Today I am 59.
Tomorrow I'll be 60.
I was living in Madison, Wisconsin, taking care of two small children and wishing my birthday would just go away. After all, I was turning 30, and my life was not where I thought it would be.
I had already spent the prior month preparing to have a bad day.
Be careful what you wish for . . .
I woke up grumpy, made breakfast for the kids, and sulked for the remainder of the day.
Then the roses arrived. They were from my husband, who was somewhere in South America at the time. A dozen red roses. They were beautiful. But they were not enough.
I told the kids that their father had sent the roses, but I did not tell them why.
And then a friend showed up and handed me a box containing six cupcakes. The cat was now, as they say, out of the bag.
My kids were delighted with the cupcakes but disappointed that I had not told them it was my birthday. In my desire to ignore my birthday, I had robbed them of a reason to celebrate. It was demoralizing.
Thirty years have passed since that day, and I have not forgotten the lesson.
Where I am in my life is defined by my attitude, not my age, and certainly not whether I think life is fair.
Today I celebrate being 59.
Tomorrow I'll celebrate being 60.