Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Reflecting on my 38th year

Interesting tree on the Woodlands Trail,
2nd annual Buck Lake birthday hike.
Today I turned 39. It was a lovely day, including physical therapy, loud music in my Mini Cooper (I love driving that car!), tanning sessions (vitamin D!) I didn't know I still had, shopping for groceries at my favorite store, having company for lunch, Steve coming here to enjoy the evening with me and the kids, and many birthday wishes via Facebook to warm my heart. I feel very fortunate today. I made some healthy-ish food to enjoy - a Thai-inspired raw salad (video here) and a decadent raw chocolate cake (link here). 

Last year I spent my birthday alone very intentionally. I was shaking off the events of the previous few years and figured I could be more kind and nice to myself than anyone else would be to me. I took myself out for a nice dinner downtown, stopped home to pick up my dog, and took a moonlight walk on some nearby trails. I remember how the moon illuminated open spaces on the trail ahead, and silhouettes abounded. The air is so crisp at night this time of year and I love the sound of the snow crunching beneath my feet. I enjoyed that evening. I found it very healing. I recall being grateful in advance for someone to share the trail with. Not just anyone, though. The perfect partner for me.
2nd annual birthday hike at Buck Lake
This evening I shared that same trail with my perfect partner. We are pretty sure we even found some mistletoe; looks a lot like conifers. Willow was with us. We did have to use lights. The sky was clear but no moon was to be seen. That's ok. It was about 7°F and the snow was very crunchy.

In reflecting on the past year, there have been some amazing changes in my life. About a week after my birthday last year, Steve and I began dating. I graduated last December. I passed the State Boards exam and secured my first nursing job with Aspirus in March. I pushed my limits on the bike, riding consecutive 100-mile days and winning the 24-hour solo women's division in Wausau 24. Recently I started working as a private duty nurse, participating in the care of an amazing 9-year-old girl. I'm able to share many laughs with my kids as they grow into their teens. Yes, my life is rich. Beautiful. Full. My 39th year is sure to be full of adventure, love, and light. Thank you all for being a part of my journey.