I meant to get this post up yesterday, the 15th, which was my birthday, but didn’t quite manage it.
This is a quick, unpolished post, the electronic equivalent of scribbled notes, but I had to write something about today because it was so beautiful. I want to capture it and remember it always.
I am 33 years old today. When I sat in church this morning, as Matilda, Christopher Robin and Harry trotted off to Children’s Liturgy and Annie happily defaced a Vinnies Christmas Appeal envelope, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for my love-filled life.
Last night, I had a group of dear friends over for a relaxed barbeque. I had tidied the house and made it beautiful with fairy lights and candles and fresh flowers from my garden. After we had picked at the last of the salad and the birthday cake crumbs, Mr Knightley lit a bonfire and we all sat around toasting marshmallows until the guitars came out.
I think it might have had something to do with the plastic cups of very lovely champagne (a Christmas present from her very generous student) that Lydia poured out liberally for all, or one of the most delicious and rather strong vodka cranberries that Lovely M kept making me, but I sounded AMAZING. We all sounded AMAZING. Like magical gypsy minstrels. Those weren’t fumbled chords. Those were highly sophisticated improvisations. It. Was. Awesome.
By all rights, I should have felt rather poorly this morning, but I did not. My children tumbled into bed with me and gave me presents and kisses. My husband cooked me bacon and eggs (even better: he fed and dressed the kids!). We got to church on time, too (this is big)
I was still feeling the love while Matilda, Christopher Robin and Harry walked slowly to the front of the church in the Offertory Procession with the other Children’s Liturgy kids. Harry solemnly delivered the corporal cloth to Father Jacob and then swiftly ran away, first in the wrong direction, then turning and racing back, almost knocking the priest and half the gifts over in the process. Annie, meanwhile had quietly progressed to colouring the hymn books.
I felt so good.
Later that day, I would eat brunch with Bess and George, my old uni friends ; my parents-in-law would drop by with a lovely present and my house would be tidy (win); and I would have a delightful afternoon tea at my favourite place with my parents, and brothers and sister (Jan’s in England, but was there in spirit).
I was yet to be showered in presents (and so was Cindy, my twin, who turns 23 on Tuesday), was yet to eat delicious gluten-free cake, but I still felt so good and so grateful.
At the end of the day, I would snuggle up with my darling love (my new curling iron) and my husband and watch a movie so compelling I couldn’t blog through it and post this in time.
A day might come that’s not like this one at all, when I feel blackness and despair. Maybe I might feel consumed by anxiety, like I can’t cope, like I always fail.
Perhaps it might not be blackness and despair, but greyness and blah. I might feel numb to joy, like I’m just surviving in a bland world of sameness. I might forget how to be happy and just settle for smug.
A day might come when I really need this post. When I need to remind myself that things aren’t really all that bad.
Things can be pretty damn sweet.