little mirrors

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” Oprah Winfrey

August in this house is birthday month. We celebrate 3 of them all within 11 days of each other. It’s like a marathon of shopping and presents and wrapping paper sandwiched in between back-to-school supplies and our annual family trip. I dread this time as much as I love it. It’s a busy, non-stop, cyclone of chaos.

I never cared much about my birthday before. But the older I get, the more I really want my day to be a joyful celebration. I want to see friends and laugh. I want to celebrate new relationships I have forged and strengthen the old ones I have maintained. I want to honor life and myself, wherever I am and wherever I may be going. I want to smile and laugh and think about the future and the past and how it’s all shaped me to become the person I am today – in all my glory and with all my faults and imperfections.

Birthdays are about a celebration of life and connections. I can remember where I was and what it looked like the day I had my son. But so can my sister, his father, my best friend. One little life depended that very day on the many other lives around him. So every year on his birthday, we celebrate him. But inside, I also celebrate other milestones in life. I relive the very moment he was born and what that looked like – even 11 years later. I celebrate and reminisce each birthday that passed – the fateful year my brother-in-law was in the hospital, the joyful year we had about 50 people in my backyard on a massive 2 story waterslide, the ominous year we celebrated Graham before my Dad passed away, and his very first day when we sang a Christmas Song to him. I wasn’t alone in any of that. I had a team of people experiencing him the same way I was. We were all experiencing life’s moments. A birthday is just a touchstone to those moments.

So for now, I want to celebrate my life. I want to rejoice in the days I have had, where I have been, where I am going. These special days (birthdays, Christmas, New Year’s, or September 20th) are like life’s little mirrors, reflecting back the journey we have been on and the one we have ahead of us. They are just milestones on this little journey we call life.

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