Days worth celebrating

The days are busy. Sometimes it feels like crazy busy. But actually they’re joyfully busy. It was my birthday last week and that’s always a time for me to pause and take notice of how things are and the people I have in my life. It all feels very precious right now with much to be grateful for and smile at. I have health and happiness, people around me who love me, a roof over my head and clean water and enough food, a job that pays the bills, and a second job that does so much more.

And I got cards and presents too 🙂

My birthday started with my parents calling me and singing down the phone, my dad apparently urging my mum to get up early so they would catch me before work. Hubby thinks this is hilarious (i.e. childish!) but for me there could be no nicer gift than their enthusiasm to celebrate my birth (and continued existence) and start this day together although we are miles apart. Around a day of office work, Hubby met me for a picnic lunch from the office and in the evening we had dinner outside (random heatwave in the UK — it was wonderful!). We never spend weeknights like this, so it felt a rare treat. Cold champagne after a hot day at work might not be very hydrating but it made me feel like a princess 🙂

At work I don’t make a deal of my birthday, as some colleagues do. It feels like a private thing and I don’t expect others to participate. But nonetheless I brought cake to my project meeting which seemed gratefully received, and it was a fun change to sit around licking chocolate off our fingers as we variously tapped laptops or scribbled notes on the business of the day. No one asked why we were having cake and I liked it that way.

At the weekend when I went to yoga class I brought chocolates to share with whoever was around. Someone asked why. I told him that I just wanted to share chocolate… Then because it was someone I know well, I whispered that it was my birthday but that I didn’t feel I needed to share that too. He laughed — and because he’s pretty low-key himself, we had a little joke about sharing vs oversharing!

But I still got a good hug from him!

In around the amusing balance of sharing vs not-sharing one’s personal life or imposing one’s self-centred happiness on others, I took a serious lesson from my birthday. That I could choose to live everyday like this. No, I don’t mean wilfully sharing chocolate with anyone I come across! I mean that I could choose to live each day expecting it to run well, focusing on the good stuff, not letting the minor irritations colour all my hours. I mean, on my birthday I had a bunch of work meetings, the final one of which didn’t go at all well and there was a bit of professional bad news to deal with… But I just did my best with it all, and kept smiling and tried to flow along with as much grace as I could muster. This is as much a practice for me as the fancy shapes on the mat. That saying about practising yoga to be better at life, not better at yoga. Yep, it’s that.

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