I woke up this morning at 3 a.m. with a surge of energy and a house full of sleeping family members. I thought about trying to go back to sleep, but after a few minutes decided the effort was futile and headed upstairs to brew some coffee and read. It is my birthday today and I am now 38-years-old.
Family means more to me now than ever. Margaux lost another tooth this weekend and while she sleeps upstairs with her winnings tucked securely in her stuffed crocodile, my mother who is visiting from Missouri, is sleeping next to her...two of my favorite people in the world asleep in the same bed. This makes me happy.
I have no grand trip planned for my birthday. No parties. No sexy dinners scheduled with my husband. My Instagram feed shows me the possibilities. Pictures of the exotic locations my friends are visiting or extravagant food and drinks that beg to be consumed populate the app on my phone. But these quiet minutes before the entire house wakes up seem almost magical, like the world gave me extra time that no one else knows about. This is my secret bonus to use as I see fit, the luxury of time for self-reflection. This is the gift I've been waiting for without even realizing it. Thank you. Thank you.
What birthdays mean to me at 38-years-old is different than what they meant to me at 28. My desires sound so simple. But the fact that my birthday sits so close to Thanksgiving, a holiday focused on gratitude, doesn't mean that I desire nothing but altruistic dreams for a better tomorrow. No. Rather, I find myself imagining new dishes for the cupboard (all artistically complementing every dish, all matching) and for the upstairs guest bathroom to be fixed (a dismantled toilet seems to be taking forever to be repaired). With desires like these, it seems almost comical and wasteful to want a fabulous new suit or a long deep-tissue massage.
What I want to say is that I'm thankful to be here. I'm thankful for this life that I have full of friends and family and bathrooms that need to be repaired. I'm grateful for my desires, whatever they might be, sexy or not. I'm happy I have all kinds of possibilities, new paths to take in the future. Happy Birthday to another year of growth and opportunity. Happy Birthday to new dreams and old. Happy Birthday to this crazy body of mine. Happy Birthday to me.