The older I get the more I find myself downplaying the birthdays- joking around about the number without actually revealing it, not mentioning it to the waiter or waitress when we go out, etc.
But the thing I've always loved about birthdays is that they're like mile-markers in life- like our own personal new year that feels like a thanksgiving. I love the self-inventory that happens in my mind & heart at the start of a new year. And I love the gratitude over all the abundance, for all the big and small things, that Thanksgivings bring. Birthdays foster these in ways that I anticipate, then get joyfully overwhelmed by.
Life isn't always kind, and it isn't always sweet. Some moments are so stifling and trying that joy feels an eternity away. But other times, especially celebratory ones, it's like all the good and sweet and savory moments come rushing over to say, 'Happy birthday! I'm glad you're alive!'
So on this birthday I found myself leaning into life and thankfulness and celebration- for all the goodness and richness and all the big and small ways we've been taken care of and provided for, for all the sweet and savory moments this year, as well as those we bawled through.
And here's to another year -more lovely and tough times, more rich and poor, more abundance and sacrifice. May we carry on with a heart of gratitude and childlike faith & joy that strengthens us when the days are long and the circumstances wearisome. And may we remember to pause and lean into celebration often, for it is certainly one of the sweetest mile-markers of all.