I’m not normally one to get all excited for my birthday, but when it comes to milestone years, I get as giddy as a school girl. The Facebook and Twitter messages today have been overwhelmingly awesome. The flowers my parents sent me? A lovely surprise at my door this morning.
I am eatin’ it up for the big three-oh.
It’s very easy for me to get very selfish and proclaim “me me me!” for my birthday, but I want to take a few minutes to remember that as all-encompassing as turning thirty feels right now, I’m just one woman in a very great big world. So, in honor of entering my “Dirty Thirties” (mad props to my friend, fellow Gemini and wife of a Mason, Mel Walters for teaching me this phrase), I want to recognize and honor thirty moments of gratitude in my life, in this moment right now.
I am deeply grateful for…
My soulmate, my partner-in-crime, my fellow adventurer: Larry. When we took that stroll to the Salem Lighthouse last night and your alarm went off at midnight – and then you pulled a birthday card out of your pocket at that exact moment – I felt as loved as the moment of our first kiss. After 15 years, not much as changed when it comes to how stupidly in love I am with you. I’m so grateful for your optimism, your work ethic, your hot bod, and just how much you take care of and look out for me, no matter what.
My mom, Debbie. There’s that whole “giving birth to me” thing but also just how amazing of a woman and role model you are and have been to me my whole life. I know I was a totally bratty kid sometimes (Keiko, don’t be a heathen!) and probably even more of a handful as a teenager, but I have learned so much from you. Whether it’s channeling my emotions through the joys of cooking salmon patties, to always having a love of learning, to knowing when to stand up for myself – I have you to thank for teaching me such valuable life lessons about what it means to be a strong woman, wife, mother, sister and daughter.
My dad, Akira. It’s only in the last 5 years I feel like I can finally appreciate everything from when I was young. I know we didn’t necessarily get each other: I was a total spazz. I bucked at just about everything you tried to teach or show me, but now that I’m (finally) an adult, I’ve come to appreciate all of those things so much more. From NPR and KYW news radio, to all the Kitaro and Fresh Aire CDs you made me listen to – to all the foreign films you’d introduce me to over the years – you challenged me to embrace culture of all types. Your travels inspired me to see the world as you have (okay, maybe not Libya… we’ll skip that one) and through your photography, I’ve come to appreciate the littlest, most beautiful things most others would overlook.
My sister, Jasmine. I’ve learned so much from you over the years and I look up to you so much. So much of my middle and high school years were influenced by everything you were doing. I did all that stuff because I wanted to be like my cool older sister. I have you to thank for my love of all things nerdy, sci-fi, and off the beaten path. You’ve taught me that when you walk off that path from everyone else, you can find amazingly awesome things that no one else appreciates. We might be city mouse, country mouse – but I’m so grateful for all the things you’ve taught me and for all the cool older sister wisdom you’ve yet to impart.
Every one of my in-laws. I hate using that term, “in-law.” You’ve never been this alternative family only affiliated by marriage. You’ve never been a “second” family – you’re each just this extra set of parents and a sister as much as my own blood. You’ve always been incredibly supportive of everything that Larry and I have done together, and that’s meant so much to me.
Natalie, my honey bee. Wise Woman. Healer. Warrior. Red Tent Goddess. Teacher. Sage. Grower of anything she plants in the ground. Kindred Spirit. Magick Maven. Priestess.
Each and every one of you who reads this blog. Seriously, to know that people really and truly care about what I have to say – it means a lot. Whether you comment or not, just knowing that I have this huge network of people rooting for me and our journey towards parenthood… it keeps me going.
All of the professional colleagues I have met as a result of this blog (there are genuinely too many to name). I am humbled by the good work that’s being done out there for this community.
All five of my amazing senses that allow me to experience this amazing world.
The places I’ve lived, the places I’ve visited, the placed I dream about going.
Living where I do: from my old haunted house to my tight-knit city to my progressive state to this country that affords more freedoms than most, no matter how much the government may frustrate me sometimes.
My health. I might have a busted thyroid and be a bit baby-making challenged, but all in all: I can walk, I can breathe, I can talk. I’m still going strong.
My cats. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to be that adorable.
Flowers in bloom.
Starlit nights, crescent moons and twilight.
The roof over my head, the food in my belly, the clothes on my back, the love I’m surrounded by.
Art and freedom of expression, whether or not I might agree.
Shabbos candles, the Sh’ma and Evan’s Deli in Marblehead.
Technology. Seriously, how did we live without smartphones again?
Breath. It fills me. It calms me. It fuels me forward. It prepares me. It awakens me.
Okay, this one’s kind of selfish: that my birthday fell on the Friday of a long holiday weekend.
I know I’m grateful for all of my senses, but I particularly feel the need to call out my sight. This world is a wondrous one to behold. I don’t want to miss seeing any of it.
Anyone who makes the brave choice to fight for their country. I’m not that brave.
Music. All of it. Yes, even Skrillex.
Dunkin Donuts iced coffee. Or, as I like to call it, my Busy Day Go Juice.
Every person who’s ever spared one moment, one good thought for me.
Thirty awesome years so far…
…and the many to come.
Y’all know it’s bad luck to say that wish out loud… but I know every one of you knows what my 30th birthday wish is this year.
Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend: safe travels, mild traffic, lots of sun, delicious barbecues.