Another Year

Don't know this one's name, but I like it--and the dew covered spider web

Don’t know this one’s name, but I like it–and the dew covered spider web

If New Year’s isn’t enough of a reminder that another year has passed, my birthday comes as a second reminder that time is flying.

I’d like to think that means I’m having fun.  And, I suppose I am.  But as I find myself crossing over the mid-point between 40 and 50, my breath catches in my throat as I choke back the shock.  How exactly did that happen?

A youthful wood ear

A youthful wood ear

Immediately, I start to list the endless list of things I haven’t done that I was sure I would have done long before now.  But I take a deep breath and exhale slowly.  I tell myself, “I am enough.”  I think that’s my new mantra.

Shelf-forming fungus against a bed of moss

Shelf-forming fungus against a bed of moss

So, if I am enough and my life is enough, what has my life been about?  In a word, I’d have to say if you take my life and add it all up, it comes to a work in progress.  And that’s enough.

Fungus or sculpture?

Fungus or sculpture?

In the interest of celebrating, here are random moments/experiences from my life I am grateful for:

  • Climbing trees and clinging to the branches while the tree swayed in the wind.
  • Swinging so high the swing would go above the top bar and then jerk on its way back down.
  • The warm feeling of sharing a smile.
  • Watching my nephews grow into amazing young men.
  • Friends.  Especially friends who know me and remind me my flawed and imperfect self is enough.
  • Every dog I have ever known and especially those I have shared a lifetime in dog years with.
  • The moments when I managed, in spite of the improbability, to do the exact right thing to connect with someone in way that left us both feeling like we mattered.
  • Fireflies and the childhood delight of watching them flash their lights against my skin just before floating off, back into the night.
  • Having parents who supported me when I took chances and helped nurse me back to health when the odds didn’t go my way.
  • Having followed my teenage dream of working with horses far enough to have no regrets over giving it up.
  • The day I knew, absolutely knew without a doubt, my husband loved me.
  • The feeling of being a millionaire when I bought my first piece of real furniture even though it was a damaged floor sample.
  • Soaring downhill on my bike with no hands, fingers spread wide to catch the wind whistling between them.
  • The foresight and caring of a friend who got me to the hospital in time to hold my mother’s hand while she died.
  • Standing on top of Half Dome feeling like I had just conquered the world.
  • Bad boyfriends without whom I couldn’t have appreciated good ones.
  • Having a father who could talk me through disassembling a garbage disposal to remove a clog and reassembling it over the phone.
  • The day I realized women should be allies, not enemies.
  • Every time my husband plays one of his songs for me.
A wood ear looking like it's getting ready to take a walk

A wood ear looking like it’s getting ready to take a walk

 

This is what happens when you live with too many regrets

This is what happens when you live with too many regrets