I love my birthday. Having a birthday so close to Christmas is not generally considered a plus, but I think that's part of why I love it so much. Whenever I hear someone say, "Oh, I'm so sorry. Do people give you presents and say it's for Christmas and your birthday?" I think: WHO CARES!? They gave me a present! I think I secretly love taking something that's supposed to be a negative and making it the most positive ever (but I guess now it's not a secret...).
My parents always made my birthday special, and part of that was going shopping with my mom to score on all the Boxing Day sales. I love to shop, but I don't love feeling like I'm wasting money or brain space on "stuff," so this quickly became a tradition for me: shop one day a year, buy some high-quality things I need/want, then never have to walk into a store or mall again for an entire year (except for the occasional bathing suit or pair of shorts that I couldn't find in the winter). It's my favorite. I look forward to it all year! What I realized today was this: the reason I love it so much is that ALL year long every single thing I wear reminds me of my birthday. My clothes remind me of my girlfriends who came shopping with me (and who I'm possibly twinning with because we bought the same shirt for $5) and the feelings I had that day hearing kind words from family, friends, and loved ones across the globe.
But my favorite thing about my birthday is that each year I get to reflect on the amazing year I was just blessed to enjoy. One more year of struggle, laughs, tears, excitement, experience, love, frustration, beauty, and grief. SO RICH AND FULL! One more year of my kids getting older. One more year of seeing golden Aspen leaves shimmer in the breeze, a hummingbird come close to me in the garden, a seed sprout, a flower bloom, the sky turn a brilliant pink as the sun sets, or the stars glitter in the night sky. And most importantly, one more year to eat tacos! And panang curry! Gingerbread cake! Dark chocolate with peanut butter!
I've been given one more year to learn and be a better person. To grow in my understanding, my strength, and my joy. My birthday is the best day, and I'm so, so grateful to be one year older. And to wake up and get older again tomorrow.