Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday

Today I turned thirty.

Five years ago, I took the time to reflect on my life at that point, and I was pleased. I was in Georgia, celebrating the birth of my first niece a week prior. I was in graduate school, working on a PhD, and starting to develop serious feelings for the man who is now my husband. I was a healthy weight and had a pretty healthy frame of mind. Life was good.

In the intervening years, I've wished many times for the clarity and sense of calm I felt on the morning of my twenty-fifth birthday. I wondered if I'd ever feel the same way and had pretty much come to terms with the idea that I might not.

This morning, I decided to take stock, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I am at a place in my life where I could feel the same sense of peace and clarity. I'm not one of those people who dread turning 30. As the youngest of most of my friends, it's a bit anti-climactic, really. What I do dislike, however, is the feeling that I'm not moving forward to a healthier and happier me.

Perhaps it's a lucky coincidence that my birthday falls in the middle of Lent--itself a reflective time of the church year--because I've been rather reflective these last few weeks. For me, this reflection has brought about great appreciation for the path I'm on today. In the last year, I've become a much healthier person, having shed right at 20% of my body weight (48 lbs), become a recreational runner/walker, found faith in the community of St. Raphael's, and made great friends. There's a bit of peace in realizing how very blessed you are, and age doesn't really factor into it.

So today, I can say that even though I'm living a life I couldn't imagine five years ago, I feel much the same. As I say to J, I'm a lucky girl.

Title: Happy Birthday, by Stevie Wonder (A co-worker and I both turned 30 this month, so we threw ourselves a birthday party at School, a local french/sushi place with a karaoke room. Among the songs we discovered for the first time was this one by Stevie Wonder--not at all what we expected when we typed in Happy Birthday!)

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