After about the age of 26, it's normal on one's birthday to reflect on the past with a touch of nostalgia and melancholy. The future stretches on ahead with no major delineator posts, except perhaps collecting Social Security and qualifying for the Early Bird Special. Who wants to contemplate that?
So this week, I'm looking back. Frankly, I'm shocked how quickly the years have flown by.
Even with the visible passage of time wandering my house in princess pajamas, 5 years has snuck up on me so fast. Not that my 'baby' is a five-year-old ... but that 5 years ago was a neon-encrusted year for me. Huge changes, loss, new friendships, soul-searching. I can remember it all very, very clearly.
Yet those intervening years have dulled the neon, making that banner year more of a speed-bump and less of a brick wall. When I consider those I lost - my beloved Grandma for one - what used to be agony has dulled to a tender ache. I miss Grandma Dollie still, and wish she could have seen her little great-grand-daughter grow, but I'm no longer reduced to tears when I see her picture. Concurrently, the new friendship I forged in those troubled times has matured, and become a comfortable relationship I can depend on despite the 1800 miles separating us.
And so the passage of time has been, well, a blessing. Even while etching faint lines around my eyes, slowing me down and adding a few pounds, it has blunted pain and softened hurt. Whatever I think about that new number under "age", I'm grateful to be older.