Today is my birthday, and I must say I have been dreading it. By the time you read this, I will be nine days into the next year of my life, and I will, hopefully, be adjusted to this landmark age. This is no reveal; my actual age will remain shrouded in mystery. Let me just say that it is of such significance that I asked myself, yet again, “Is this what I want to be doing for the rest of my life?” In thinking about that ubiquitous sentiment, I realized that a lot of us are probably asking the same thing, whether we are having a birthday or not.
The last two weeks have been busy, but an unexpected thread has appeared. Woven in with the busyness of my usual fall activities have come several needy, hurting, and heartbroken people. I feel honored that they share their pain, but in truth all I can offer is an ear and prayer.
Then my pastor said something that really resonated: “We all have pain.” On top of the losses and heartaches we experience in the normal course of living on this planet, is the ever-present uncertainty of our lives in so many ways that haunts our lives these days.
Looking at it from this perspective, a birthday is just a number. What is important is the caring and affection we share with the people in our lives; the beauty of our natural surroundings; the inspiration of a symphony or a sermon and, of course, the creatures that come to live with us and paint our lives with humor, love, exasperation, and—best of all—reality.
So, happy birthday to me! Join me in a glass of champagne to celebrate surviving and enjoying another year on this planet.