I am officially thirty-five years old.
I am also one of the lucky ones.
I have thought that sentence many times in my head, but I don't know that I have ever written it here. I'm going to do it again, for emphasis...
I am one of the lucky ones.
My birthday is one of my favorite days. It is a day to celebrate my life, to recognize how much I have and how much I have accomplished. It's a day to thank my parents for bringing me into this world. It is also the day when people I love, from the many scattered pieces of my life, reach out to me and wish me well. I am surrounded by so much love from so many good people, and that is why I am so lucky.
My first best friend in life is still in my life, thanks to social media. My cousins, who I haven't seen in years, share their lives with me daily, also thanks to social media. The girls I loved in middle school have grown into women who I still adore spending time with today. I have an incredible group of friends from high school who get together a few times a year and get along without skipping a beat. I have college friends who share their big life events with me. ME. Why am I so lucky? My husband is smart, kind, and makes me laugh. We are so different and we love each other whether it makes sense or not. I have witty, generous, intelligent, good children - they love to read, explore, sing, and laugh. My family is incredible. Have you met my parents? They are good and kind. My mom is the most giving, caring person I know and she lives right across town!!! I have aunts and uncles, too, and they have always made me feel loved and accepted. I married into a big family and gained sisters, brothers, cousins, parents, and grandparents who have shown me love and friendship, and I AM SO LUCKY. I get to go to work in a building full of strong, intelligent, capable women who show graciousness and compassion every day. I actually really like all of my coworkers, and I genuinely adore many of them. Can you say that? Why am I so lucky? I have friends from church who have not judged me or treated me differently since I left the religion that brought us together. I have made new friends through a supportive ex-Mormon community and I have gained forever friendships that have changed my life. I have an amazing bunch of new lady friends who feel like family, because my daughter made friends with great kids at school.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, I am insanely lucky to be surrounded by so much love from so many people who matter so very much to me.
So... Thank you.
Thank you for making me one of the lucky ones on my birthday and everyday. I value our friendships and connections more than you may realize.