Beatitudes of my life

Being grateful for everything in my life…. no matter what…

When Someone Truly Cares… May 12, 2014

I had a birthday recently… a “milestone” birthday”.  I had anticipated it and knew that it was going to be mentioned with gentle jokes, happy laughter, and loving joy… what I hadn’t expected were the feelings that hit me as the subsequent days rolled along.

Maybe it had to do with the fact that we recently moved away from our home of 13 years.  Since this was the place where I’d put in the most effort in making, and keeping, friends, I was actually looking forward to this birthday.  I was looking forward to wearing my “It’s my Birthday” pin (which I apparently forgot to pack) and have random people wish me a Happy Birthday.  I was looking forward to scads of emails, texts, and Facebook messages sending a bit of birthday love my way.  I was even looking forward to having some of my “nearest and dearest” complain that I wasn’t close by to visit for coffee or a drink.  Isn’t that what usually happens when someone close to us celebrates a birthday of any age?

Before I go any further, I must say that I was overwhelmed by the kindness and love that were showered on me throughout my birthday weekend. There were texts, calls, emails, and so very many loving FB messages that I truly felt blessed… and I thank each and every one of you for reaching out in any way possible.  My mom called and invited me to meet her for lunch… and  brought a special birthday cake.  My husband planned a special dinner at my college friend’s restaurant so we could celebrate.  Thank God for Facebook (really!) for reminding people about my birthday, because my feed was going crazy (in a delightful way) with wishes of fun, joy, love, etc… I read and appreciated every single one.  I was also touched that so many sent emails or texts… in this age of instant/constant activity, I was grateful for all forms of communication.  The cards that arrived at our new address or forwarded from our old one were especially sweet… when one isn’t “on the clock” or scheduled to  be somewhere, the trip down to the mailroom can sometimes be the brightest spot in an entire day.  I pray that I remember this piece of information in the coming years when friends move, because any and all written correspondence has been a balm to my bruised soul.  FYI:  No… bills do not count as “correspondence”.  😉EffortNotExcuse

What I wasn’t expecting was the sadness that I felt in the subsequent days when a few select people in my life chose to ignore my birthday.  I truly cannot fathom the reason for someone “forgetting” the birthday of another.  We are bombarded with information in so many different forms that it ends up feeling intentional when such a slight happens.  While excuses will most likely be made as time goes on, I don’t know that I’ll be able to simply forget this year.  The quote included in this post says it all, in my opinion.

This post isn’t meant to change the past or alter the future.  It’s simply my way of trying to let go of expectations and move on with my life.  I understand that everyone deals with loss in their own ways… some attack it head on while others try and pretend it doesn’t exist… but that doesn’t mean that I have to accept the subsequent feelings of loss that I experience when someone makes the choice to make an excuse instead of making an effort.

I admit to being one of those people who keeps a mental tally of those who slight and those who don’t. I recognize that this is a character flaw, but it has saved me in the past and I’m reluctant to change at this point in my life.  After all, I’m now FIFTY years old… I believe that I am old enough to choose to forgive & forget or to stand up for myself and not allow myself to be used as a doormat.

I’m going to choose me this time.  I believe that my feelings are important… they matter… and if someone in my life doesn’t feel the same way, then I am going to try to let them go.  It’s not easy to leave a life that you worked hard to build, but we each should understand and support the fact that our lives will take us on our own paths.  Changing the course of your life doesn’t mean you have to shed those with whom you have shared your life… it should mean that you do the work to keep those people close.   NOTE: For the most part, my HS friends and my HoodLums understand this in spades… each one of you is a gift more precious than gold in my book and you each have my eternal love and friendship.

As the saying goes, “when someone truly cares about you, they make an effort, not an excuse”.  It would be so sad if this were the end, but sometimes that’s the way the cookie crumbles… right?


Celebrating a Birthday June 11, 2013

Filed under: Blessings,Life Balance — beatitudesofmylife @ 8:31 pm
Tags: ,

I am a self-declared goober when it comes to birthdays. I truly believe that everyone should try and do something special on your birthday…. and that you should have cake. It’s a little thing for me, but I really enjoy celebrating the fact that I’ve been on this earth for another year. I’ve been given a gift of another birthday and, no matter the number, that alone should be worth celebrating.

Imagine my reaction when my colleague, A, wasn’t all that keen on celebrating his birthday. I get that people don’t always want to celebrate if they’re missing family or going through a particularly rough patch in life, but I think that to *not* celebrate a birthday sometimes deprives others of the opportunity to show someone just how special they are, simply because they are. Thankfully, another colleague, C, was on the ball and created the coolest way to celebrate our friend’s birthday…. a SCAVENGER HUNT!A'sbirthdayscavengerhunt

C wrote out a bunch of really clever clues… I wish I was half as creative when it comes to creating such fun, rhyming clues. She took a bunch of photos as she was placing the clues and then I followed along as A followed the clues to their ultimate reward… CANDY!

If you’re trying to come up with a fun, inventive way to cheer up a co-worker or celebrate a birthday with someone who isn’t too excited about celebrating in such a public way, this seems like the perfect fit. Alexander (might as well name him, since it’s in the title of this collage) seemed to enjoy the spectacle of running around with two excited young helpers (seen in a few of the photos) and, I hope, he knows just how glad I am that he let us be “goobers” over his birthday. Besides…. how many chances do you get to “put one over” on a friend… all in the name of celebrating a birthday.

Happy Birthday, Alexander! Thanks for letting us celebrate you!



A Winery Birthday Party? May 10, 2013

Filed under: Blessings,Wine — beatitudesofmylife @ 9:06 am
Tags: , , ,

Oska'sBIrthday2013Last night, I was privileged to spend a few hours with a large group of (legal-aged) young adults who were celebrating a friend’s birthday with a party at James River Cellars.  It was a night of great music, laughter, fun, and lots of wine and beer.  While I wasn’t originally scheduled to work the event, I was surprisingly glad to have been in attendance… if only to be privy to the party-life of a group of young adults.

Truth be told, I had trepidations about how this evening was going to go.  As the guest list grew from 75 to 100 people, I had visions of beer bongs, keg stands, and shot-gunned beers along with nightmares of inebriated young men and women needing taxis to get home again.  Thankfully, I was totally off base with these people… and I have never been so glad to be wrong.

The evening couldn’t have gone better.  The guests had taken the event seriously and were dressed up – the guys looked sharp in khakis, tucked-in-shirts, and blazers while the girls were stunning in beautiful dresses and heels that were higher than I’d seen in ages. Oska, the guest-of-honor, had organized almost everything and relied on friends to participate and make the evening special.  There were photos of  him alone and with friends/family, there were packs of cards for anyone who wanted to play card games during the night (cuz that’s something Oska likes to do), and a few signs that hinted at fun times and family traditions (Hip, Hip, Hooray!).   If you didn’t know Oska well before last night, there were ample opportunities to learn more about him and become part of his inner circle of friends.  His parents made the trek from MD for the evening and one of his professors even came for a few hours.  It was a wonderful event.

From my point of view, it touched my heart that so many people would take the time to spend a Thursday night during finals to celebrate their friendship with this unique young man.  He has created a family of friends who love and support one another in the way that every parent wants for their child.  These young people are kind, funny, creative, responsible, and genuine… and I’m so glad I was able to be a small part of something so wonderful.



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