This is the time of year when I often forget to be grateful for what I have. See, my birthday falls right around Thanksgiving, sometimes even on it, so basically from mid-November to December 24th as a kid I was asked “what do you want?”
It’s a lot harder to answer that question these days. For one, I’m not a kid any more. In fact, next week I celebrate my 35th birthday, a milestone that somehow feels so much older than turning 30 did for me. I think part of the reason is that every pregnancy book/pamphlet/website has stuff on it about “if you’re 35 or older…” regarding the risks involved in pregnancy. For me, this age has been looming for many years as the end of my fertility.
Which is stupid. Our fertility has clearly never been normal, and the fact is, it’s our fertility, not myfertility. And we have made some pretty sensible decisions about it over the last year, IMHO. We are done with having biological children, thank-you-very-much. But sense and emotion often run against each other, and emotions don’t listen to reason. It’s the emotions tied up with this age that have me dreading this birthday.
So I’ve made a decision about it, inspired by something I saw on Pinterest (yes, I’ve gotten drawn into that time-suck. It’s fun but beware if you aren’t on it yet – whole chunks of your life disappear into that black hole with nothing to show for it). This woman did 35 random acts of kindness for her 35th birthday. It was cool. Some of the things she did were more about teaching kindness to her kids, and some of it just wasn’t my cup of tea. So I’m going to approach it a little bit differently.
First of all, I hate the idea of kindness being “random.” As a Christian, I’m called to shine the light of Christ in all that I do. So I want to be purposeful, and not hide my kindness from others. Secondly, the goal for me is to be grateful for what I have and share it with others. So for me, I am planning to spend the day giving thanks through a variety of services, gifts, and kindnesses to others.
For example, we’ve been planning to bless the Pregnancy Care Center in our town with our crib and changing table. I think my birthday would be a great day to take those items over there and thank their hard-working volunteers and staff for what they do. I want to make sure I tip well wherever I go, thanking those who serve me. I plan to spend some time writing thank-yous to some people who have been important in my life along the way.
I may also steal a few ideas from the original – take cookies to the fire station, police station, and post office, pay for someone in line behind me, etc.
I would welcome any additional suggestions in the comments below. I have several more ideas but I will share them in a future post when I recap the day.