My many blessings…
Yesterday was my 33rd birthday. And the end of birthday season in the Loving family. It’s quite an exhausting and expensive season. Between March 25th and May 23rd we have no less than 7 birthdays in our family- 5 of which are in our little family alone. It’s a marathon for sure.
By the time we get to my birthday we are usually worn out and tight on cash. It’s just par for the course. Throw in a beach vacation that went a little over budget and you have a 33rd birthday without too much fanfare. My usual reaction to this has been to passive aggressively play the martyr. There I admitted it. I act like a baby. Oh, poor me! I don’t have a big spectacular birthday! Boohoo.
Something changed this year and I hope it means I’m finally growing up. Or gaining perspective. Because it felt good not to act like a total baby about it for once. It felt nice to have a good attitude and to be happy with my day no matter how simple it was. There is something so empowering about peace.
For years and years I’ve had an inner war with my underlying materialism. It’s partly why I love embracing the hippie Earth mama ideology. It helps me break out from materialism. But it is a struggle. Probably always will be to some extent. How can you live in our culture of rampant consumerism and not be tempted to want want want more than you need?
But yesterday I was putting my littlest ones down for a nap (which sometimes entails snuggling up in bed with one or more of them until they/I fall asleep) and I was laying there with my babies and hearing the soft rhythmic breath of the deep sleepers and listening to my big girls play happily in the other room with their dolls and I realized something. I am happy with what I have. I am happy with a simple day and simple joys. I am happy to have a small house with a big life. I am happy. It was the perfect birthday present to myself. How could I not be happy with my blessings? How could I not love this season of life?
I realized that lamenting having to sacrifice an elaborate birthday would essentially be saying that having these babies in my life is worth less than the new purse or shoes or sunglasses I would have gotten if we didn’t have so many little ones and their birthdays to celebrate. And the truth? My simple birthday with a home cooked meal and birthday brownies and hours spent cuddling my littles was 1000 times better than any store bought birthday present I could have gotten. It fills a place in my soul no material pleasure could.
Last night after snuggling up on the couch with my husband and watching a movie he asked me if I was disappointed that my birthday wasn’t more “exciting.” For once I could answer with 100% truth that I wasn’t disappointed. I could say with all honesty that my heart was full and I was completely content. My life is not exciting to most and it isn’t filled with glamour but it is good. And it is great. And it is everything I want it to be right now. Realizing that was a gift on my 33rd birthday. It was, perhaps, my most valuable gift ever.