Thursday, February 16, 2012

post-birthday post

That was probably the calmest birthday ever, filled with quiet happiness and serene joy. I celebrated it in the simplest way. I started the day with no expectations.

Instead I focused on gratitude --- for being alive, for being healthy, for having my family close by, for having kept a handful of friends who equal the worth of a thousand, for having a home of my own, for having enough to live by, for being continuously inspired, for being always helped at the exact moment of need, for all the clues and way-signs placed along the path of my creative journey, and for all the other beautiful things, both big and small, that make this life just a little bit easier and happier.

At around 1AM of February 14, before going to bed, I opened my grandma's gift which turned out to be a boxful of dolls for using in my creative crafts. She knew I've been wanting these ever since I saw her use the dolls for her own projects.

I woke up hours later with a light and cheerful heart. And for the first time I actually took time and care to dress up (in previous years I was fussy about being fussy about my birthday)-- and wore a heart-shaped ring and my heart-designed shoes, and a bright pink mini-dress.

There were a few snags, like my baking oven suddenly breaking down so I was not able to make my family-famous old-fashioned strawberry pie. After a moment I thought, maybe today what I am meant to do is to receive. I have been thinking so much of what I could give and share with others on my birthday that I was probably unconsciously fussing about it. Maybe I was supposed to just sit back and let things unfold without me always trying to have my input.

The plan was to visit my grandma so she could give her birthday blessing. She prepared a simple lunch of home-cooked adobo and my cousin Jennie also showed up with delicious spicy sausage pasta. Lunch was heartwarming and stomach-filling! And unlike a real party where I had to entertain and socialize, we all settled into our own little corners in my grandma's house to do our own thing. My sister, cousin Jennie, and I found our coffee corner in the kitchen while my Grandma crafted and my mom played with our niece and my aunt washed the dishes.

grandma with her great-granddaughter
my mom with my niece

mine are the ones with heart. the big and small matching pairs belong to my cousin Jennie and her daughter Jaine -- yes, she hand-designed them too. it runs in the family.
One of the things I have stopped expecting are surprise (especially wrapped) gifts -- and suddenly they were there!

these had two pairs of pretty shorts and a beautifully patterned shower curtain that perfectly matched my home
this is a brand-new LP from a friend who knew i had a stash of vintage ones that are all old and scratchy
and this may strike you as funny but i LOVE these shoes from our very own shop so my mom decided to buy it from the shop and give it to me so that i get to have it and also make money from it :D
We got home at around 4PM and I wanted a nap. My sister and I planned to step out during the evening to grab some dessert.

While relaxing at home, someone dropped by unexpectedly with:

Three Red Long-Stemmed Roses! Believe it or not, the first ever three red roses in my entire life. (No, I am not counting the roses I received from my high school students when I was a high school teacher.)
The roses came with a big scrapbook kit. Did you notice that my gifts are beginning to have a theme of being creativity-inspired?
I had dinner at my parents' home during which we shared leftovers from my kitchen and theirs, and then my sister and I stepped out for dessert and coffee. We ran into a lot of dating couples and women with huge bouquets in their arms but I was ever so happy to be finally beyond getting envious or jealous.

We stayed out until almost midnight, and then I was home. My birthday was filled with simple joys and surprises, and I didn't have to spend anything. No rushing, no fussing, no wishful thinking, no expectations.

Hello, New Year of My Life.

1 comment:

  1. Yayyy!! I'm glad you had such a great birthday. And I really can't explain why, but I love reading about your grandmother, so keep the posts coming.

    Also all of those shoes are adorable, you're really beginning to make me want a pair...