Not going paddle boarding! A card from an adventurer, a Minnie-Mouse balloon, a boat ride, a glitter bullet, a jar of paper and a cake.
My 43rd anniversary of time on this earth can be summarized in these few sentences. The words don’t go together and on the surface it doesn’t sound like much but in actuality these things led to an amazing start to what I feel like is going to be coming-of-age year.
It began long before it even began. My adventurous and highly organized friend was leaving for an out of country 6 month adventure 8/1. She handed out birthday cards to everyone whose birthday she would miss before she left. I gave her quite a bit of grief for putting us all to same with her thoughtfulness. Most of my guffaw was because I was uncertain of how to thank someone, not for a card, but for such an extraordinary gesture. To me the fact that in all the chaos and craziness of her suspending her life and moving her family to a country that doesn’t even speak English she stopped and thought of me. Not only thought of me but did something about it. Then I opened the card and was stunned because it was THE PERFECT CARD. In 10 minutes I had read it, teared up, read it again, e-mailed her, framed it and had it on my happy wall. It was that perfect. Who doesn’t want someone taking time that they don’t have to do something incredible for them?
Totally unexpectedly came a ninja birthday move by someone who totally understands how complicated birthdays can be. And that friend was carrying a whimsical package of goodies with each item confirming, “I know who you are and I know what you like and I know that you’ll “get” this.” The balloon was as big as my 3-year-old. My ninja birthday friend squeezed herself, her son and this gigantic balloon into a convertible smart car early on a Saturday morning and drove across 2 counties just to be sure that my birthday started with a Hey…I am happy you were born moment. Who doesn’t want to have a moment where they know that someone is happy they were born?
NOT GOING PADDLE BOARDING—it was truly a part of my birthday. It’s more then not doing something that I don’t know that I could do…NOT doing it represents me taking a stand and saying, “No- and here’s why.” NOT doing something I didn’t want to do is me claiming a piece of that day. It’s me not being sad because I wasn’t getting what I needed. Not going paddle boarding represents me owning my needs and having those needs be heard but more importantly, respected. Who doesn’t want to be “heard”?
A boat ride. What better way to celebrate being on this earth then with the people who put you there. There is a moment of utter and complete peace being on the lake, on a boat with my family. Who doesn’t want a moment of peace?
A glitter bullet. Yes—you read that right. A bullet. Rolled in glitter. My dear friend said it best when she handed me the coordinated gift bag and said, “This combines you and me.” And it did. Perfectly. More importantly…my friend, my- non-glitter, non-sparkly, TEVA and sock, cargo short wearing friend did something so UN her for me. She took something important to her and combined it with something that makes her think of me. And VIOLA! a glitter covered bullet. There is a special place on my happy wall for this special gift. It doesn’t make sense but it works. Who doesn’t want to feel this much love from someone else?
A jar full of 43 scraps of paper. And on each piece is something my group of friends loves about me. To me, that’s like 43 hugs. Its having someone say, “I love you for you” 43 times. It’s seeing myself through the eyes of women I trust, I admire and that I am fortunate enough to call friends. And…as if that weren’t enough…they know me well enough to caution, “Every one of these is true. We know you won’t believe them. But do.” I was even warned that some of the things I will read I won’t think of as compliments but they are meant to be. That takes a second to sink in. My group of friends accepts me. Completely. Totally. Fully and without hesitation. Who doesn’t want to be completely accepted?
Calling this creation a cake is almost blasphemous. This hand-baked wonder will forever be on my list of “best things I ever ate”. Ever. And it was made. By scratch. For me. One friend taking her gift and gifting me with it. Seriously…this isn’t a box cake with pretty icing. This moist, chunk sprinkled, generously iced concoction took time, talent and a little love thrown in. She did this. For me. Who doesn’t want cake? More importantly who doesn’t want someone saying, “I have this gift and I’d like to use this talent for you.” Added to this my lovelies encouraged me to enjoy my delicacy but also totally jumped in and kept me on track with my points.
I am 43 kinds of happy!