Birthdays Matter

Today is my birthday. I am enjoying a completely self-indulgent day honoring my secret –or not so secret–introvert.

It is past noon as I write this, and I am struck by the thought that my birthday is already half over. It reminds me that years fly on a tailwind and I can only hang on wide-eyed and wishful.

I am sitting here in the quiet of my inner world, having given myself permission to take the day off from work, noise, outside distractions. It is me and my beloved wind chimes. And I listen to their sweet, clumsy noise and imagine them singing happy birthday to me in a language foreign to my ears, but native to my heart.

It is me. I am in awe of the magic healing power of my wind chimes, of sound, and I listen to them serenade me. They are accompanied by the flowing sounds of my fountain, the ancient healing sound of water pouring like grace from the angel that stands guard over my courtyard. And the inhabitants of this house.

It is me. I feel blessed to enjoy this solitude for a few hours. I need time to remember who I am, what I’ve gained and lost over the days and the decades that have marked my life. I am older now, yet more child-like. I am fearful, yet braver. I am uncertain, yet wise. Oh, so wise.

It is me. And I look back at the years that stretch for miles behind me, years that were littered with trash –wrong choices, wrong words, wrong timing, and a general feeling of wrongness–and with treasure–authentic relationships, creativity, mindfulness and an expanded consciousness.  I am equally grateful for the polarity that both have created within me.  And I remember every hug, every kiss, every ass-kicking, every kindness and every mistake– except for the fact that there are really no mistakes. I am old enough to know this now. Every thing has a purpose, a reason, a rhyme scheme, and I am here to serve it all. And to let it all serve me.

So this coming birthday year I promise to make mistakes.  I promise to kick ass. And I promise to dust myself off when my ass gets kicked. I promise to love harder. I promise to prioritize my relationships–including the one I have with myself. And I promise to find ways to righten what has gone so terribly askew in this world. I will do it with love, and grace and meditation and roll-up-my-sleeve activism.

Because birthdays matter. Time matters.

If you’re interested in more thoughts on integrity, compassion and grace, particularly at midlife, read my book Tao Flashes.  Or visit me at www.facebook.com/taoflashes or on twitter @taoflashes.

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14 thoughts on “Birthdays Matter

  1. I really love this. And these words are as beautiful as your wind chimes “I am in awe of the magic healing power of my wind chimes, of sound, and I listen to them serenade me. They are accompanied by the flowing sounds of my fountain, the ancient healing sound of water pouring like grace from the angel that stands guard over my courtyard. And the inhabitants of this house.”

    • Thank you my friend. Your words are a birthday gift to me. And your friendship is the best gift of all; I thought of you several times while at my conference. You would have loved its depth and sense of community.

  2. Wind chimes. Oh, they are so lovely. I live in KS, so they don’t work here very well here. But I love their call to mindfulness. I am glad that you could carve out some alone time today, and thank you for taking the time to write. I love your energy. Ahhhh.

  3. What a great way to celebrate your birthday — to take the time to really take it in and appreciate it. I love that you’re so present, so mindful, and I know you will have so much more to celebrate every single day.

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