My birthday always lands right around Thanksgiving. Yes, I am a Sagittarius… I’m an optimist, energetic, fearless when needed… a survivor.
I’m glad my birthday lands on the season of giving thanks, it reminds me to reflect on the past…. and see how far I’ve come.
Today I turned 47, although I don’t feel it. I am no longer in my mid-forties, I have to check the late-forties box now. It feels like a milestone. As a begin my 47th trip around the sun, I can’t imagine being any other age because of what I’ve learned.
Yes, the past decade was plenty challenging. I survived a economic recession, high blood pressure, an OCD diagnosis of my son, depression, cancer, a permanent work injury, two surgeries, a reluctant return to my hometown, a divorce, caring for my ailing parents and their finances, the death of my father and personal financial distress.
I share this… not to whine about it, but to compare by contrast of what I’ve gained.
In that time, I’ve been blessed with a wealth of friends who’ve supported me in every way possible. They listened when I was finally ready to talk. They took me in when I needed a place to live. They helped me financially in dire times. They helped me physically when I needed to move after a surgery. They helped me emotionally when slipped into the deepest valleys of my depression. They made me laugh and let me cry. And most importantly, they loved me unconditionally when I needed it most.
All of this support has enabled me to recognize my strength so I deal with oncoming challenges. I worked hard, hunkered down and surprised myself with personal growth.
I came out of the closet as a person living with depression, and sought treatment, which changed my life. I committed time and resources to reduce my physical pain. I reserved my time and energy so I could spend more quality time with my son. I allowed myself the space for my creative skills of writing, painting, photography and costume design. I found the courage to go solo to Burning Man, road trips and local Burner social events. I found a way to financially support myself in creative ways while maintaining my freedom. I reclaimed my family home and made it my own. I aimed to establish a good quality of life every day. I stopped searching for love so I could instead focus on what makes me happy. Because of that, love found me.
As I spend this first day of my 47th year with the love of my life, watching a Firefly marathon in the mountains, I recognize all I have to be thankful for… my life, my health, my home, my son Dexter, my partner Eli, my family, my friends, my art and the wisdom and serenity I’ve gained.
Life is good today. I am feeling happy, strong and at peace. My basket is full and forward to what this next year brings.