Guess what? I'm 35 today.
This morning I joked around about really being 25 and last night I told Fran I was an "old toad" to which we both laughed.
Some might say I don't completely embrace growing older. I don't have any gray hairs because they're hidden under hair dye. What? You didn't notice my hair has changed colors a million times since high school?
I might even take to sanding my skin and wearing night cream, but you know what? I could think of a million things worse than having another birthday.
You can too. Think about it. I'm not going down that path in this post, but take a second to reflect on the world, your city maybe even your loved ones. Turning another year older is a gift.
If I wanted, I could gather my kids up right now and take them to see the dinosaur fossils at the Field Museum. I could bird watch outside my window and hope to see a cardinal. I could throw a stick to my overjoyed dog in the yard. I'm thankful.
If you're older you might say that I'm still young. That I haven't seen enough sadness and that's why I'm still happy to have another year under my belt and a new one to look forward to. I say you're wrong.
Life is too short to think this way. I might only be 35, but life can change in the blink of an eye. Embrace your years.
In my 35 years, I've grown to love many simple things. Here are some of the reasons, I'm so happy to celebrate another birthday:
1. Eating spicy food
2. Listening to cicadas and robins. Man, I really love to hear robins singing.
3. Dancing in the kitchen with my kids to this song:
4. Smelling freshly cut grass
5. Reading a great book on my couch
6. Drinking red wine
7. Don't forget the coffee. I'll take mine butter toffee flavored.
8. Watching fireworks
9. Looking up at the stars on cold, winter nights
10. Visiting National Parks
11. Turning up the radio when my favorite song comes on
12. Listening to my kids sing
13. Laughing so hard with the husband that we can't breathe
14. Watching beautiful movies like one:
15. Drinking green beer on St. Patrick's Day
16. Talking, talking and more talking with my girlfriends
17. Spontaneous conversations with strangers
18. Seeing those first tulips and daffodils in the spring
19. Calling my mom
20. Eating a freshly picked Golden Delicious apple from Michigan
21. Discovering a new trail
22. Eating a great bowl of pasta
23. Watching Project Runway
24. Burying my feet in warm sand
25. Doing the robot
26. Walking my dog by Lake Michigan
27. Holding proudly made artwork from the kids
28. Drinking beer with a side of popcorn
29. Visiting new nature centers
30. Turning the TV on just when your old favorite movie is starting. (Please be Back to the Future!)
31. Standing in awe in front of Paris Street; Rainy Day at the Art Institute of Chicago
32. Opening the windows
33. Watching your world turn into a snow globe
34. Sitting around a campfire
35. Coming into the house from the cold or rain with my entire family, and realizing just how fortunate we are.
It's great to be alive.
To subscribe to The New Abides, type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.