Thursday, February 23, 2012

Happy Birthday to ME!

(me making my birthday wish)

It was my birthday... 2 days ago. I had intended to to write on my birthday but the birthday festivities stole time. A robbery I didn't mind.

As I sat and pondered my birthday over a nice cup of coffee I couldn't help but smile. Thankfully, I'm not one of those people that dread their birthday or that another year has come and gone. In fact, I love celebrating my birthday. I love celebrating birthdays period. How could you not celebrate life?

I had decided over the weekend that I would make my birthday breakfast on Monday for myself and share it with my kids since they were home from school. I love french toast and fruit. So I headed out to the store and purchased all of the ingredients I would need. I prepared my favorites... french toast with specialty cinnamon bread topped with sweetened condensed milk, minute maid blueberry pomegranate juice, fresh fruit, and a cup of coffee. I was in heaven.

So, here it is my birthday (Tuesday the 21st) and I'm sitting at the table enjoying day 2 of my heavenly birthday breakfast. I made extra to be enjoyed on my actual birthday. Heaven two days in a row = pure joy. I'm looking out the window at the sunny skies and listening to the birds sing their morning song. I sit wondering what I'm going to do to celebrate myself. You know...something ONLY for me. My mind then wonders to Nina Simone. Why did I think of Nina Simone? She and I share the same birthday and in my opinion, she is one of the greatest singers of all time.

As I'm sitting thinking of her I am feeling a flood of emotion sweep over me. I am so happy to be alive and feel my life has been blessed a thousand times over. I decide to type in her name into the google search engine and I stumble on her website. I read a beautiful tribute her granddaughter has written about Nina and what she means to her. I feel so honored to be born on the same day as her. I start looking on you tube for various videos/songs that would not only celebrate her memory and birthday but would also celebrate me today as I celebrate my life. A song that would express my feelings for today. Freedom. Love. I needed a song that would express all of this. So as I listened to her music I danced. I smiled. I laughed. I celebrated. Then I chose my song...

Then a true wave comes over me. Tears streaming down my face... tears of joy, tears of love and most importantly tears of gratitude. Gratitude for a life that has been blessed beyond measure and gets sweeter as each day passes. Then it hits me. I need to draw. Draw something for just me. A birthday message that celebrates me and Nina. A drawing that would incorporate her beautiful words in the song above and how I feel about today. So I bring you my birthday illustration... celebrating us both.

(Birthday drawing: ink pen, water colors, birds drawn on card stock)

Peace and joy filled my soul as I sat drawing and painting with watercolors. Then it hit me. I need to do this more frequently. Draw, paint, art... just for me. Not worrying about whether it is going to sell or if someone else will like it. I realized how much pressure is behind each creation. I loved this birthday activity and the joy it brought to me was liberating.

So, happy birthday to me and if it's your birthday... Happy birthday to you. Take the time to celebrate yourself. Celebrate others around you. Lift your glass because you are alive and the love that is in this world is a gift and will always astound you.

Some of my greatest life blessings...

(my mom, me and my daughter)