I woke up this morning of my birthday, and counted myself fortunate.

I woke up in a clean, soft, comfortable bed in my clean(ish), safe house

The furnace is running, and I’m fairly secure in knowing that I’ll be able to pay the bill for it

Hot water came out of the tap for me to wash my face with a clean white cloth while good quality coffee brewed in the pot in the kitchen

As I type this, two people sleep in their safe warm beds under my roof both of whom are kind, intelligent, gentle people who love me and whom I love

The cat greeted me asking for his (expensive, prescription) breakfast

This year, this birthday morning, I let my wonderful, perfect dog out of her crate, and kissed her sweet face

I smudged myself with a brand new white sage smudge stick

Aches and pains and my chronic battle with extra adipose tissue aside,  I am healthy and strong

Last night I went to the grocery store and essentially bought exactly what I wanted for dinner – it wasn’t extravagant, but it was fresh and wholesome (and delicious)

I ate dinner with a couple of glasses of a wine that I thought would go well (and it did)

Not too long ago, there was a pretty good sale if you bought 12 bottles of wine – so I did

I sat this morning, as I do every work morning, putting on ‘my face’ – under my natural light “happy lamp”, using good quality no animal testing cosmetics, organic jojoba oil, and rose water from the ayurvedic clinic in a trendy neighborhood by the river

Today I’m going to a stable job that I like, with people who are kind to me

A work friend is taking me out to lunch for my birthday

My family is taking me out to dinner (unless I decide I want to eat at home)

I have annual leave, sick leave, health insurance

I have reliable, abundant private transportation, and I live in a city with excellent public transportation should I need it

This morning (as on some other mornings) I didn’t care for the look of the first outfit I put on…so I chose from the assortment of fresh, clean clothing in my closet until I was satisfied

I’ll eat eggs from a friend’s backyard chickens for breakfast, with some uncured bacon and organic fruit

This morning, my mother will receive flowers for my birthday – because she’s still with us, and because I want to – ordered from four States away with my excellent credit

In my hair, I wear a jeweled pin which I bought for myself for my birthday…because I saw it and wanted it as my gift to myself

I am not wealthy, but am steadily working on being able to retire with options

And I have options.  I have a passport, I have some education, I am facile with languages, I am not afraid of new places and new cultures

In addition to my loving family of choice, I have a few good friends whom I believe would help me if I called for help

Although the political and economic climate is dire and frightening, I am fairly safe,  and reasonably secure if I am careful about when to keep my mouth shut and when to open it

The visions I am developing for my future are within my grasp – not guaranteed, but I stand a good chance of achieving them once I zero in on a set of targets

On the dawn of my 56th year, looking backwards, within and without, and forwards, I consider myself to be blessed and very, very fortunate.  My life is not a rose garden, but I have been blessed with good health, love, support, education, good nutrition, medical care, dental care, and opportunities.

I am grateful for my parents who did the best they could with what they knew, for my family of choice who are my cherished companions in life, for the fur people who have joined my path, for friends and friends yet to come.

As I weigh options and develop vision for the next phase of life, I send thanks out to the Universe for the gifts I have been given, and express my appreciation for the right here right now extravagance and abundance of my life.  As I move fully into my cronehood and take one more step towards the approaching horizon, it is becoming clearer to me that, as is appropriate, the focus of the coming years will be spirit and healing.  I’ve carried these gifts with me, partially unwrapping and peeking at them, taking them out and trying them…then folding the wrapping back over them and putting them back in my bag.  The time to take these gifts out and use them as the life tools they are meant to be is rapidly approaching.  In fact, it may already be here.  I’ve moved them to the top of the bag….and am actively looking for the doors to appear as I walk.  I have every confidence that they will appear, and I am equally confident that I will have the wisdom to choose wisely.  Not every offer and door that opens is a door to walk through – discernment is a distillation of experience, a rare and ethereal spirit.  One sip at a crossroads will help illuminate the path and the choice, if one remembers to pause and open the flask.

Happy birthday, me…and happy birthday, world.  Every day that we open our eyes is a Birth Day.