I don't know how it happens so quickly,
year after year,
but here it is once again,
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
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.
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...
(All images are from Google Images,
except the one of Kate and me!)