Today marks #51. After all of the festivities typically associated with ‘the big birthday’s’, those mile markers, I knew that 51 would low-key. A natural continuation of walking down the path of being a 50-something year old.
In many ways, today is unfolding just like that. Easy and blessed by messages from family and friends from so many moments along the timeline of life. Elementary school. High school. College. Co-workers from Nashoba and Bisousweet. PMC and marathon teammates. United Way. I feel the love, and for this I am beyond grateful. My cup of coffee is over-flowing with joy.
Just underneath the surface of gratitude lurks hints of what I was doing one year ago today, and these memories are haunting. An in-person celebration, right before everything shut down. Training runs for the marathon during which my teammates and I talked about what was happening in China and wondering if we should be nervous ‘for here’. Would this impact ‘us’. So much scary news ‘from there’. I was happily and naively going through my day. Unaware. Underprepared. All systems ready to go.
We didn’t know our world would shut down. That we would lose so many lives in the next 365 days. That toilet paper would be ‘a thing’. That schools would close, graduations would be via laptops or rolling car parades, mask fashion would spike, quarantining and socially distancing would be words auto-filled in by our phones, and we would engage through computer conferencing instead of in person.
It’s eerie to think back and see through eyes that witnessed 2020.
In this mindset, it’s tempting to turn forward and fear what will transpire in the next 365 days.
we can surrender
we can have faith
we can hope
we can believe
we can stay positive
we can trust
we can remain connected
we can choose to be resilient
we can keep our eyes lifted upward
we can find gratitude
and remind ourselves
of the pockets of good
that lived within the chaos and loss
of last year
In these precious areas are my family who rallied time and again to help each other through the storm.
My co-workers who came together in unexpected ways to emerge stronger and more cohesive than ever before.
The friendships, old and new, that blossomed and flourished in the absence of being able to be together in person.
The depth of connections that can happen through so many ways outside of being in the same room with each other.
Today, I am grateful. Grateful to be able to be 51. Grateful for all of the lessons learned last year. Grateful for what lies ahead, because regardless of what unfolds, I trust that one way or another, I will figure out how to make lemon cookies out of lemons.
While I’m typing…some fun facts:
Marge still decorates her birthday cards with cute puppy stickers
I am not making a birthday cake for myself
The most unexpected gift was an owl house (thank you EC)
Funniest gifts – tie between a pedicure and shoes (thank you BM & LS) (foot surgery humor)
Sending love & good health to all –