Make today the beginning of a wonderful year

Birthdays should never be feared. They should always be celebrated. And I just might be the luckiest person in the whole world when it comes to birthdays.
My special day is always celebrated high in the Colorado Rockies. Far away from people, with a total absence of noise and confusion.
Sitting on the cabin deck, looking far across the valley to Old Baldy and The Eyebrow, somehow I can imagine that life can always be lived without deadlines and demands.
I can imagine a life of simplicity. A life in a log cabin. With just enough conveniences–running water and electricity–and yet not too many.
A life without clutter. Connected lightly to the outside world by cellular phone but disconnected from newspapers, radios, and television. A day-to-day-world where UPS strikes and the stock market really don’t matter.
A world where time stands still. Who could possibly mind growing a year older in a world like that?
This year, my birthday started early in the morning and ended late at night. It started with a pot of coffee and cranberry pancakes on the deck and ended with Hawaiian foil dinners by the open fire, followed by card games and laughter.
In between, I focused on the real purpose of birthdays–reflection. Somehow I couldn’t help remembering back to age 50. It was on a grassy mountain slope on my 50th birthday that I decided for absolute certain that I wanted to live to be 100.
And I wanted to figure out how to do it healthily and happily.
That’s a goal I’ve never regretted making. This year, I fleshed it out even further, and my birthday cards were an enormous help.
The first card ordered “Laughter, laziness, happiness, fun . . . Enjoy them all! It’s your day in the sun!”
And so it was. The Colorado sun. With plenty of sunscreen, dark glasses and a sun visor, it was my day to soak up the warmth and the healing. My day to find renewal, and courage for the year ahead.
Then came “Indulge yourself in your favourite things . . . for today is a day to enjoy.” A day to enjoy raspberry-chocolate coffee alone on the deck while the others hiked to Raspberry Mountain. A day to read instead of talking. A day to remember.
But the real birthday motivation came when the glorious mountains were 24 hours in the past and I was dealing with the depression of re-entry.
“This is going to be your year!” said the card in the stack of mail. “You have so many hopes and dreams/and things you want to do,/And there’s no reason why you shouldn’t/have them all come true.
“So give yourself a special gift/now that your birthday’s here,/And make yourself a promise/this is going to be your year!”
Come to think about it, why worry about a wonderful birthday at all when with the same amount of effort I can choose a wonderful year.
I don’t know about your birthday. How long you have to wait for your day in the sun. Your day to indulge yourself. Your day for reflection. But, on the other hand, why should you wait at all? Why not choose today?
Why not make today a day of growth? Do the things that heal you. The things that give you a sense of purpose. Why not make this day the beginning of a wonderful year?
A year when your personal hopes and dreams can come true.
< I>Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist.

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