Things do not change; we change.
- Henry David Thoreau
I typically don’t really enjoy birthdays, for whatever reason. This year I decided to do something different. I decided to identify 36 reasons to celebrate life, and particularly my life. I have so much to be thankful for and I’m still amazed that my little list could go on forever and ever. I am blessed. I am extremely blessed. So on this special day of celebration, I celebrate all that makes me smile, laugh and remember during a season of reflection and joy. Enjoy.
1. The love of family and friends. I am blessed to have the love of family and friends and a great appreciation for it. I have timeless memories from the yellow school bus and dreams of becoming wonder woman, to road trips authorized and unauthorized, hospital stays and delivery, care packages and then some. I am blessed.
2. Lydia A’Laine priceless 1.
3. Noah Samuel priceless 2.
4. Andrew Stephen priceless 3.
5. God’s grace and love
6. Jesus and his great gift
7. A tremendous mother and the lessons learned from her
8. A tremendous grandmother and the lessons learned from her
9. Cinnamon Hazelnut coffee and sugar free syrup (splenda too!)
10. Coffee Playdates shared in every state, in every possible coffee shop, in many different restaurants and sometimes at the kitchen counter. Here’s to playdates for adults, even when you don’t drink coffee – because you enjoy the company and the time together.
11. P.F. Chang’s, quality Mexican Food, Northern Beans with Smoked Turkey, The Parthenon, Flaming Kabob and homemade cheesecake. (Sometimes sheâ€™ll even put fruit on top – yumm!)
12. 11 years of marriage to one man who loves me (With Destiny’s Child Survivor, Sade, Robin Thicke and some others playing in the background).
13. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and true sisterhood
14. Purdue University, The Black Cultural Center and Haraka Writers
15. The University of Toledo School of Business and professors who work to have you reach your fullest potential. There is something magical about learning the difference between knowledge and grades.
16. College roommates and grace.
17. Gratitude, grace and forgiveness. There is something about age and maturity that allows you to appreciate the journey and the process. All of these characteristics are precious and it reminds me of the wonderfully mature elders that surround me and share so much. All three should be applied to family and friendship in abundance I believe.
18. All mothers of 3 children and the secret mother society.
19. Family vacations on a shoestring budget
20. 3 Cardinal families that visit my backyard often
21. Cleaning Buddies – the joy of conversation that is only accomplished with Pinesol, Bleach, Pledge and Windex in hand. There is something tremendously peaceful about the joy and laughter that comes about during this mysterious connection.
22. God’s humor for using flawed people to teach us lessons and the power of the women He set before us – Deborah, Ruth, Naomi, Eve, the Proverbs 31 woman and the list goes on. I miss Word of Faith in Michigan, but I’m thankful for the lessons learned and the pursuit of clarity and understanding in the bible.
23. Good health and the pursuit of it. My great grandmother was an active part of my life and lived to be in her 90’s. I didn’t realize at that time what a great blessing we had in her example and the legacy that comes about when you are here to see many generations.
24. Tears and Silence – not necessarily in that order.
25. Self-Awareness/Self Acceptance (Mary J. Blige’s Take Me As I Am playing in the background.
26. Weight Loss and the shared journey – struggle and success.
27. Early morning dances with a three year old – priceless 3, squared.
28. Snailmail letters in funky envelopes – because sometimes email just won’t do.
29. The written word and the ability to write. (I know there is a book inside somewhere – it may be hiding, but I know it is there.
30. Books – from fluff to phenomenal works of art.
31. Entertainment and the time you take to enjoy things that give you joy.
32. Scrapbooking and photographs.
33. Second Chances (We Fall Down, But we Get Up – Donnie McClurkin singing in the background)
34. The Gift of Laughter. Friends that can laugh with you and help you become astute and laughing kindly at yourself.
35. New Opportunities and the gift of each new day. The potential of what happens every morning when you realize you have another opportunity to do all that you are called to do.
36. Okay, you fill in the blank on this one. Given that this list has disappeared from email twice, I have had lots of time to reflect. But I thought you might think about something you want to celebrate, something that serves as a reason to make you smile, someone that you don’t want to wait 365 days to send warm thoughts their way – anyone, anything. I have so much to be thankful for and I count you as one of my distinct blessings. Whether you are a part of my history, and active part of my present, or a part of my future today on this day of celebrations, I also celebrate you. Have a blessed day. 6 years ago