Thanks 41!

Tomorrow I will be forty-two. I am excited about another birthday. When I wake on Monday morning, it will mean I have another chance to do my best, another opportunity to tell the ones I love how much they mean to me, another day to be grateful for this miracle called life.

Five months before my fortieth birthday, I almost lost my chance to have any additional birthdays. Complications from what should have been routine surgery brought me the closest I have ever come to death. Upon awaking from my coma, I promised myself I would celebrate all future days – especially birthdays.

Forty was FABULOUS! I threw a fun party with family and friends, and pledged to stop letting fear hold me back from pursuing my purpose. That year I fell in and out of love for the second time in my life, rediscovered writing and accepted my first paid speaking job. I spent time exploring parks and historical sights around my community. I rekindled relationships with Rotarians from my past and received the invitation to return to Australia – setting the stage for the year ahead.

And what am AMAZING year forty-one has been!

Australia.

Montreal.

Being published in a local anthology featuring writers with disabilities.

Woman in a wheelchair on a stage in front of flags from the US, China and Spain. She is wearing an orange skirt, a floral blouse, glasses and a lapel microphone.
One of my most amazing moments this year was speaking at the Rotary District 9830 OneCare District Conference in Tasmania, Australia. Photo courtesy of P. Jack.

Did I mention Australia?

Sure, there were challenges. My wheelchair broke down. My personal care team went through transition. I had a reminder about priorities when neighbors faced tragedy. But forty-one was by far one of the best years I have had.

I am profoundly grateful to have been given so much this year when many I know and love are struggling and facing despair. I am not sharing this post because I want to brag about the blessings in my world. I am not sharing it because I want to appear as if my life is “better” than anyone else’s life.

I share the gratitude I feel with all of you because your support, friendship, and love made forty-one so incredible. Your kindness and generosity, your comments when I was feeling frustrated, and your encouragement made a difference in how I approached this year. Because you believed in me, I was able to help people through my writing and my speaking. And helping others has been the best gift this year.

So, as I prepare to celebrate another birthday, I will say a prayer of thanks for all of you who take the time to bring joy and happiness to my world. I can’t wait to see what forty-two has in store.

I have a hunch it will be BRILLIANT!

 

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23 thoughts on “Thanks 41!

    • Thank you! While I am not advocating a near-death experience for anyone, it did make a difference in how I approached 40. I was just so grateful to have another birthday so the number really didn’t matter. I hope you find the same joy without having to experience the coma! πŸ˜‰

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  1. Fantastic attitude! I have found that I look forward to each year more than the last, too. I just 44 this year, and I have never had any misgivings over grower older. So much more to do and to see! Happiest of birthdays to you! Here’s to your brilliant year ahead!

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  2. You have certainly inspired me to be mindful of the moment I’m in. And to not be as fearful of things that I used to hesitate about. I KNOW this coming year will be great! Happy birthday- your card will be late😞

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    • I am glad you are being mindful, and I hope you were very mindful for the past couple of weeks. Kudos to you for facing fears. You’re sending a card? I’ll forget and I’ll be really excited when it gets here! πŸ™‚

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  3. Yay! for birthdays every one!
    I am enjoying this part of my eightieth and am very grateful to be that age!
    Every day is a real bonus and brings me many pleasant things to do and enjoy.
    The number of years doesn’t matter does it? It’s how we face them and use them that counts.
    I hope the next one and all that follow are good ones for you!

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