All of Birmingham is shut down, thanks to one inch of snow and ice that came down yesterday. Northerners may laugh at us, but in a hilly city with no equipment or plan to deal with winter weather, it is dangerous to try to drive. I don’t mind one bit- it’s a wonderful and rare birthday gift to be socked in at home with Dan and the critters the last weekend before classes begin again.
We sat on the sunporch and watched as the sleet changed to snow last night. We live on a steep hill, so when ice and snow come, we are held captive in our home…a true gift, actually. As it was so cold out, we brought our outdoor cat, Kasey, inside to keep her safe. She came to us feral thirteen years ago, and has never liked being stuck inside. I think as she’s gotten older, she may have revised her thoughts on the whole inside thing…she’s purring like a motorboat.
We had originally planned to have a dinner party with friends tonight, but the icy roads prevented our guests from coming. We’ve rescheduled our big Italian feast for tomorrow afternoon…and we’ll see if nature will allow us to gather. Right now the forecasters are saying we’re dealing with the ice until later Monday morning. We’re ready to go, no matter what!
This has been a rare day of rest and relaxation- a suspension of reality in a way. Dan and I so rarely sit still- we are always on the go. What a gift to “have” to stay home and just be. Especially on a birthday, how wonderful to have time to reflect on my life. Fifty-four years old today. Fifty-four. Wow. For some that sounds ancient, for others, I’m still a spring chicken. As for me, I’m just happy to be here. I can still see my sixteen year-old self looking at my reflection in the mirror of the bathroom at the old house on Westwood Lane, wondering what I would look like at thirty. Hmph. I don’t even remember thirty now. No matter, life is wonderful, and I am so very grateful to be celebrating another spin around the sun.
As I look back on my life, I feel sorrow for the mistakes I have made, but gratitude for the lessons I learned from them. I feel hope and excitement for the adventures to come. My mother taught me to celebrate every birthday, no matter how high the number. I am always sad when I hear women talk disparagingly about birthdays as they age. I refuse to do that. I don’t care how much gray I have or how many wrinkles line my face. Those things don’t define who I am as a woman. I want to celebrate life and living until my very last breath. I don’t want to spend whatever time I have worrying about superficial things that I can’t control. What I can control is how I respond to life’s challenges. I can choose to remain positive and hopeful. I can choose love- for others and for myself.
And so, on this quiet and introspective birthday, I wish for myself and for others peace. I wish for self-acceptance and humor. I wish for love and gratitude to guide me. Like my mother, I want to celebrate every single birthday that I am blessed to have, no matter my age, my wrinkles, my weight- or any other circumstance. Life is such a gift, and I hope that I always remember that, living each moment with everything that I have.