It’s my birthday! I’m 52 years old today! On the day I was born in 1963, my mom watched the TV coverage of the Kennedy assassination while she was at the hospital. I earned my parents $1,000 simply by being a girl. My paternal grandfather wanted a granddaughter so badly after a series of boys that he offered a grand for the first girl. That canceled check is still framed in my home.
I love that it’s my birthday because I love life. I’ll take all of the birthdays I can get. I’m healthy. My family is amazing. I’m surrounded by friends who are smart and silly and fun to hang around. I’m not just saying these things to be cliche. I’m one of those people who truly believes them. Growing older is a gift that’s not lost on me. Life screams by pretty quickly and I’m soaking it up!
To quote Oprah, there’s “one thing I know for sure” after my 52 years on the planet. People matter. Relationships matter. Kindness matters. Okay- that’s kind of three things I know for sure, but you get the point. I don’t look back and think about all of the stuff and things. I remember the people. I smile because of our adventures together.
My mother gave the perfect gift to me this year. She found photos that spanned my life thus far and put them into a book. I love that she took he time to sift through the hundreds of family photos and choose the ones that made the cut. Every photo represents a person or experience that shaped me. There’s my grandmother who fostered my love of burnt food because she couldn’t ever manage to cook anything without the well done status.
The grandfather who wrote that $1,000 check is represented in a photo with me on his lap. Family Christmas card photos that show off a variety of bad fashion choices. There’s the one year I was a cheerleader, and a terrible one at that. My high school Homecoming Queen coronation. My wedding. The births of my children. My mother managed to find the perfect balance of old and current photos that illustrate my journey.
As I carry on this path, I’ll continue to live what I know for sure. People matter. Relationships matter. Kindness matters. I’ll live with a grateful heart, giving thanks for life and the riches that are all around me. We’re here a short time. Make it count.