Today at 8:25am Central time (as my mother reminds me every year) I turned 37 years old. I'm "pushing 40" as my lovely grandmother so sweetly pointed out during her phone call this morning. As I sit here in reflecting on the last 3 and a half decades, I can honestly say I've no regrets. I happily look back and marvel at the path my life has taken both geographically and metaphorically. I'm happy to be the age I am. I am happy to be where I am. I am happy to have those in my life who build me up rather than tear me down.
I. Am. Happy.
I went from a town that must have counted cats and dogs to get to the 1000 in population posted on its sign by the highway that ran past, to the bustling metropolis of Chicago and it's suburbs. I spent 5 years expanding my mind and my horizons in the Windy City and soaking up all college life could offer. After the winters of cold and ice I followed love and a southerly wind to make my way down to Florida. Living in Orlando, working at Walt Disney World and in a semiconductor fab, I found myself really soul searching and looking for my path. My relationship fell apart, and I went with it. Gathering up the pieces I looked and found friends who supported me and soon one of them became the love of my life.
Together Marc and I took a path to the west and landed in Austin, TX where we married and started our family. In the Texas Hill Country my dream of becoming a mother came true twice over with two beautiful boys born in 2001 and 2003. I left the work force and became a "stay at home mom" and found one of my true callings. As industries do, the tech industry in Austin took a down turn and we ended up following where the jobs were and moved to Portland, Oregon. And once here we added a 3rd child, this time a girl, to our family.
I never would have dreamed of moving to the Pacific Northwest back when I was bundled against the frigid winter winds in Chicago. It was never in my vision for my life. Living close to the ocean or mountains certainly was, as I always dreamed of leaving the flatlands of "Farm Country USA". Little did I know I'd be a few hours drive from both!
I'm enchanted with the beauty all around me here. The trees that tower over and nearly close out the sky are like watchful sentinels keeping watch over the land. The near constant drizzle in the winter that gives such a contrast to the bright sunny days when "the mountain comes out" and takes your breath away because you've forgotten just how truly majestic it really is filling the Eastern horizon. The riot of colors and scents of flowers everywhere when Spring comes a full month earlier than it did back home and fills my heart with hope. The many vibrant shades of green in the summer with days warm and inviting and nights that are cool and crisp that prompt us to pack up the family and head out to explore the great outdoors and camp under the stars. The amazing fall colors that take your breath away and remind you that the seasons turn in a way that is perfect and profound.
We are now in the spring of 2010 and there are daffodils and cherry blossoms everywhere you look. Each splash of color I see makes me smile and gives me a small jolt of joy in my heart as I see our earth reawakening after the grey and damp of winter. We are starting a new phase here. A new year for me. A lucky year, I hope.
Funny thing for me I've always been particularly drawn to the numbers 3 and 7 as they seem to be prevalent in my life. 3rd month, 7th day, in 1973, 3rd day of the week. And this year turning 37, when things are changing in ways I don't yet know how, seems to be a good omen, a new start, a good year in the making. It is often said that when God closes a door he opens a window, and in this ending, this door closing, I feel that not only has a window been opened but that the sashes have all been thrown wide and the possibilities are truly limitless.
I am really excited about this year and all that it will bring. Later this month my mother-in-law is coming and bringing my 8 year old niece to spend a few days with us and we will be going to the mountain to play in the snow. In April I will do my Labor Doula training, in May Childbirth and Lactation Educator training, in June and July I hope to start attending births and teaching classes! This summer both my father-in-law and my mother will be coming to visit. In the fall Marc will be finishing school and Lily will start school! Add in all the birthdays and holidays, the evenings just hanging out with friends, trips to the coast, hikes, conversations, time on the sofa snuggling with my kids & husband, and the moments of quiet to reflect on it all and I can truly say I have so much to look forward to this year!
I am wife to Marc; mom to Austin, Colton, and Lillian; birth choice, breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering, and attachment parenting advocate; avid reader, sometimes knitter, gamer, and geek. Concerned citizen who encourages open and honest discourse.