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.