Universe expands, and I do (want more). So what was this not wanting on my 40th? What was THAT all about? Who was this alien visitor in these here parts in the land of plenty and wanting more? It turns out her name is Peace and she's staying with me now. She'd visited before but left when WANTING muscled in with all it's NEEDINESS and took up all the space. Apparently Peace settled in this past year as I've stilled myself long enough to feel her presence. I told her to lock herself in please and throw away the key. Oh, and GRATEFUL is shacking up with her too :)- a scandal in the making.
Birthday Wish #41- May Peace and Gratitude be with me and everyone on all our birthdays.