Archive for September, 2014

Birthday Gifts

bday-candlesI am turing 40 in a week. I’ve never been one to fear aging. In the past I’ve used birthdays to inspire new life goals. When I turned 30 I ran the Twin Cities 10-mile. At 35 I decided to dump my meds to have a baby. The month I turned 32, my pain kicked in for the first time.

From that point on birthdays have also become a pain-a-versary of sorts. I have had this pain for 8 years, 2, 920 days. It has been a marathon I never imagined lasting this long. In some ways I’ve given my 30’s to this pain, and I really don’t want to give it another decade. Anxiety about it all has been blocking my view as I head over the hill.

Until today,when I had a moment in my car waiting out a stop light. I found myself thinking about a drive I made on a beautiful fall morning like today, heading to Duluth for my first year of college. 22 years ago, car packed to the gills with dorm room essentials, with everything in front of me. Throughout all of the exquisit excitement that day, I could have never imagined my life as it is today. I have a most incredible husband; two healthy, smart, inspiring little girls; friends and family who support me tirelessly; and work I’m passionate about. Basically I have everything that 18-year-old was hoping for, as I sped towards adulthood on that beautiful day in September.

I know enough about life to know that these are rare gifts, to be held close and celebrated. Whether or not I have pain as a partner today, or for the next 40 years, I am living a life most uncommonly beautiful.

I’m thinking I’ll spend this particular birthday making big plans for the next 2,919 days. I’m hoping when I look back on this day, 40 years from now, I can again say  I could have never imagined the exquisiteness coming my way.

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