So my fortieth birthday came and went, and it didn’t hurt, as I was expecting it would. In fact, it was easily the best birthday I’ve ever had.
The day started with a run. I met my friend Erin on Lady Bird Lake. It was a cold morning, perfect for running. We did a quarter mile for every year I’ve been alive. It felt great, and the best part was that I got to spend time with my dear friend. It was the perfect start to my day.
After my run, I got my car washed inside and out. That’s something I do maybe once or twice a year, if that, so it’s a real treat when it happens. And this time, I did a little extra and had the seats steam-cleaned, so I can no longer see the peanut sauce stain that I’ve been sitting on for more than a year. (I will never again try eating tofu spring rolls while driving.)
Then I drove myself home in my sparkling vehicle and got laundry and other household chores done. (I use the term “chores” in honor of my friend Andy, just for kicks.) I like getting stuff done around the house. It’s a satisfying feeling, and I had company coming, so I wanted my house to look its best.
That afternoon, I got a little surprise.
Pretty, aren’t they? I love flowers. Flowers on my birthday are special. Flowers on a birthday I’ve been dreading for over a year are especially appreciated. Having someone in my life who would send these particular flowers is the best part. I’m so grateful.
After receiving my flowers, I went to my parents’ place for a party. I was hesitant at first to try to plan a gathering. It’s Christmas time. People are out of town or incredibly busy. I hated to put yet another thing on already full schedules. And I worried. Would people come? That’s asking a lot this time of year and just days before Christmas. But two of my dear friends, Marylee and Amit, convinced me that a party was a good way to spend this birthday, so we put out invitations, and I was blown away by the response.
I got to spend the evening with people from all aspects of my life – family, work, triathlon, trail running, clean eating, writing, church, BSF, Toastmasters, law school, my neighborhood. Some people even came from out of town. One very special person came all the way from Iowa.
I felt the way I think people must feel when they get married and are surrounded by their favorite people. My life came together in one place, and I got to see beautiful, smiling faces all evening. I loved it. I loved every minute of celebrating that day.
I could not have asked for a better birthday. Thank you thank you thank you to everyone who turned up, called, texted, emailed, Facebooked, and otherwise helped me celebrate. I feel like an incredibly lucky girl. (I can still call myself that at 40, can’t I?)