This is Thirty-Four

Yesterday was my 34th birthday.  I received a card from my husband which revealed to me that 34 years is 12,419 days.  So often we only think about birthdays in the context of years.  What did we accomplish in that year?  Are we better or worse off than the year prior?  Did we live up to our expectations or fall short of our destination?  But his card got me thinking in terms of days.  To me, days are much more manageable than years; I can better handle the expectations of a given day rather than the enormity of an entire year.  I can enjoy my small successes, ponder my missteps, and consider that if I am so lucky to get another day, how might I improve?  How might I make the day of another person better?  Or sometimes, I think about spending the following day simply enjoying the gift of being alive.

Are we too hard on ourselves?  Do we forget that our days are limited?  I think sometimes the answer is ‘yes.’  Perhaps we take for granted that another year will pass, we’ll have another birthday, and life will go on.  I’m not trying to be a downer here – my point is to be grateful for each individual day we are allowed, and to spend those days doing for others and doing for ourselves.  I don’t “live each day as though it’s my last,” but instead, I try to just be the most authentic “me” on that particular day.

I spent my 34th birthday being grateful for my husband, my family, and my lovely friends.  I spent it feeling proud of how far I’ve come in accomplishing my personal goals.  I spent it reflecting on the mistakes I’ve made, knowing I’ll make more, and I’m okay with that.  I spent it eating wonderful food with my dear husband in this great city I call home.

I thought about 12,419 days.  Sunrises and sunsets, the change of the seasons, miles traveled, apartments and houses, parties, classes, books read, walks taken, hugs given, tears shed.  I am so, so grateful for all the days.  Thanks to those of you who read this blog.  No recipe today, just reflection and gratitude.

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Sweet honey cornbread and black coffee for my birthday breakfast.

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The most gorgeous bouquet of flowers given to me by my husband.

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Lunch with the best guy.

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Celebrating 12,419 days.

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