On My Birthday…


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This year, on my birthday, a cool breeze freshened the air.

Birthday greetings were waiting for me when I turned on the computer.

I wonder about social media, announcing birthdays to all who look, so you have no idea if anyone actually remembered, or just checked their Facebook notices. I puzzle over it whenever I check those notices and am spurred to send someone a birthday greeting.

I didn’t wonder about it one bit today, though. I enjoyed every single good wish!

I worked at the hardware store today. Busy enough, but not crazy, and everyone was good-natured and friendly.

After work, I stopped at the farmhouse to see the “Aunts”. Aunt Katie, who lives there, has not been feeling her best lately. Her sister, my Aunt Margaret, is here for a weekend visit along with her daughter, son-in-law and great-granddaughter. I knew the young people had gone to the beach, so I brought ice cream cones for just myself and the Aunts. Aunt Margaret was dozing, so we saved hers in the freezer. Aunt Katie and I enjoyed ours on the spot, while watching the baseball game.

“This is brunch, for me,” I told her, which made her laugh.

A message from my daughter on the telephone answering machine when I got home was another happy note.

A long walk with the dogs made us all feel good.

Two years ago, when I turned sixty, I made a list of the sixty most influential women in my life.

Last year, I counted sixty-one blessings.

What to do this year, to mark my age, and the day?

I compiled a list, last night, of the sixty-two books that made the biggest impression on me so far in my life.

It’s a long and varied list. Many books – that revolutionized my thinking when I read them – would not impress me today. So much depends on the surrounding circumstances, when you pick up a book. There are a few that make me blush for the dated message or obvious risque’ material, but most stand up to the test of time. I’m not going to type them up today (it is my birthday, after all), but will in the next couple days, for anyone that is interested.

I’m thinking, too, of a list of aspirations.

Not a “Bucket List,” for I think – like my mother – I will be satisfied with the life I have lived, at whatever point death takes me.

Aspirations, because I think, whatever the age, we should always have goals, dreams and things to aspire to.

I may share that later, too, but not today.

I’m going out to dinner with friends this evening. I think before that I’m going to take a good book and soak in a hot, perfumed bath, ignoring all “should”s, “could”s and “ought-to”s.

It is my birthday, after all.

16 responses »

  1. Happy, happy birthday, Cindy! I will look forward to reading whatever you share in the future, but especially your list of books! Enjoy your bath and your evening. Cheers!

  2. glad your name unfolded so gently and lovingly. I am looking forward to your list of books because I am not curious about much but I am curious about what friends read. And your list of aspirations i know will be a deeper look into the loveliness of your presence here , of who you are.

    • We started with tomato and fresh mozzarella salad with a balsamic reduction. Sue had white wine, I drank red. I had salmon with sun-dried tomato polenta. Sue had portobella crusted Lake Michigan whitefish with savory risotto. We finished by sharing a dark chocolate molten lava cake with vanilla ice cream. Delicious! The clouds moved out just in time to reveal a beautiful sunset. It would have been even more wonderful if you had been there! Thanks, Lisa!

  3. A most happy belated birthday to you!

    Do you know that I’ve disliked the term “bucket list” since the first time i heard the phrase but I never could figure out why. Then I read this from you: “Not a “Bucket List,” for I think – like my mother – I will be satisfied with the life I have lived, at whatever point death takes me”

    That one sentence cleared it all up for me. Bucket lists represent dissatisfaction of a sort, or if not dissatisfactions, items to be crossed off a list before moving on to the next. Aspirations are far more inclined to stick with a person in a positive ways!

    Glad you had a good birthday (icecream with your aunts sounded wonderful btw)

    • It was a grand birthday, Karen. Too often my birthday is a self-pity extravaganza…I’ve been working hard to get out of that habit in the last few years. So far, the change is nice, and going well! Thanks for reading, Karen, and for your good wishes!

  4. Cindy, what a good idea–to associate a birthday with gratitude, or a big list of influential books, or people one admires. Happy belated birthday! I’ve been so busy the last couple of weeks that I’m way behind in reading.

    • Thank you for the good wishes! I used to just have a habit of feeling sorry for myself around my birthday. I’m working hard to break that habit, and the lists of “good things” seem to help.

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