Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Reflection Time...Again!!!

I don't know how it happens so quickly,
year after year,
but here it is once again,
my birthday.
I never regret birthdays,
I'm thankful to have another one to celebrate.
I don't regret that my energy level
is not what it used to be.

It's just a reminder that I need to listen to my body
and take the time to sit and
read that book,
watch that old movie on TV,
or spend an hour or two just enjoying the view.
All those piles of home projects
that never seem to end will wait.
I don't really regret my years at all.
On one level it is very liberating
when you come to understand
you don't have to prove yourself to anyone,
Those days of trying to impress bosses,
friends, relative and mere acquaintances
are finished.
I am what I am,
take it or leave it.

That doesn't mean I don't have regrets.
I think my number one regret,
as I reflect on my life this birthday,
is that I didn't relish, really relish,
my daughter Kate's childhood.

What wouldn't I give to have more days
of that sweet little girl by my side,
"helping" me in the kitchen,
or her eagerly bringing me a favorite book
to read to her...for the 100th time
(please let me read it to you another 100 times),
or those countless hours in the car,
just her and me,
when the barriers seemed to come down
and conversations seemed to flow.
Kate now lives hundreds of miles away from home
and is doing precisely as she was taught to do.
She is being independent, and thinking for herself.
And she never ceases to take my breath away!
(An update note on Kate,
who has been living and working in NYC
as an editorial assistant at a major publishing company:

She will be moving to Washington DC
at the end of the summer,
and beginning the next dream of her life
by starting law school.
Bravo Kate!)

So, the lesson learned from this regret
is to hold tight to the time we do have together,
whether it is a phone call or a visit.
And it does not only apply to my time with Kate.
I want to really relish the time I have
with everyone I love.
I want to slow down, even more,
and take the time for
another hour's conversation.
I want to really relish the people in my life,
Kate, my sister Nancy,  my parents,
my brothers and their wives,
my knitting buddies,
my friends, relatives and neighbors.
All dear, dear people,
who are so easy for me to take for granted.

My sister left me a sweet birthday card this morning
with a note telling me to only do the things
I want to do today.
What to do with this wonderful gift of a new day...

Relish it!

(All images are from Google Images,
except the one of Kate and me!)


Kris said...

Happy, Happy Birthday! And hooray for Kate! My babies are now 32, 30 and 24. Oh where did that time go? I do, however, enjoy my three grand children immensely!
Enjoy the day!
xo Kris

Susie said...

Dear Susan, Happy birthday to you. I know what you are saying about the regrets of not totally enjoying every moment with your child. I have those about my daughters childhood. No one ever told me to hold tight, to enjoy every single minute. I was so caught up in everyday chores of family, then later a job and family...then before I knew it , my beautiful daughters were grown and gone. But believe me, I tell them to hold tight to these days with their children, to enjoy everything about it, because it goes oh so quickly. Enjoy your day sweet Susan. xoxo,Susie

Dewena Callis said...

I hear you! My sentiments exactly and I just had a big one in May myself. Came to many of the same conclusions. Trying to get rid of expectations that I had of myself 20 years ago. Face reality but still live with all the hope of a child.

Yes, my goal has been to enjoy each day for what it is but I love your word better...Relish! That implies a lot more to the enjoying business.

Happy Birthday!

NanaDiana said...

Susan, What a wonderful, wonderful post-the reminder to relish every moment-to enjoy and receive pure pleasure from the simplest of acts. Blessings to your sweet daughter and Happy Happy Birthday to you. I don't mind the years either- xo Diana

Carol said...

Happy Birthday to you!

Ewenique said...

Sending birthday wishes your way! I think one of the benefits of growing older is becoming more comfortable in your own skin as you take each day a little slower.

Linda said...

What a wise insightful birthday post! You have the right attitude and I want that to be MY attitude TOO!
Happy Birthday!!

Anonymous said...

Happiest Birthday Ever my friend! I simply love your wishes and lack of regrets! And most of all you are right... everyday is to be relished!
Have the best Birthday ever...
Beth P

Susan Okrasinski said...

This is so beautiful! You really really really should collect your writings and put them together into a book. This one made me teary - especially the photo of you and Kate.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

happy, happy birthday; may you have many, many more! love the wisdom of this post; wonderful mind you've got.

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