Today concludes the week-long celebration of my 51st birthday and I savored every memory created! Based on all of the birthday wishes received (including from my pest control guy and a really touching note from my… mortgage loan officer, lol ), there is no mistaking that others agree how extraordinary I am. That’s important to mention. Not for reasons of vanity, but because there were many seasons of my life in which I saw myself as a useless blip on a screen. I simply took up space, unaware of my own gifts and graces. More than half my life was spent living this lie. I left it behind in my forties, once I finally realized that what other people thought of me was none of my business.
Although I was initially disappointed because my original plans fell through, this week brought new experiences that I would not trade for anything. Normally I have a three-day sweat fest in Sedona with kindred spirits. (Although last year we were sidetracked for one of those days because they felt a binge of Game of Thrones was in order since I’d never seen it). I make it a point to selfishly focus on myself and becoming one with nature, enjoying not only family but friends that became family. As I’ve grown in wisdom, I’ve come to realize the most important gift is quality time with those I love ( I never pass up presents of any kind, however).
As a woman and mother, I appreciated the noticeable effort and many sacrifices made to ensure my vacation was extra-special (and so was I) by the men in my life. Tonight my last celebration will take place at Home Base where I will attend my first “Spoken Word” event. Having a new appreciation of words and the power behind them, I was intrigued when I first experienced a small taste of this event on the 1997 romantic drama, Love Jones! My heart literally skipped a beat when I received the Eventbrite surprise invite from my A-MAZ-ING “he”. It’s extra special to receive a gift you want, rather than receiving a gift someone wants you to have simply so they can experience it.
The last three days were spent at the Origami Owl Annual Convention. I have dabbled as a Designer for over four years, oddly just for the emotional benefit. My sons have always called me the Alpha Dog (and I can’t deny it) so the opportunity to bond with others while creating personal stories inside of lockets was an unexpected high. This year, the introduction of the Always With You Pendant is right on time for me! My mom passed last year. It was extra emotional as I was part of her home hospice team, obligated to keep her as comfortable as possible but required to be strong enough to watch her deteriorate. She stubbornly held out for an extended period of time with each foot firmly planted simultaneously in two worlds. I was in the room when the tug of war ended and she decided to be with her family on the other side. I’d never seen anyone die before except in a movie, and have never lost anyone with such a significant role in my life. I’m currently on a rocky path (which I’m pretty sure contributes to missing her even more right now) never previously experienced and wish she were here to just “listen”. I say listen because her advice always sucked, lol. It’s funny how you appreciate small annoyances once they are no longer available. What I wouldn’t give to just have her here to listen and give me bad advice all over again. I’m excited that this pendant will allow me to have her with me always. I don’t have ashes to add (an option), but I will decide between her favorite perfume and a handwritten love note. Maybe even combine the two!
The night of my actual birthday was spent with the most important men in my life at House of Comedy laughing so hard I cried, literally, at the dynamic Sam Jay from Los Angeles! I love to laugh, and when I do it can be heard on the mountains near and far, according to my son who finds it very annoying. That only encourages me to do it more often, but don’t let him know that. It was truly the end of a perfect day.
July 11th found me dining at the very romantic and classy Italian restaurant in Sedona, Dahl and Diluca! I don’t remember the last time I have been treated to such a fine restaurant, if ever! I was worried a little of my natural ghetto-ness might creep out unexpectedly (just keeping it real, lol), but I made it through without embarrassing my date! The meal was unbelievable, and the weight gain was worth the Smartpoints spent, just in case you’re wondering. Double yum!
The morning of July 11th was spent in Sedona on a city tour! Although I visit each year to hike, I’d never experienced the sites of the city and wasn’t disappointed! The views of the Red Rocks are fabulous, and you can instantly feel a sense of peace when entering the city limits. Sedona is also where I have my annual birthday drink of choice, the Prickly Pear Margarita at the Javelina Cantina! It’s worth the drive!
Tomorrow it’s back to work and life as I know it. For the rest of today (and forever), however, I will continue to savor the memories created in the week of my 51st birthday! I don’t know that I’ve ever been happier than I’ve been this week.