Celebrating 37

Wednesday , 8, October 2014 Leave a comment

Today is my birthday.  The end of year 37 of my life, and the beginning of year 38.  Another chance to start fresh and be reminded that taking another spin around the sun on this Earth of ours is a blessing not to be taken for granted.

I’m filled with apprehension each year on my big day.  I want to celebrate and stuff myself with cake, but I always feel a lingering sense of anxiety.  It’s not about the years passing.  I was mildly perturbed the year I turned 35 because somehow that magical number put me into a new demographic category on every survey I took or form I filled out.  Age?  25-34?  No no.  35-44.  Damn.

Yes, I have a few wrinkles, and, yes, I have some grey hairs.  I have hair in places I didn’t used to.  Hangovers now make me wonder how I survived college.  Staying up too late has week-long consequences.  That, however,  is about the limit of my age-related angst (shout out to my mom for being such an amazing role model for that!)  As far as numbers go, as long as I get to keep counting up, I’m happy.

It felt important this year to take a serious look back at year 37.  My memories of the past year will obviously revolve around February 28th–the day that split my life into the “days before I lost KT” and the “days after I lost KT.”  But for as much as I have come to terms with the reality of remembering that day most vividly out of this year’s 365, I’m wise enough to know that far more happened in the past year than just that day.  Since I’ve been art-journaling, I decided to to a photographic timeline of the year to help me get a clear sense of what really went on during the year.  Here’s how it turned out (please forgive the “year” title on it… the math involved here threatens to destroy some kind of space/time continuum):

IMG_7336It was a good reminder that, while it was a terribly painful year, there was also a lot of good that happened…

  • Our great annual trip to Moab to count ants and camp
  • Good family time–my family, Clint’s family, and both our families together
  • For as much as there were stressful times at work, we had a lot of fun along the way, too
  • I found new friends, both near and far, both the kinds I’ll know forever and the ones just passing by
  • I reconnected with my roommate from college and found in her a friend I didn’t really have to reconnect with, because we’d been tied all along (and always will be!)
  • I made friends with a 5 year-old who became my new BFF
  • I got to play tour guide to a friend who came out to visit
  • I was surrounded by love I don’t have words to describe when I spent a few days in Iowa with my family
  • I discovered art as a way of expressing myself
  • I went to more concerts than I have in YEARS and met one of my favorite artists
  • I returned to one of the most important places in my world to honor KT, to learn, and to connect
  • Etc.  It’s a blessing in itself that this list could go on and on.

This year brought heartache and pain that at times felt intolerable, but seeing this timeline, it’s clear that there was joy, too.  There was even some good that grew out of the heartache, hard as that is to admit.  Just the universe reminding me that I’m not in control of what happens.  Here’s to 37, with hopes for more laughs and fewer tears in the year to come.

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