November twenty fourth, nineteen sixty four was the day that I popped out. I was two months earlier than my ETA and so birth was my first display of the INTJ and an incurable condition that causes me to be early for everything. ( of course this often puts me at odds with the men in my house that have the opposing condition which the primary symptom is the inability to understand the significance of the minute hand on a clock.) I was born interrupting a holiday and unlike the typical thanksgiving turkey, I weighed in at a mere four pounds, which may have something to do with my stature now being just slight of five feet. My mother, who had lost several children at this point did her share of praying over my "tank" (the incubator that was to be my first home probably sealed the "I" for introvert in my INTJ because from the beginning I have liked closed quiet places where no one can touch me. The rough beginning didn't stop there.
After a brief time home from the hospital I returned having pneumonia, my parents rushing me into the hospital in a panic. Upon arrival back I had turned a lovely shade of blue which could have been my end except for a quick thinking doctor and an oxygen tank. Being "blue" can result in the death of several brain cells, and in my case they were the cells reserved for doing math. Oh well I didn't need them anyway.
A rough start to this life, but when my mother tells this story she always punctuates the end by telling me how I was her miracle baby and how special I am.
So today is my birthday. Today I am forty. And what a ride it has been.
I started down this blogging road of self reflection and realized that anyone who bothers to read this are at risk of being bored out of their minds. So if you venture forth consider yourself warned because the next few posts are going to seem utterly self absorbed (more that usual, which is pretty bad). Consider yourself warned.
reflections at forty(WARNING: High Mushiness Factor. If you have a low tolerance for the sentimental, DO NOT READ!)
Well let's see. Time for that personal inventory. Since I firmly believe that glancing back at the past can help direct the future I muse over what has been my life thus far. When my son was small and we went on family trips we played a little game to teach him about sharing experiences. For the things that we each liked to do(mommy likes galleries, daddy likes fancy restaurants, daniel likes theme parks and video games) we would say, "this is for mommy's pile". So we would take turns giving equal shares of things to do and designate it to someone's pile. This worked really well in curtailing the temptation to whine about not wanting to do something with the gentle reminder that "your pile is next". What does this have to do with a personal inventory? Like our family game, I think that I will put my personal inventory into "piles". I know it is kinda weird, but bear with me.
Relationship Pile: family
I have a life partner that adores me and tells me so every chance he gets. I miss him horribly the minute he leaves the house in the morning and can't wait to see him when he comes home. This relationship is the greatest treasure that god has given me. So much of who I am has been cultivated and encouraged by this love. Somewhere I blinked as 21 years went by and I feel as if we have just started. I think he is amazing and smart and he keeps me balanced with his wit and optimism. He is my best friend and the only person on the entire globe that understands me to my core. I know what it is to be cherished. Bryan, I love you more than I can express in a lifetime.
I could stop there and die now but I have just begun.
Our son. I could not have imagined someone so great even if I instructed god on his design. At sixteen, Daniel is everything I could have wanted a son to be, and more. A few years ago I realized that I had as much to learn from him as he did from me. His spirituality, his character, and his creative spirit inspires me on a regular basis. I can't believe how fun it has been to be his mom thus far. Daniel, I love you and am so proud to be your mom.
These two people I could spend hours and hours with and never get tired of their company.
I was blessed with a mother that has unconditional optimism in who I am and whoever I choose to be next. She has never failed to tell me how valued and loved I am, often listing the qualities she saw in me. I am sure that she was god's vehicle for my character and self worth. Practical and strong, as a single parent, I learned from her everything from how to properly paint a wall to how to change a tire. Mom, I love you and will always be greatful for who you are in my life.
I was blessed with her husband in my late teens who treated me like his own, with an unlimited well of kindness and caring. George, I love you and am so glad god chose to place you in my life.
My sister who treads the path 12 years ahead of me is my example of strength and compassion. She is a parallel creative soul that allows me to get a glimpse of my reflection through her. When life creates questions, she is the one I can count on for wisdom and a listening ear. We can also volley opinions like grenades as if it were sport, always with the unspoken understanding that it is ok. She is also the one that I began my spiritual path with. In one of those old fashioned altar calls we we prompted by the spirit simultaneously. It is a moment I will never forget. I love you Marta, and picture us together in our excentric old age painting masterpeices together, planting flowers and wearing big hats.
Those are the primary players in my family "pile".
Since this post is insanely long I will stop here. I will gradually add the other "piles" until the whole mountain is built and I can look back and be reminded of the monument of god's great gifts. I am truly blessed, and at forty, what more could a person want.