One of my favorite ways to emotionally assault friends and family is to, at their birthday dinner or party, ask what have they learned this past year, what advice will they give us on their birthday? Truly, most people hate to be asked this, but I can’t help myself. #sorrynotsorry
Just about a week before covid quarantine started for us, I turned 46. My husband filled up the farm with friends and family, and we had FUN. I mean, we didn’t know it that night, but it was the last time we would gather a large group like that, possibly for the rest of this year.
And there was cake! We had delicious food and multiple cakes and blew out candles. We talked outside and took selfies with the animals and played tug o war. A fun birthday party for sure. I felt so loved, and we laughed hard, late into the night.
I remember having birthday advice to share but nobody asked me for it, ha! So here we go. I think it more appropriate now than ever before:
Dream really big and sketch out your plans, pursue your goals and passions. Chip away at them regularly. But be flexible in your methods and focus on one day at a time. Practice living within the bounds of today, maximizing the moments. We truly have no guarantee, none whatsoever, of what comes next.
This is nothing new. We hear it all the time, from people in all positions and throughout history. So why do we forget so easily? How can we (I) become so arrogant in our (my) expectations and so wasteful in how we spend our todays?
Over the months leading up to my March birthday, it all developed fully in my heart. 2019 was all about “creating space,” then over the winter and in the first months of 2020, I became more and more aware of a gentle urgency about the present day, like a blind spot when I tried to look too far ahead. I sometimes used pencil in my planner, past the current week’s lists. It’s funny, isn’t it? To think of using a planner this year? Values, goals, systems, and habits make more sense right now.
Covid-19 hit our state less than one week after that fun birthday party, and everything shut down. All of our best laid plans suddenly fell subject to the strongest demands of flexibility and creative living any of us, really, had seen yet.
I welcome it. I am luckier than many people n a thousand ways, but the need for both flexibility and focus is no less real for me.
Okay, tomorrow my sweet, handsome, hard working, fun loving husband will resume his daytime Commish duties, though he is still working remote. Today we indulged in a ordering hot wings and shrimp tacos from Hooters, the first time we had food from there all these quarantine months. After eating that delicious early dinner, we watched funny You Tube videos and made shrinky dinks.
Our anniversary staycation this year was very different than any of the eighteen preceding ones we have enjoyed, but we definitely made the most of it. We romanced it day after day, rolled gracefully with the farm-maintenance punches, and stayed pretty engaged in the moments, together. I only notice interpersonal tension twice, and both times it was because we were overly concerned for the other person’s perfect comfort. Ha!
And we are excited to see Jessica tomorrow! Her hard earned week off finally starts tonight, and we are turning the farm into a wellness retreat and family R & R paradise for as long as she needs. Planning and dreaming, you know, building our pencilled calendar with habits and values and general systems, but going to bed and waking up knowing that everything can change. So we live one day at a time, gratefully. As lovingly as possible.
Do the next right thing.