I am 34 today.
This time last year I was still cruisin' along on my new-found freedom, still trying to figure out what I wanted, what my path was. I was still basking in the glory of singledom, and being a bit selfish in my use of my time. I was in total "me" mode. That wasn't a bad thing. I'd definitely earned it, and I needed it in the wake of the previous few years.
A year later, I find myself with a much different perspective. I figured a lot of things out in the last 365 days. Some intentionally, some by serendipity. I received a lot of gifts. I made decisions that would create a more solid foundation for myself. I fell in love. I excised negativity and drama from my life. I had an epiphanous moment regarding my own creative endeavors. I continued to fight the battle of loose ends of my old life, which at times seemed to want to strangle my new one, but I fought. And the final string will be snipped in a mere two weeks.
I am not in "me" mode this year. I am giving up birthday shenanigans to prepare for a very special event for my dearest friend, and that is a gift. I am overjoyed to be such an intergral part of this event for her, so happy and excited about the plans, the gifts, the day. That is a gift. Our friendship is a gift.
My relationship is a gift--the love, the partnership, the support, the laughs. Those are gifts that I am blessed to indulge in every day. I love and am loved in a way that seemed unrealistic or unlikely, but I learned (and admittedly am still amazed by it) that this type of relationship can and does exist. I smile and laugh every single day because of him. Gift.
My family and my friends are a gift--always there to help, to spend time, to guide, to laugh, to celebrate all kinds of things. These are the people who go out of their way to make sure I'm happy and alive. Some have been doing it for 34 years, others much less, but their intentions all come from the fact that they love and care about me. Gifts.
My health and fortitude--gifts. I am able to do anything I want, to challenge myself, to face adversity, to overcome obstacles. I have a long list of goals that need meeting, and I can't do that without these.
It may sound corny and melodramatic to some, but I blinked and a year has gone by. Being aware of my limited time here, and being aware of the good things in my life is crucial to me. I took much of this for granted for many years. I have spent more time that I care to admit focused on what I did not or could not have. What a waste. And while I cannot change what I've done, I can plan and be more mindful of what I do now and tomorrow.
I have many new goals for the year ahead. But today, among the well wishes, the smiles, and the expressions of care, today I intend to fully enjoy all my gifts.