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):
It was a good reminder that, while it was a terribly painful year, there was also a lot of good that happened…
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.