Today is my 40th birthday. I've generally been the optimistic sort and part of the challenge of the last year and a half of my life has been recovering from the loss of my optimism. I think that things are better. At this point, I'm still hopeful that I can regain my former sense that I lead a charmed life. Charmed or not, I know that I have been blessed. So today, as I turn 40, it seems like a good time to make a list of a few of the things that I am grateful to have in my life. I'll pick four things, one for every decade I've been around.
I am grateful for my son. He makes me laugh and shows me every day what it means to love without caution or reservation. In just 7 years and more often then he can possibly know, he has made me feel strong. His absolute faith in me gives me faith in myself. He has shown me the power of hope and joy. For years, I dreamt about being a parent. Never in my wildest imagination did I understand how wonderful it would be. I feel incredibly lucky to have him.
I have been blessed by wonderful friends and a terrific family (yes, I'm talking to all of you). These are the sort of people who will laugh and cry with me; people who will come to my rescue and remind me to be strong.; people who believe in me even when I've lost faith in myself. When you live miles away from your family, it's a scary thing to wake up as a single parent. But distance has meant nothing to my family, who has rescued me time and time again. And my friends both near and far have pitched in to be a second family for JT and me. It's a support system of enviable power and I am so grateful for it.
I am grateful to have a job that I love in a place that feels like home. My colleagues and my students are an amazing group of people. I feel very lucky to be here with my son in this school (that's 3rd period with the surprise birthday cake they brought to class today).
Finally, I am grateful for my house. It's a lovely house filled with things that I love. I think that it has the vibe of a happy home. From the moment I stood on the front porch, I wanted it to live in this house. It's my home and my center in every sense and from the messy playroom to the heap of laundry in the basement, I love it.
When I look at this list, I feel profoundly lucky. And that's a very happy thing to feel.