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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Just Another Day

Another birthday, another year older.

I never have been one to get excited about birthdays, and the older I get, the less excited I get about them. On my most recent birthday, after reading the many birthday wishes on my Facebook wall, the Beatles song "It's Just Another Day" came to mind. Because, really, a birthday is just another day.

I don't feel any different than I did before my birthday, nor will I feel different after my birthday. And it isn't as if I had anything to do with when I was born. On my birthday, as on every other day, I get up early, feed and walk my dogs, make a cup of tea and read the morning paper. It's just another day.

Some years, I visit one of the many beautiful places within driving distance in New Mexico. One year I spent the day at the beautiful Ghost Ranch, made famous by painter Georgia O'Keeffe. It's a place of great natural beauty, perfect for photography and hiking. But this year I am staying home to oversee the completion of a major home improvement project.

I guess the best part of birthdays is the recognition that I have survived to mark another birthday. Many people aren't so fortunate. And not only have I survived, I remain in good health, with only a couple of age-related issues such as osteoarthritis to remind me of my advancing years. 

Birthdays also are a good time to reflect on the life I live. The past two years, I have been fortunate to do a lot of traveling, including to several international destinations. I walked the ancient streets of Petra, Jordan, visited the holy sites of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and watched Africa's amazing wildlife. I explored the ruins of ancient Troy and wandered the wide, paved streets of Roman cities in Turkey. I have watched my beautiful daughter develop into a kind and compassionate young woman. Her resilience and inner strength in overcoming her terrible childhood in Russia continue to amaze me. And what a joy it is to watch her finish cosmetology school and prepare to start her new career as a hair stylist. 

I can look back on the donations I have made to a variety of charities, the many hours of volunteer work I performed, and the realization that I need to find a new volunteer opportunity. It is a good time to reflect on the things I have done right in my life, as well as on those I could have done better.

So this really is just another day. It is another day to celebrate, to appreciate and to enjoy. It's another day to live life to its fullest.