Thursday, July 17, 2008


The kitchen is dirty and laundry is screaming my name, but the pool beckons louder and I decide the dishes and clothes can wait. The sun is slipping behind the trees as I slide into the water. Mmm. For the first time today I am cool, unchained from the stifling humidity. I had forgotten how nice an evening swim can be. I wonder why I don’t do it more often.

I float lazily across the water, bobbing like a cork in slow circles. As I drift, my mind replays the day’s events and then predictably begins to plan tomorrow’s schedule. Friday, the day I begin my 45th year of life, is only hours away. Can I really be 44 years old? How did I get here so fast? My life is likely more than halfway over. I am in awe of that reality. It makes me a little sad, but more than anything I am dumbstruck by the reality that those years have stacked up quickly. When did the train pick up speed and where is it going, I wonder.

I recall the dreams of my youth; ambitious, idealistic dreams that seemed so definite at one time. My schedule was planned; a degree by my 22nd birthday and years of stomping up the corporate ladder in a big city in my high heels and coat of steel. Financial success and world travel were wedged in between promotions and early retirement. Marriage and children were questionable. I laugh out loud at the ignorance of youth and how ridiculous those plans seem now. Here I am, a wife and mother and living thirty minutes from the Midwestern house I grew up in. Corporate America has never felt my footprint and probably never will. I laugh again. Forty-four is not a bad age, I think, mostly because I’m wiser now. I tick off the lessons I’ve learned since my youth and ponder how I feel about them.

Life is what happens while you’re busy making plans. It will never be exactly how you plan it, and sometimes it will be hard...freakin’ hard. That’s okay.

You won’t get to do all the things you want to, but you’ll get to do more things you didn’t expect. That’s okay.

Life isn’t fair. Sometimes you draw the losing card, and it stinks, royally. But sometimes you draw a winning card you didn’t deserve, so that’s okay.

People will piss you off, hurt your feelings and gossip behind your back. They will also say nice things about you that you will never hear, and that’s okay.

Touch is often more powerful than words. You don’t always know when a hug, a kiss or a touch of the hand helps someone to hang on one more day, and that’s really okay.

Listening is more important than speaking. I’ll try, okay?

Crying doesn’t mean you’re weak. It just means you’re okay.

If you can’t laugh, you are lost…and you are not okay.

Sometimes those we love the most hurt us the most. They also fight for us the hardest. Twisted, but okay.

And loving is the most important part of living. More than okay.

I open my eyes and gaze at the sun which is barely a sliver above the trees by now. I wonder how many more sunrises and sunsets I will see. Many more I hope. Too many to count if I’m lucky. I decide to make Friday my “birth day”, a day to celebrate the years to come and the lessons yet learned. I smile to myself. I am a wife, a mother and I’m living thirty minutes from where I grew up. Corporate America has never felt my footprint and probably never will….and that’s okay.


Anonymous said...

Friday is your birthday? well that let ne say right here and Now happy birthday yo you my friend!

"Tossing confetti and chunks of birthday cake in the air."

Big time Hugs and Blessing to you my friend I hope that you have a Grand Day!!
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

ChrisB said...

I'm reading this on Fri so I wish you a very Happy Birthday. I hope you have a lovely day.

karisma said...

Its Friday night here too! Hope you have a great day tomorrow! Many happy returns!

Mia said...

Knowing how you feel about cake...there will be cake right??
Happy Birth-Day Hula!

oreneta said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! My sister says that if she makes a five year plan, she know exactly where she WILL not be in five years.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

Lovely post!

I love that quote, "Life is what happens when you are busy making plans". So true!

Happy birthday!

Cruise Mom said...

Happy Birthday! Take it from this veterinarian living in Texas (oops, those were my plans, not what really happened), sometimes the plans we make aren't nearly as good as what really happens!

swampy said...

Sunrises and Sunsets...?
I just happened to have posted both at my place today.
Have a good one.

Amy said...

Happy Birthday, Hula!
And remember as you are floating around in the water....that for a moment this year, you were on a beach in Sicily....not to many can say that, amen?:)

God Bless,

hulagirlatheart said...

Thank you all for the birthday wishes!!! It was a great day, and yes, Mia there was cake. I had a german chocolate cupcake at lunch at my favorite downtown bakery. Teen Angel baked and decorated a beautiful cake for me which I ate after dinner, and mama is headed to my house tomorrow with another cake. Mmmm.

dkuroiwa said...

Well...holy moly Martha!!! I done gone and missed your birthday!!! I wonder why I missed that?!?!
Hmmm....well...I may be late for the party, but at least I came, huh?!?! :-D
I hope you had a great birthday. And 44 was a good one for me...turning 45 was even better!! As someone told me when I was lamenting this year's birthday....the years in your life are not as important as the life in your years.