Happy Birthday To Me!

Happy Birthday To Me!  I am having the most wonderful day today.  I wondered if my 50th birthday would be hard.  I had a hard time with my 40th birthday.  I remember thinking that I was 40 years old and I hadn’t accomplished anything with my life.  That was the big thing for me, wondering whether I had ACCOMPLISHED anything.  I talked to my husband about it a lot.  He tried to reassure me, but no matter what example he gave, I would dismiss it as not counting.  Wonderful marriage, not an accomplishment.  Fabulous children, not an accomplishment.  Nice job working for my husband, doesn’t count.  Theology student, not important.  I really struggled with the idea, at forty, of not having left a mark on the world.

For this birthday, none of that is important to me.  I look at my beautiful children and I think that, even if I never did another thing, I have left a terrific mark on the world through them.  I look at the work John and I have done in Marriage Enrichment and I know that we have made the world a better place for the couples we have worked with.  I have grown a lot in the last ten years.  I have become comfortable with myself and sure of who I am.  The accomplishments I was searching to find were there all the time but I refused to see them.  Now, I have become so grateful for each small accomplishment that I celebrate everything.

This is one more example of the blessing that has come from my low vision journey.  A year ago, after receiving my diagnosis, I thought that my life was over.  I thought that there would be no accomplishments for me.  I thought that reduced vision meant reduced quality of life.  No hope.  No joy.  No growth.  That might sound melodramatic, but that was my reaction to hearing that I had Macular Degeneration, to my experience of central vision loss.  My imagination ran wild with unpleasant scenarios.  I knew I would get through it, but I didn’t think it would be very much fun.

Now, a year later, I have changed so much.  This has been one of the most wonderful years of my life.  My eyesight has deteriorated a lot.  But my INSIGHT is amazing.  I understand life on a new level.  I love much more deeply.  I am aware of grace in a way I have never been in my life.  Everything is a blessing.  Some blessings may be very well disguised and hidden, but I know they are there.  Because I believe that they are there, I am able to find the hidden blessings.  My life is fun and full of joy.

I am working hard to break through my barriers and to not hold myself back.  I am willing to step out of my comfort zone.  I try to be as friendly as possible and people are so friendly in response.  Every time I take a step, I am rewarded with huge unexpected blessings.  Today was just one example of the magical life I am now living.  I was showered with messages and phone calls and cards and gifts and flowers and love and good wishes.  I am completely overwhelmed by the enormity of love that was shown to me today.

If my fear when I turned 40 was that I had not accomplished anything with my life, then my joy at turning 50 is that the future is so bright that I know the best is yet to come.  This past year was unbelievably amazing.  I have every reason to believe that the upcoming year will exceed that.  I may not be able to see clearly with my eyes, but my heart sees everything.  And everything is beautiful.



8 thoughts on “Happy Birthday To Me!

  1. Belinda,
    I just recently found your posts and realized the journey you and your family have been traveling…know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers. I am inspired by your insights/writings. Happy, happy birthday…belated…may you continue to grow in wisdom and grace.
    Peace and all good.
    Alice MN

    • Hi Alice! Thank you for your kind words. My birthday was fabulous, as you know from my post. I appreciate your prayers and good wishes. I appreciate having companions on this journey. Thank you for visiting my blog and for your comment. I hope you come back again.

  2. I am so happy for you Belinda. You have made a difference in so many people’s lives by allowing us into yours…thank you…and I hope that you have a wonderful year ….trust me – 50 is fabulous 🙂

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