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Happy Birthday to Me, and Many More...


IN my family of origin, birthdays were big deals.  My Dad always called and said, "how could you be this old - that makes ME old!"  My Mom always sent 3 cards and many kisses!  Being a summer bday kid, there was some sadness about not being around family and schoolmates, but camp was my happy place. Give me a lake and a tennis court and some cheers and teams - I'm set.  I was a good kid and I had many friends and activities.  

We washed our hair in the lake at camp.  We went to tournaments, sang our heads off, rode on the back of a pickup truck, got in trouble, liked boys.  We bought pukka beads at Weir Beach.  We shared an orange cream soda.  What an innocence!

Now it's my birthday again.  But now too, after all the peaks and valleys of my life, and there have been many, I realize it's just one big cheesy experience.  You travel through and the days go slow, the years go fast and whoosh, you're in a new decade and you're suddenly  grateful to just be here.  You give less advice and more compassion; you let the client meet you where she is.  You wait more; you give yourself patience. You get your eyelashes tinted.  My father would say, ah, it will pass.  My mother would say, take it 15 mins at a time. Struggles come and go.  I miss my parents so deeply.  My mother was the most loving and generous there was.  My father was the most fun, funniest, my buddy, my pal.  My mother said stay close - my father said go far.  

I think that learning about how trauma is stored in the body was my biggest breakthrough as a lifelong learner.  I think that therapy helped me get out of my over-worn grooves of rumination.  I say YOGA has allowed me physical freedom and mental spaces I never imagined.  Aging has given me more aches and pains, but life experience has given me more equanimity.  I really pray that this year all of us can have a little more peace of mind.  The world may be dismal right now, but still, I have hope.  


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