I’m blessed every year to see a new birthday because I’m healthy enough to enjoy whatever the day may bring, even if it’s nothing at all. It’s a day for me to reflect on how far I’ve come over the years through sickness with lupus, chemo, kidney transplant, financial troubles, single motherhood and more. Another year that I’m able to stand and breath and be free of anything physically or mentally holding me down is the best birthday present I could ask for. The older I get I’m more reflective of what could have been and more thankful for what is. And it’s all good.
20 years ago I had tubes coming out of my neck, my chest, and my stomach for dialysis. It wasn’t a great birthday but I was alive and was able to smile through it all thanks to my mom, brothers, and little sister who was only 3 at the time. My parents were going through an unpleasant separation and I was in college trying to graduate. I also totaled my car on the way to dialysis around this time and broke my hand and my dad was back on drugs. Yes chile, I was going through it through it. But I made it.
I’m telling you this to remind you and me that life is a miracle. It’s fleeting and fast with lots of road-bumps – some more bumpy than others, but if you hold on for the ride it’s worth it as those bumps give you strength to keep going, and a reason to reflect.
Birthdays are a great time to sit back and reflect over your life, and reflection in general is a great mental tool. It allows us to get quiet in the midst of chaos, observe the world as we interpret it and connect that with our own experiences. Reflection is a way to help navigate your future by learning from your past. If you’re old enough you may remember going to church and hearing the song “When I look back over my life, and I think things over, I can truly say, that I’ve been blessed I’ve got a testimony.” This song/statement is true for all of us.
How to reflect:
- Think about your accomplishments and all that you’ve achieved.
- Think about challenges you’ve overcome and give yourself praise for the hard parts of life that you’ve gotten through and a pat on the back for the many positives you’ve experienced.
- Go down memory lane with a smile and be nostalgic.
- Be kind to yourself. Don’t get hung up on your mistakes. Take what you can learn and leave the rest.
- Keep in mind that your life is only yours, and it’s special.
Reflection is important because life is a continual learning cycle and we should be our own best friends. Who best to learn from than your best friend/ yourself?
I was fortunate to spend this birthday in Napa, California with my boyfriend and it was wonderful. Like I stated previously, I’m blessed to be healthy enough to enjoy life and all that it has to bring.
What I’m wearing: