By: Anne Marie Holloway
The Birthday Countdown has ended….It has finally arrived.. I love birthdays. I especially love my birthday (just in case you did not know that about me). And today I celebrate my 40th birthday.
My minds eye still views me as an enthusiastic and playful twelve year old. But, if truth be told, there are some signs of weathering that were definitely not there when I was actually twelve years of age.
And it is okay. I welcome this, as it demonstrates all I have earned during these 40 years, like earning stripes from the trials and tribulations of life – battles well fought! I am still here! I AM ALIVE!!! I am wiser….
And that is good… real good.
I am calling this 40th year, the year of “Wisdom Gained.” In a reflective birthday frame of mind, I have created a list of the wonderful gifts 40 years have brought into perspective for me –changing my vision, providing me with clarity – and I thought I would share these with you…
- Never sleep through a meteor shower. It is always worth waking up at one o’clock in the morning, wrapping yourself in a blanket and lying on your back outside to stare up into the early morning sky. Shooting stars never fail to take my breath away…
- Listen for the birds in the early spring, when you are “done” with winter and longing for warmer days – such songs of hope.
- Jazz hands are underrated.
- Have a theme song – change it with your mood. It is awesomely motivating to walk throughout life knowing you have your own personal soundtrack!
- Be kind – even when it is not so easy.
- Take what others say at face value – do not try to read between the lines. Do not waste valuable amounts of energy on trying to translate conversations that have already occurred – move forward.
- Pray often and always.
- Be thankful for it all – the good, the bad, the inexplicable, the unavoidable – because it is all a gift.
- Always go with your first choice.
- Heed this good advice and always put your keys in the same spot!
- Less is more – except on your birthday!
- Love first – no matter what happens.
- Be courageous – you will always regret letting fear govern your choices.
- Answer the call.
- Do much good, expect nothing in return.
- Revel in the work that you do – bloom where you are planted!
- In terms of hugs – be the last one to let go…
- Make eye contact – eyes are the mirrors to the soul. You can tell a lot about a person by looking them in the eye.
- Play an instrument – it will teach you the value of persistence and patience.
- Sing in the shower – your voice always sounds better there.
- Ask why.
- Have a good cry – then pick yourself up, square off your shoulders and overcome it.
- Accept all compliments with sincerity.
- Loss is inevitable, focus on the living.
- Be playful as often as you can!
- Choose joy.
- Be true to your heart.
- Forgive yourself.
- Forgive others.
- Go for walks – forget the gym.
- Protect what is good.
- Don’t let the turkeys get you down! Gobble! Gobble!
- Embrace your flaws and accept your mistakes!
- Don’t try to catch fireflies– it’s mean.
- At least once in your life watch these movies: “Meet the Robinsons”, “The Secret Life of Bees.”, “Love Actually”, “Armageddon”, any of the “Indiana Jones Movies”, “Dead Poets Society”, “About Time”, “The Green Mile” and of course – “Cool Hand Luke”….
- (And Finally!) Celebrate your birth! Be present and be a present! Embrace the gift of your birth! You are here “on purpose” and “with purpose!!” Celebrate however you feel comfortable, with extravagant expectations, or humble reflections. Just be sure to honor your creation, because you are a miracle and your life is a blessing!
A new year awaits….