Long time readers of my blog will know that every year, I collect a list of reflections and lessons that life is teaching me.
On Wednesday I turned 30, and what a wonderful day it was. If you know me, you will know that I adore birthdays, and my 30th birthday was no exception! I received many sweet birthday wishes. My husband and daughter baked me a key lime pie, a favourite of mine. I played the piano for an indulgently long period of time, my husband and I danced together, and my mom made me my favourite dinner ever! Today, I am reminded that I have some exceptional people in my life. My friendships feel rich and nourishing. My marriage gets sweeter every year. Motherhood has added depth to my life that I never knew before and I feel more settled into my role as Reya’s mother. I have my slice of contentment pie!
My twenties were a decade of transformation. It is a decade that demands a lot from a young person, a constant state of learning and transition – from student to a professional, a girlfriend to a wife, a woman to a mother. And not to forget all the dark, messy and confusing in-betweens.
On April 22nd, I turned 29. I think that of all the “holidays”, I love birthdays the most. I feel grateful to have had another year of life, with the promise of one ahead. Aging is a gift. The greatest wealth we have is our time and our health. And we’re not here for very long. Even the longest life, is pretty darn short.
I hope you enjoy reading through these reflections, perhaps with a nice hot cup of coffee or tea, because it’s a long one. My life is always so rich with growth lessons, especially this last year. The lessons I’ve learned this year have been centered around facing my fears, failure, mystical experiences, shame, ambition, and mastery.
This time when I opened up my Evernote note on my laptop where I collect all my lessons and reflections on life throughout the year, so that I can share them with you on my birthday – I thought to myself “Hmmm, I don’t think I learned that much this year.”
….But WordPress is telling me that this blog post is over 2000 words, so perhaps I did learn a few things after all!
Thank you for being so patient with me. I know that I have been neglecting my blog, but it is something I would like to come back to, and I will.
It is a foolish thing to live another day of your life like it was promised to you.
You can make a person smile. You can make a person laugh. But you cannot make a person happy.
I am 27 years old today.
I am sitting at my parent’s dining table. It is 6:30 in the morning. The house is quiet and the new risen sun is pouring its warm white light through the window and onto me.
Over the last few years I have been compiling a list of lessons, reflections and realizations I experience in my life. 2 years ago I shared everything I had written in there to that point. You can find that post here.
Since then I have learned a few more things and I would like to share them with you today.
Never touch anything with half of your heart.
When I think of my friend Arlene, I see her sitting on her couch, surrounding by piles of books.
She makes us a hot pot of tea with a delicious stick of cinnamon because she knows how much I love the hot spicy sweetness of it. There is a plate of delicious treats on the table, that she has made for us. Her cat curls up beside her. It is summer. The light pours through the windows and spills onto us.
And we talk. She listens to my stories, my adventures and my heartaches. She shares passages from her favourite books. And she guides me. She shares her stories, her wisdom, her lessons learned, and the poetry of life.
My friend Arlene is more than my friend, she is my teacher. She has shown me so much of myself. She has given me strength to rise when I had fallen. She has taken my hand and lovingly told me when I was wrong, and what I need to do to make things right. She saw the colours in me, even on my dullest days. She has loved me unconditionally, even when I felt I was unloveable.
Over the years, we have had so many conversations, and each one was a seed planted in my heart, and slowly as the years have passed, these seeds grow into a garden of inner worthiness, the kind that only comes when someone in your life truly cares for your spiritual journey on this planet. For that, I am so grateful for Arlene.
Here are just a few gems.
(I was supposed to post this on my birthday, but I didn’t.)
To quote Grey’s Anatomy (the TV show), Meredith once says “Bones break. Organs burst. Flesh tears. We can sew the flesh, repair the damage, ease the pain. But when life breaks down, when we break down, there’s no science. No hard and fast rules. We just have to feel our way through.”
That’s what I feel like I’ve been doing this last year – feeling my way through.
Yet another installment of my weekend birthday celebration was dinner with the girls. We wined and dined at The G hotel here in Galway. Great food, wine, company, and red dresses. What more could a girl ask for?
This is how the night started. Becky did my hair. She’s very good at hair stuff, unlike me.
Here it is. The action shot. My 21st birthday wish.
I hoped you enjoyed the photographs.
Life is good.