Jennifer A. Chin (cswallow) wrote,
Jennifer A. Chin

Birthday, Part Uno

 I ought to have used this evening, spent in careful reflection, as an opportunity to sleep early. But yet again, the encouragements of this waking world have delayed my bedtime. 

Birthdays are often a good time to reflect on the meaning of a year, or rather, what has fit into said year. I know that aging makes many of us feel uncomfortable - even I fall into the joke about being younger than I am ("I'm turning 18 today!"), trying to collapse the work of my lifetime into a two digit value that says nothing. I was floored this year by how special my friends and loved ones wanted to make this day for me. I thought, here is enough love for a lifetime, all topped up in one day. Here, in this incredibly diverse collection of friends, I found all the things that Franzen calls "real freedom": attention, awareness, truly caring about other people and giving to them in so many ways every day.

I came home after dinner, having been treated to a huge dinner at the local Chinese buffet with 12 very special Fuquans (who sang 'Happy Birthday' me in 5 different languages!), and made a list of every "blessing" I'd been given on this day. 

I'd hoped to think too, about what year 26 might bring.. but my body is finally begging me for sleep. I shall defer to another day.
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