I had a milestone birthday last week - you know, one of those big ones that ends in a zero! Leading up to the big day, I felt a lot of pressure to plan a big bash or party, to cross off an item on my non-existant bucket list or to be in the best shape of my life. All the things people talk about for a big birthday. When I was asked about my BIG PLANS I didn't know what to say. I had nothing planned. No big celebration. It really didn't feel very good to admit that.
On my birthday, my husband and children woke me up with LOUD birthday wishes and surprised me with colorful balloons to brighten my morning. Everyone was in a great mood and got off to school easily. Woo Hoo! That's a birthday blessing right there.
It was an incredible joy to have lunch with my parents, sister and sister in law with the surprise of my husband joining us in the middle of the day. But, the majority of my big day was filled with working, laundry, dishes, taking the kids to soccer and all my usual activities, but done with a huge smile.
God has blessed me with an amazing life and given me very dear people with which to share it. Too much of my time I spend looking forward, attempting to anticipate what will happen next and exert my control over it. This day was special because I simply lived in the present. No planning, no to do lists, no stress. It was a day to appreciate all the blessings around me that I take for granted so many days of the year.
I'm reminded of the infamous quote by Ferris Bueller in the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off;
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
Life does move pretty fast. Too fast. What are we missing along the way? For me, I want to hold dear a few moments from my 40th birthday including; being read a book by my youngest, helping my son make a poster, working out alongside my oldest daughter, having a good conversation with my dad, spending time in the middle of the day with my husband, and just experiencing a simple joy with my life.
I discovered that instead of planning a big 40th birthday bash worthy of Pinterest, I had an amazing birthday celebrating my life by not planning much of anything special. My big birthday was spent enjoying my ordinary life with the people I love.