Today is my day and I’d like to say I had the corner on this week in April until my son came along and then my niece. To be honest, I had hoped that my day would be buried by the celebrations for these two, but no such luck. My family celebrates everybody’s birthday with ceremony – big family dinner, cake, gifts and announcements.
My Great Grandma King halted her 85th celebration, somberly handing over her driver’s license to her daughter, my Grandma June. “I’ve been thinking that 86 is the year to stop driving.” When the family laughed and told her she was a year off, she promptly took it back.
Certain birthdays do give us pause, offering opportunity to reflect, set goals and celebrate change.
As this birthday approached, I’ve been contemplating the future, much like my great-grandma did. My calculations put me one year away from the big 4-0. Instead of dreading that day, I’ve decided to focus the last year of my thirties investing in things that will make the next 40 even better. Things like:
Health – Exercise is a part of my daily routine. So is a diet Coke, occasional bag of jelly beans or candy corn. I could do better.
Schedule – I read an article suggesting we eliminate the word ‘busy’ from our vocabulary. Refusing to let the chaos of kids, volunteering and work define us, we would discover hours and hours of free time. Now when asked, “How are things?” I make a conscious effort to respond with, “Fine” or “Good”. My Farmer laughs, “She means crazy.”
Relationships – Every parent suffers from wanting to do better, to be better with their kids. I am no different and want to find that life balance that lets me be present with them. The same goes with My Farmer and my faith.
Procrastination – It is as much a part of my psyche as my inability to say ‘no’. The result is stress for my family and me. During spring break, the farm princess and I tackled a 4-H project. Already. Guess what?! It felt good to complete something not due until July.
So with those priorities set, I would greet today, my 39th birthday, with a plan and a purpose.
Sunday I shared my thoughts with My Farmer.
“Dear,” he interrupted. “You aren’t going to be 39. You’ll be 38.”
Shaking his head, he said, “Did you ever bother to do the math?” (Math and I have never been friends.)
He ran the equation, “2016 – 1978 = 38.”
Well, then. Happy birthday to me! This procrastinator just gained a year. What a gift!