Friday, November 21, 2008

Marking another year

Today is my birthday, my 61st, another year into this seventh decade of my life.

It feels like such a short time since I turned 60 last year, and THAT is one of the great lessons of aging: as we age, time speeds up. I want time for this birthday. I want good, quality time. And I guess it's up to me to make my minutes and hours and days to be just that, hm.

In this last year my hair is longer, greyer. My face has more lines in it. The texture of my skin is changing, although it smooths when I slather on rich moisturizing cream (lesson for those of you who may be under 40 -- always, always moisturize your face and neck and arms and legs).

My braces are off. My smile is big.

We spent time with extended family in Nashville and in Ashland. We watched movies, TV, read. We survived several days without electricity and a summer of smoke and fires. We got mad and we got over it. We laughed with our wonderful Red Bluff circle of friends.

We have an adult child living with us again.

Through it all there is a common thread: we create our own destiny. We are responsible for the choices we make and the consequences of those choices. We get to choose whether to be happy or sad, to be grateful or to be angry, to change or to stagnate.

There are days when that is the only thing that makes sense to me -- that we have a choice about our actions. It isn't that I always like the alternatives, but there ARE choices, even in harsh economic situations and unsettling times.

We do all we can, where we are, with what we've got.

That'll get me through this next year too, with the hope and many prayers that if I keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep a grateful heart and stay open to the goodness of the Universe, we will be all right.

Can't speak for anyone else: what they do is THEIRS, not mine, to manage.

But I will be okay.

I am so grateful to see all those grey hairs and life-lines in my mirror, and to begin another year. I am grateful to have second chances and new beginnings at life. I am HUGELY blessed by a wonderful circle of friends and girlfriends in this little town, who have already honored me with wonderful food and parties and gifts, and who continue to hold me close in their hearts with love and kindness.

I hope I return to them some of the joy and love they give to me.

May I never lose sight of the gratitude of this moment, this day. It is all we have, right now.

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