Today is my forty-first birthday.
Looking back on forty, it seems impossible for so many things to have happened in just one year.
I went to Portland. I started a new job. I watched my son play the lead in “A Christmas Carol.” I started publishing my own short stories as eBooks. Chris and I snuck away to Universal Studios Orlando for a weekend. We gutted the garage. I went to South by Southwest. I bought a pair of adult Heely sneakers. A small press published my first novella. I went to San Diego Comic Con and worked in the Marvel comics booth. I met Samuel L. Jackson. I was ten feet away from Stan Lee… twice in two weeks. I wrote and published a novel. My Heely sneakers got banned from work. A lock of my hair cycled from purple to turquoise to cardinal red. We closed in and started rebuilding the gutted garage, and are more than halfway done with remodeling it into a new master bedroom and bath. My dog left me to move back in with his parents. Literally.
That seems like a lot for one year, even for someone as hyperactive as me. And I’m pretty sure I haven’t even covered everything significant.
At the beginning of this weekend, my birthday was the farthest thing from my mind. I was worried and anxious about a half dozen different situations that all seemed to be hopelessly mixed up. I was having a little identity crisis. A crisis of confidence. I’d reached a point where I doubted my ability to make good decisions regarding everything from parenting my kids to coloring my hair.
Over the course of the weekend, all the knots I’d tied myself in over the past few weeks and months started miraculously unraveling. Decisions became clear. My identity became clear. Situations that had been stuck for weeks or months suddenly resolved. I feel like the fog has lifted, the clouds have cleared and everything is illuminated. It’s a moment of profound grace. Next week, I may be tossed by another storm, but right now, everything is at peace.
I know these moments don’t last. They’re a gift from the One who is always with me, whether I can see it or not.
Happy birthday, to me.