As my 33rd birthday approached, I thought about the last year and started mentally composing this.
I did a lot while I was 32. I gained weight and lost weight, grew hair and cut hair; my skin got less elastic and I found a couple more gray hairs. My kids grew up and I gave birth to my fourth, and it was the happiest and most relieving day I can remember. I spent a lot of time making food and making milk and cleaning them both off of kids and out of kids. I gave lots of baths and did lots of laundry but was not able to keep the kitchen floor mopped as often as I thought it should be. I listened to a lot of Old Time Radio programs as I cleaned the kitchen, over and over, and finally painted the music room and the powder bath and the upstairs bedrooms that I had been planning to paint since we moved in, and it made me feel like I had finally taken ownership of my house. I bought a serger that I’d been thinking about for years and I love it. I made lots of clothes and finished several projects. I weeded the garden bed I planted 2 years ago and let grow over last year, and now I’m ready to plant again. I read several books that I loved and some that I didn’t love. I taught lots of piano, guitar, violin, and viola lessons and also publicly performed on piano, guitar, and viola, and I was proud of myself for that. I went camping and swimming and roller skating and ice skating. I spent one-on-one time with each of my kids and felt our love grow for each other, and spent lots of time with my husband and felt as happy and comfortable as ever, and proud of myself for making such a good choice in marriage and lucky to have found him. I spoke lots of Spanish and memorized the Greek alphabet. I didn’t travel farther than a couple of hours away by car, but I saw and did and experienced new things. I felt joy and sorrow and fear and comfort and anticipation and regret and love. I made mistakes and learned from them and did some things well and learned from them too. I saw and recognized ways in which I’ve matured and was embarrassed at my previous immaturity. I did my best all the time, but I was kind to myself too.
Altogether, I think I am kinder, wiser, smarter, happier, and better than I was a year ago. That’s a year well spent, and a really good life. Let’s have some more.