As it turns out, though, WHOOO HOOOO, I made it to 40, I made it to 40! Middle age? I don't THINK so! For me it is NOW, it is days with my family and friends. It is the gift of time which is ultimately our greatest treasure. May I spend every minute of mine wisely (and may you too, for that matter!).
Practically speaking , this year it was me getting my very favorite childhood cake and spaghetti casserole thanks to my dear friend who went to great lengths to make this happen for me (the cake traveled from our hometown of Carpinteria where several of her family members got involved, picked up and drove the cake from "our" bakery, down the coast and into the desert just for me). I felt pretty special about that. This is my same friend of 30+ years who has been here for nearly two months from Texas to take care of me. I will be lost when she leaves but so very blessed to have had this time with her. Who gets two months uninterrupted time as an adult with their friend like that? Great birthday gift--life gift!--for sure.
After three (three!) good days in a row physically, I had a bit of a slow day yesterday on my actual birthday. I was unable to go to lunch as planned or actually leave the house at all, but it didn't matter at all, as everyone was flexible, came to me and let me snooze on the couch as much as I needed to (which turned out to be most of the day). The kids brought me beautiful gifts that they had made or saved their money for and were so proud of, the best gifts ever. Overall, it was a great day, no matter how I felt.
Finally, and most indulgently, I have a brief cruise to look forward to next weekend to culminate this celebration of 40 years. I am going along with four friends for three nights on Carnival to Ensenada. Now, we booked this probably 9 months ago when things looked quite different for me physically. I may not be able to get off the boat in port and will be using a wheelchair onboard, but at this point it looks as if I will make it on the boat in the first place and that in itself is a victory for me right now. Park me on the Lido deck with a good book and an ocean breeze and I will be a very happy cruiser.
Thank you for all the birthday wishes. I never could have imagined how happy I would be to turn 40. Badge of honor, let me tell you.