I’m old. Well… no. I’m not old.
My friend Cindy says that old is her grandmother at 92 – who can still, incidentally, spend the day shopping – so if I’m still chatting it up with y’all when I’m 92, then I’ll be old, but today, I guess I’m more on the cusp of something… spectacular.
Because even if my shoulder is freezing up again, my right knee is arthritic, and I’ve put on more pounds in the last five years than I care to share, my life improves with each year. So, to celebrate each of those years ~
45 Things I Like (in case you were wondering)
- Ice cream cake.
- Maple brown sugar Cream of Wheat – a “like” I’ve apparently passed down to my daughter.
- Imagine Dragons’ Demons.
- The poet Mary Oliver.
- A thin sliver of moon against a dark sky.
- Pulling into the alley behind our house, quiet in my car but bursting with anticipation.
- All the animals rushing to greet me at the front door. Yes, we have four pets and once in awhile, they ALL come running.
- Mood lighting during my morning shower – which I only know because our bathroom light fixture busted last week and I dragged in a living room lamp, which actually throws the perfect light for my slow-to-wake morning eyes.
- Sweet potato maki.
- A good long strong massage.
- Miss E playing cello.
- Frankie, our dog, running through snow – flying, really – with sheer exuberance.
- Waking to the sound and scent of coffee brewing on a lazy weekend morning.
- Grace’s laser-sharp focus, day after day, on her grad school applications – and the absolute lightness of her in the hours after she submits the last one.
- The way our cat Johnny poses – on the mantle, or on the rug, or on a dining room chair in that nanosecond after some human vacates it.
- Jimmy John’s freaky fast delivery service, especially when we’re in the middle of a polar vortex.
- When the words come out clean, real, unadorned, powerful, true.
- Flowers – popping out of the ground each spring or wrapped in florist paper with a packet of Flower Food.
- Long underwear.
- Road trips, where the conversation is rich and the road is open and we have nothing but time and time and (music and maybe snacks and) time.
- My co-workers, who I respect and trust.
- New black boots – dress boots – for that rare evening when I leave my house after dark.
- Sleepover weddings – AKA, Destination Weddings. Maybe I have weddings on the brain because of the new Illinois law that takes effect in June.
- Making lists.
- Fall. Spring. Seasons with smells.
- Snowflakes on my eyelashes, on my windows, on my daughter’s tongue.
- Cliffs. Waves. Crashing water.
- The disappearing horizon – when you stand in that spot where you can’t see the other side and it’s perfect because you never expected to see it and that’s why you’re standing in that spot to begin with, because what you can see is far more breathtaking than the other side. That.
- A day, an hour, a moment when my list slips away, making room for something so much… bigger.
- Friends who bring me down to earth.
- Friends who understand my need to float slightly out of reach sometimes, who simply let me float, aware that I will return when I’m ready.
- Simply: Friends.
- Baby giggles.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday Holiday, right before I take Miss E and her two friends to the DuSable Museum of African American History, when she emerges from her bedroom wearing a Guatemalan soccer shirt – claiming her identity visibly, publicly, for what may be the first time.
- Coming back to a blog post I was going to scrap and realizing that perhaps it’s salvageable and maybe, just maybe, I suddenly have the tenacity or creativity or sheer stubbornness necessary to fix it up and spit-polish it for guests.
- Sun. (Remember that?)
- Snowbanks deep enough to sink a whole leg into.
- My journal cover that says, “Everything will be okay.” Because it will be. Always. Eventually.
- When the searing pain in my shoulder gives way to simple stiffness, and I know it’s time to start the exercises again and it feels… bearable to begin.
- Beer. Preferably, an IPA.
- When my little girl, after learning that tonight is my blogging night, says to me as I leave her bedroom, “Good luck” and my whole heart melts.
- That Huffington Post article, This is 45: The Eye of Life’s Storm by Emily Mendell, that my friend Miriam posted on her Facebook wall, because so many things in it feel true to me, too.
- Feeling heard. BEING heard.
Here’s to life! Thank you for celebrating with me.