If this past year has taught me anything it’s taught me to appreciate what I have and not dwell on things that don’t matter or things I have no control over.
Last year, on July 5th – seventeen days before my 35th birthday I lost one of my greatest friends to leukemia. She was 35 and had three children aged 1, 4 & 7.
Two days after that, on July 7th Seans Oma died.
And the day after my 35th birthday, July 23 my Nana died.
Today I turned 36.
Every birthday after my 28th birthday bothered me. Not sure what it was about 28 that I liked so much. Just sounds young.
I didn’t like the number getting higher – especially the 30’s. But this year was different.
I am grateful to turn 36.
I love that I am 36.
I was driving by myself the other day (a rarity) and I went through all the things that I have done in my life that I had always hoped I would do. Outside looking in, I haven’t lived a super exciting life full of travel and great adventures but I have lived a great life. A life that keeps me busy and on my toes. A simple life but definitely not boring.
I have traveled a few times to Northern Ireland to see where my family comes from and where most still live (and drank many a drink at some great pubs)
I have felt the exhilaration of falling in love.
I have experienced the excitement and anxiety of planning a (the best) wedding (I’ve ever been to).
I have felt the pride of owning our first home (and second and third and fourth…)
I have experienced the miracle of a life growing inside me – THREE times.
Given birth three times.
I have felt the bond of a baby nursing at my breast.
I have had my world completely turned upside down with a dr’s 4 simple words “Your son has autism”
Because of that I have been able to find great joy in the simplest of things.
Not something I had hoped for but has made me who I am today.
I have watched my daughter bleed out 3 times and have sat in an ambulance with her, praying she wouldn’t go into cardiac arrest.
Because of that, I remember to not sweat the small stuff.
Again – wasn’t in the plans but I would be a different mom without having gone through it.
I gained a perspective and an attitude toward parenting I would otherwise not have.
When Sean and I each lost a grandmother last July – I wasn’t sad. Of course I was going to miss them terribly, but they were each in their 80’s and had lived very full lives. I was so saturated in grief for my friend and I could only think “They got 50 more years than Fiona…FIFTY YEARS…”
So instead of getting depressed about getting older – I welcome each day, month and year. I am grateful to get to experience life with the people I love – whether it’s mundane things or exciting adventures – I’m here to live them.