My birthday has forever been intertwined with Thanksgiving. I was born on Thanksgiving and periodically, my birthday falls on Thanksgiving once more. Even when it does not, the date is so close to the holiday that as a child it was tricky to find a date to celebrate it. Kids would be out of town or tied up with family gatherings. We were busy visiting with our own family. So, I have grown accustomed to downplaying my birthday as just another day. This year, my birthday and Thanksgiving have been on the same day, once again.

My sons planned to go to their cousin’s house for their Thanksgiving meal. So, we had a small family party the night before my birthday to celebrate me. In my mid-50s, I don’t really like to draw extra attention to my birthday, so celebrating in advance suited me fine. I also decided to forego Thanksgiving celebrations and for once, decided to do as little as possible on my birthday. Oddly for me, today I got up and did what I wanted to do all day long. My husband and son who is home from college wished me happy birthday and we shared pancakes and sausage for breakfast. Afterwards, they took on a big task of cleaning gutters and getting the yard ready for winter. I decided to listen to music, to write, to type things I wrote last weekend at a retreat, to take a long walk and to spend some time going through gifts I received before my actual birthday. Thank you notes are on the agenda for tomorrow, as is cooking a family meal with Thanksgiving trimmings.

What a gift it has been to take a pause for me! I am feeling more centered and grateful because I didn’t run around all day. I did not roast a turkey or clean every corner of my house for company. I did not rush at all. Much to my surprise, I got inspired to clean windows when at breakfast we decided that tomorrow we will pull out the candles and Christmas decorations. Then, I took a little more down time to read and rest. I played with the cats. I wrote a little more. Throughout the day people texted or sent Facebook messages wishing me happy birthday or happy Thanksgiving, or both. Today, that was enough acknowledgement.

In the evening, I ended up with an hour or two to myself, alone with the cats. That was marvelous! I decided to drink the tea and to eat some chocolates a dear friend gave me, to wear the bracelet co-workers bought for me and to light the sage/citrus candle another kind friend knew I would enjoy. As I read again the sentiments from thoughtful birthday cards, I had the epiphany that I could do this any day I choose. I tend to be a doer and driven to take care of others. Occasionally, I need to carve out a day just for me. Figuring this out, might just be the best gift of all.

Published by bmdavis1

I am a wife, mother of 2 grown sons, a school librarian and a certified yoga instructor. My hobbies include gardening, walking in nature and chasing around my two ornery cats.

One thought on “Gifts

  1. You are an inspiration and a wonderful human being!
    Take as many of these days as you need!
    I am a very lucky man to be your husband.
    Happy Birthday Brooke!


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