Sunday, January 22, 2012

Happy OmBirthday

I had a birthday recently. After a  “certain age” many women don’t like to make a big deal about their birthdays, but I’ve found that the older I get the more I want to celebrate.  In the past I actually considered having an “un-birthday” party in which I would celebrate on a day other than my birthday so that I wouldn’t have to face the reality on the actual day. But I’ve now decided that an “OmBirthday” is the way to go. Just say OM and give thanks, that is.
            Why the turn around? A few years ago I was visiting my breast surgeon (having weathered the trials of breast cancer), and, looking at my chart she cheerfully said, “Oh, I see you just had a birthday!” I must have made a face because she next scolded, “Well, it’s better than the alternative, isn’t it?”
            That got me thinking. Yes, indeed, having a birthday is way better than never having a birthday again. So from that day on, I decided to approach my birthday with a positive attitude. This year the celebration started by meeting a dear friend for tea. Then I went to a favorite yoga class where my Kundalini yoga friends sang me a beautiful song. I had pizza (my favorite food) with my husband and children on my birthday night. I talked on the phone with many of my friends and family, and enjoyed the comments various folks wrote on my Facebook page. (One, from a childhood friend, recalled the tradition of making each other gum ribbons--and if you have any idea what those are then you must be at least as old as I am!).
            A few days later I met some writer friends for lunch, and had dinner at a dear friend’s house (another dear friend brought the awesome cake featured above). In fact, I got lots of yoga related presents—a gift certificate to a wonderful yoga studio, special yoga socks and gloves, candles, yogi calendars, etc.  I am touched that so many of my friends and family—even those who don’t do yoga, don’t particularly even like yoga or have any interest in yoga—have begun showering me with yoga-related gifts (for Christmas I received a beautiful white meditation shawl  from my sister—who actually does love yoga--and a miniature statue of a woman doing “camel” pose from my sons, who think my yoga fascination is rather freaky).  But it’s truly a gift when the people you love accept and support your interests and passions.
            Of course, the best gift of all is life itself, and as the years go by and I realize more deeply how miraculous this gift is I’m more and more convinced that the OmBirthday is definitely the way to go. Anyway, being a year older, as my surgeon says, is sure a heck of a lot better than the alternative.
         So Happy OmBirthday to me, and when your day arrives, as indeed it will, Happy OmBirthday to you.

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