This is what I said when my birthday cake was presented to me last night. (Strawberry shortcake, thank you, circe)! People at the party seemed to think that statement was pretty profound, although maybe it sounds like resignation to some who are reading this. I had not meant it to be either. It was just that as I stood, surrounded by a beautiful collection of beautiful people all wishing me love and good life… as I stood, strong and healthy, tired only by a trip across the country that so many folks — for a variety of reasons — will never have the opportunity to take… while I stood, gazing at my fabulous children who are deep and lovely souls, who care and laugh and think and give… as I stood, being asked to make a wish for yet one more thing, no words came.
I believe that people looking at my life from the outside might just be moved to make some wishes for me, might see where there is lack. Perhaps they would wish a fulltime job for me, or a bigger home, or a romantic partner. The way I see it, those will come if they are meant to, but they are not missing. I have no wishes left to make. Of course there are things I imagine for my life (like living by the beach). And even stuff I think I want (some fancy sunglasses). But it seems to me that the more I leave these wishes to God, the better I do. See, God has ideas and an imagination that I cannot even aspire to. God has thought up stuff that I just cannot.
It feels like boasting if I list here all that I believe I “have.” Then again, I am told that I see my life as full no matter where the waterline in my glass is. Gratitude is funny that way, it makes no room for want. Desire, dreams, destinations, yes those all travel across my mind. But I do not await them. I only await the next thing, the next surprise, the next chapter, phase, or moment. I especially like the ones I do not expect (even when they are difficult, because I know I needed that particular challenge).
Please don’t get me wrong, I am not 100% without complaints and criticisms, after all I am very human, fallible, and weak. But this faith thing, man it makes me feel like Superwoman. And that’s how I felt last night, turning, sixty, surrounded by strawberry shortcake, hydrangeas, friends, and champagne — and most of all my beautiful, wonderful children. Like Superwoman. Super glad, super grateful, super happy, super proud, and super excited for whatever is coming next.
So happy birthday to me! And happy birthday to every summer baby (who is just a little extra special because we are born in the season of the hopeful sun)!