Birthday Love and Gratitude

bday photo_cropped

Hi, Everyone! It’s Brooke here. So, this is the time of year when my fellow Pisceans come out to play—we really couldn’t ask for a better time of year to celebrate. Early spring in Texas is beautiful. The mornings are still a little cool, the tulip trees and daffodils are blooming in their purple and golden glory, respectively, and all the critters are actively rejoicing in the close of the bitterly cold winter. This year, my birthday fell on Tuesday, and to tell you the truth, I was kind of disappointed it was going to be a workday. Internal thoughts: Really? How festive can Tuesday be? What a drag. Blah, blah, blah. Anyway, first Monday came along, and my heart was quickened by a few early birthday wishes from my friends at work. Then Tuesday arrived, and sweet wishes arrived throughout the day from people in all parts of my life—kind acquaintances, dear family members, and precious friends. Many of these kind thoughts arrived online, and as I set about replying to each of them, something magical happened. As I typed each little note, I reflected on my relationship with each sender, thankful for the connection tying us together. Then I sent my warm wishes back from whence they came. I spent all day doing this, except for several intervals of actual work, and what a wonderful day it was!! I felt absolutely bathed in a steady stream of love from sunrise to after dark. I so hope that each of you experiences a day (or lots more!) like this in the very near future. It does your heart a world of good.

heart leaf

This year was the big 3-8 for me. Yikes!! When did I get to be within spitting distance of 40? And more troublesome, why was this bothering me? In years past, I’ve always loved birthdays—what better way to celebrate the day that a loved one entered this wonderful world? Also, because there’s nothing we can do to make time go backward, we might as well embrace its inevitable forward movement with joy rather than dread. Now, the tiny thought teases my brain that those sentiments are easily expressed by people basking in the prime of their youth, with their facile optimism—but what does one say or think as the years creep along? Really what I’m wondering is what has my life been up to this point and what shall its purpose be going forward? Something about 38 seems so . . . serious. So grown up. Like I should have my crap figured out by now. Darn it!

What I’ve decided this means is that I need to slow down (for a little while), be still, and reflect on what my goals are for the future, rather than living each day frantically trying to meet obligations, deadlines, and expectations. I know I’m not the only one who struggles with balance and wanting to live a radiant, authentic life, despite the busyness of each day. But thankfully, on many days, and one day especially last week, I was reminded that my life is full of joy and love all the time; that if I’m continually thankful, my sights will be set on powerful, positive things; and despite occasional evidence to the contrary, this is a beautiful world.

Give thanks for a little

I’ll leave you with the “Desiderata,” one of my favorite poems that I keep close to my desk. I’ve spent many idle moments pondering its message of peaceful living amid a chaotic and sometimes discouraging world. I repeat it silently in my head like a rosary or a mantra, checking for relevancies in my life as I go through each line. And two things happen every time—my eyes tear up as my heart recognizes these same truths and my soul is soothed. It’s literary Xanax. Purrrrrrr. Have a blessed week!

With love, Brooke
desiderata

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