Today is my birthday. It makes me think about all of the different things in my life that mean something to me and the people that mean the most. As I go through the next few months, one thing that I want to do is knock several items off my bucket list. Age is just a number, but that doesn’t mean that it makes the reality any less challenging to deal with when we’re facing our mortality. I had someone say to me once that they wanted to live forever. All I can say is that if it floats your boat go for it. I’ve had too many friends not make it to 40 or 50. I’m blessed because I have managed to make it at least half a century. The older I get, the more knowledgeable I’ve become, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have much learning left. It often felt like earthly blessings were the things to be the most grateful for, but the truth is that we all have gifts even when it feels like the world is against us.
I’m blessed because I’m still healthy and able to function. But even if I weren’t in good health, I’d still have so many blessings in my life. The hardest part is seeing them when it feels like the world’s weight is falling on your shoulders. Sometimes it takes getting knocked down on your ass to appreciate the ground you’re lying on because when you look up, you see how vast the world can look. I know there have been many times when I took for granted people in my life and opportunities, and now I would give virtually anything to have some of those things back. But we can’t go back; we can only move forward. We can also use those situations to learn how to better ourselves down the road. And we can appreciate the things that we don’t usually take time to acknowledge.
Since my father died, I’ve seen the world through different lenses. And then, when Alex and a few other friends died too young, I’ve learned to appreciate the little things in life. Life is fragile, but acknowledging those blessings is the hardest part of enjoying our gifts. I can bitch all day long about what I don’t have, but I’m lucky because I have a roof over my head, food to eat, and a vehicle that I can drive. Those are all blessings. Some so many people don’t have those things. So before I start complaining about what I don’t have, I have to slap myself and remember what I do.
I’m healthy enough to go where I want to go, when I want to go. I don’t have health conditions that prohibit me from living my best life. Some people have to gasp for air for everything. I was one of them until I had that surgery for liposuction. Now that I’ve gotten my energy level back, I don’t take things for granted, like being able to breathe well. Nor do I take the ability to get a good night’s sleep for granted. We don’t think of so many areas in our lives as blessings, but they are. So the next time you start to complain about everything going wrong in your world, look for the good things because they help us get through the most challenging times in your life. And those good things translate into little blessings.
I’m going to spend this weekend celebrating my birthday because I have too many friends who have never made it to see another one. I’m not going to take it for granted because I don’t want to ask myself what if down the road. Have a great day, everyone.