SIP Day 66, wearing a striped tank and cutoff shorts; 85 degrees outside; writing from the back porch as Stijn cooks dinner…
Today is my 49th birthday, which is a complicated day for me, for many reasons. First off, I am delighted to be another year older. As the years go on I am realizing just how happy I am to still be here and even the ageing of my body is not terrifically discouraging.
That said, it was just about on the very day that my sister turned 49 that she was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. So I feel like this year is something more than just another birthday year for me. It’s a year that I’m feeling so many “what ifs” and life feels ever more fragile and uncertain.
Things I did on this first day of my 49th year:
- Ate a simple breakfast with Stijn
- Paddled six miles solo on my outrigger canoe, my first time on the water in over 70 days
- Took a leisurely afternoon nap snuggled up with Stijn
- Re-lived memories from last year’s birthday celebration, in which I spent time in both Amsterdam and Brussels
- Chatted with my kids, telling them stories about all of the wild creatures that we caught on our backyard camera this past week
- Sat in my favorite chair on the back porch watching the bluebirds sly around the yard
- Picked tomatoes and assembled a gorgeous burrata tomato salad
- Had a conference call “Happy Hour” with work friends
- Sipped a bottle of wine from Chassagne-Montrachet, the Burgundy village where we stayed on our tour of France last summer
- Momentarily I will also be eating a dinner of stoovfles and Belgian frites with Stijn’s homemade mayonnase. Since I cannot be in Brussels today, Stijn is bringing a bit of Brussels to our dinner table.
My 39th year was one of the most momentous years of my life: I separated from my first husband, began working full-time for Chapman University, and met Stijn! Now I’m aiming to have my 49th be just as exciting and life-changing…