Small Things Make the Biggest Gifts

Today as I sit down to blog, I feel myself getting a little choked up. I’m a little overwhelmed by how much kindness I received this weekend for my birthday. Birthdays are not always the easiest occasion for me. As the day approaches, I usually start feeling old and begin listing in my head all the ways in which I haven’t accomplished enough at this point in my life and all the ways I don’t have it together yet. Then that makes me feel like I don’t want to celebrate at all and then that makes me feel old because I am the kind of person who loves an excuse to get together with people for a shin-dig.

When you’re in this state of mind about your birthday, what’s the best thing to hear from your best friend?

“We’ve reserved this day just for your birthday and we’re coming over with everything.”

And did they mean everything. My friends, Kat and Steve, came with their daughter, Tasha, along with snacks and fixings for a tasty taco dinner and made me a birthday cake. If that weren’t enough, I got a beautiful handmade knitted purse made by Kat and a card, proudly hand-drawn by Tasha.

Today I woke up to sleeping in and snuggling up with the husband to a “Top 10” birthday email from a dear friend of mine which immediately made my day. Easter celebration with family followed today, but my mom was sure to have a birthday cake for me, the kind I always asked for growing up: angel food cake with whipped cream and strawberries.

Say what you will about Facebook, but the icing on the cake (pun intended) was to read all of the “Happy Birthday” messages on my Facebook wall. Yes, I know Facebook tells you when it’s someone’s birthday. But I’m incredibly touched by people who took the time to write me a birthday message, be it old friends, work colleagues, former classmates, family, or close friends. It’s these little things that make someone feel like a million bucks on their birthday.

tashaheart

Special birthday artwork

Reflecting on all of the love I received today, I realize how lucky I am. What are accomplishments or appearance or items checked off a to-do list when it comes to people? To have lived this far and have my world full of so many people that make me happy, well, that’s quite the best measure of life.

 

Life Matters

Lately I’ve been fighting off the flu bug that half the population seems to have right now. Yesterday I went to lay down for a nap and my husband snuggled up beside me. Achy as I was, it felt so good to have my hair rumpled and his arm around me. Laying there with my head on his chest, it occurred to me that these little moments are really the best part of life.

Yet how many times do I take this guy, the love of my life, for granted? How many evenings am I caught up in things I have to do: laundry to be done; work to finish, emails to answer? How many times are we there with each other, but mostly caught up in our own tasks and life concerns that seems so important in the moment? Do we really make enough time to have just being with the other person?

This above quote is my mantra for 2013. When I’m feeling caught up in being busy and preoccupied and frustrated, I’m working on taking a deep breath and asking myself, “Am I making time on what matters most?” And while work and doing the dishes and running errands are all important things that have to be done, that which matters most shall never give way to them.

Tonight was a bummer. It was a close game and rough loss for San Francisco fans. Yet there was another part of watching the game that mattered a lot more.

reading

Auntie Megan with her favorite little people