what does it mean to me?
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and then...I was 61

SmallBirthdayI’ve joked with family that my birthday has become just another day to me. Sure it’s nice to be treated to a meal with family, but that is almost a weekly occurrence, and it’s always a special time. But a birthday? “Humbug,” as Scrooge would say.

I’ve enjoyed celebrations with friends on my birthday on many occasions. When I was a kid, it was fun sharing my birthday with my Mom; I was born a day before her birthday. When I was a teenager, we had a party that several of my school friends and neighborhood friends attended. When I turned 50, I was surprised with a party where many of my BirthdayMEdearest friends attended and included a cake which featured Mickey Mouse. (I remember being so embarrassed walking into something I had a feeling was happening, and then seeing so many familiar faces made the embarrassment fly away.

But now I’m over 60 years; it really is just another day, and I’m developing the attitude that ANY day is a wonderful day to be celebrated. I find that hearing birds sing, feeling the rain as it falls, smelling the fragrance of a rose, mowing grass, navigating stairs, driving Denver (my SUV), being around my dogs, spending time with family and friends – everything seems special in the moment.

Years ago I was constantly struggling with scheduling stuff. Doing this or that on a regular basis – planning my work, working my plan. I got sucked into the Daytimer league: planning for meetings, scheduling projects, blah, blah, blah – and thinking about how productive I was being based on checking off the items on my list. I was even scheduling when I went to bed and when I would get up.. Now?  (Insert a big shrug.) I get to it when I get to it if I get to it.

It all seems to have gotten here so quickly. When my sister and I were standing next to our parent’s gravesite the other day, we were trying to calculate my mom’s age. (She would have been 88.) As we drove home I thought to myself that it only seemed like yesterday that I was graduating from high school, from college, from seminary. There was a program on TV that featured the history of the Voyager spacecraft – and I found myself thinking of events that have happened on our planet while those machines have been traveling through space. Sitting in church I had thoughts about what happens after I die – and eternity begins. It just seems to have flown by – and I get the feeling that maybe my Voyager is headed to the end of my universe (my time on earth) and is heading out toward its next great adventure – heaven, and home.

I still have a desire to travel, but then I guess everyone does. My sister and I still want to make a trip to Alaska, but with my nephew’s first child on the way, and my niece’s soon after that, I’m not sure if we’ll be able to take the trip anytime soon.  I still have a bucket list, and I keep this in the back of my mind. There was a community fair in PA several days ago which was offering helicopter rides. But I decided not to go – the weather was a little dicey and at $40 for the ride, I figured it would be up, around, and down; five minutes tops. I want just a little more than that to drop into the bucket.

And so, there it goes. Another year in the life. Hopefully the next year will be just as good, if not better. I hope I’ll get to see my niece and nephew’s children if only by picture. I hope my new job will last long enough to allow me to take a vacation for the first time since 2012. I hope attending a church will continue to be a good experience. I hope I will continue to lose weight, eat right, exercise

I hope.

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