One of my favorite days of the year is my birthday. Although it has always been a favorite, over the years it is because of different reasons. It is the one day of the year where there is a lot of attention put on where I am in life……a marker of sorts that we as a culture celebrate with many different rituals.
When I was young, I couldn’t wait until my birthday because it was usually a great party and tons of presents. I always felt a little slighted when I was young that my birthday was so close to Christmas and that I had to wait all year for my next round of gifts. As I got older, the gifts were still very cool but the events got more elaborate. The rodeo and the Harlem Globetrotters always seemed to come through town around my birthday. As I got older still and got out of school, birthdays seemed to lose some of the glitter and the presents seemed to turn into cash and gift cards. The celebration then became centered around getting our family together for dinner because as we grew older our family scattered. This was always cool because I always got to pick the restaurant and Mom treated the whole family to restaurants that we usually didn’t frequent. My birthdays became synonymous with family then and I liked that.
Since Mom passed away, my birthdays have become different. The first year I felt like I should keep up the tradition Mom had and then I realized that was her tradition and one that only existed because she was here and now she is not. This years’ birthday was different.
This year was the first year in a long time, if ever, I really breathed through my whole birthday and was focused on what I really wanted…….connection, nurturing, and joy…….so I got them. I received so many calls and tons of Facebook birthdays (all of which I personally replied to) and blessings from my daughters, MP, my family and my friends. I took time all day to soak in each connection and feel the beauty of what I had created over the years.
Although I did receive many wonderful gifts (even got a The Buddy Holly Story DVD from Dad!) the best gift came in my men’s group. I stepped to the center of the circle and did something I could not have done 10 years ago…….I asked all the men, one by one, to bless me and share with me what I mean to them …..I let them hold me and nurture me. I took it in word by word and realized that this is the way I want to spend my birthday…..being held by who I love, just like my Dad did 54 years ago.