I’ve spent the last couple of days celebrating turning 44. The celebration kicked off Saturday night with a dinner hosted by dear friends, who, in addition hosting a wonderful dinner, pooled together to get me bass guitar lessons at Twin Town. (Whoop! I can’t believe my luck to have so many wonderful friends in my life.)
Sunday there was lots of driving to and from soccer practices. There was paint selection for our living room painting project. And there was another lovely dinner celebration with my family. Yesterday morning—my actual birthday—Donny and I went for a long walk, and then I had a wonderful lunch with my mom. I spent the afternoon sampling paint on our walls and the evening driving between Stella’s soccer practice and Zoë’s soccer game. It was a pretty ordinary day, but it was perfect. I’m simply grateful to do low-key things around the house and with family and friends.
Maybe my gratitude for the little things and for just being with those I love has to do with getting older. I no longer need fireworks on my birthday. (Though, if someone had some fireworks and wanted to set them off, that would be fine too.) Maybe my gratitude has to do with the fact that I am finally feeling better. I’m still not completely out of the woods—I still have pain some days—but I’m learning how to manage it, and I’m running and walking and even dancing through my living room, often without any pain at all. Phenomenal.
But my gratitude also has to do with knowing how fleeting life can be, how unpredictable. I’ve been thinking a lot about the victims and families and friends of the victims of the Orlando shooting. They have been robbed of birthday cakes and long walks and dinners with loved ones. They have been robbed of, well, everything. Just like that. I can’t wrap my mind around the senseless violence or around the fact that it’s even possible for people to buy assault weapons. How can we make this stop? How many times does this need to happen?
So my celebration these last days has been tempered with sadness over everything that those innocent people and their families and friends lost. I’m sending out love to all of them, and I’m holding tight to those I love.
What about you?