My mom, still beautiful in her 60s, is fond of saying that having another birthday is better than the alternative. And in the weeks leading up to my 28th birthday, I would grumble and agree only begrudgingly, shocked that the gradual, stealthy approach of my late twenties has left me clinging white-knuckled to my youth as I struggle to avoid the gaping maw of the big 3-0.
But last Wednesday, the night before my birthday, I went to yoga class, and while mired in the pain of a three-minute forward fold I was reminded of the importance of being grateful. Sure, getting older is stupid and I'd rather be 21 forever (who wouldn't), but on this fucked-up journey I'm also surrounded by a whole lot of luck and a whole lot of awesome.
Why I'm grateful at 28
1. My friends know I can veer a bit toward the "not so much" side of sane, but they seem to like me anyway. I would be lost without their endless kindness, e-mails, lunch dates, travel plans, and numerous trips to Glace (pictured below).
2. My boyfriend is smart, sexy, kind and encouraging. And probably the funniest person I know - he says things that will make me laugh all over again 20 minutes after the fact (he calls it "deep comedy"). In the three years we've been together, he has changed my life for the better in so many ways.
3. My parents and my brother would probably do just about anything for me, as I would for them. I'm extremely lucky to have such a reliable source of love and security.
4. My cats, Bubba Lee Kinsey and Phoenix, literally amaze me daily. (Pictured below: I totally caught them snuggling. Bubba is the big gray tabby; Fifi is the calico.)
5. In this shit economy I have a good-enough-for-now job that allows me to write, be creative and afford my own place, which is at times claustrophobically small but where I can experience the joys of eating sandwiches in bed, leaving my Christmas tree up all year, and draining a six-pack of pumpkin beer on the porch on a weeknight.
6. I am in the best goddamn shape of my life. Not even during my days as a whiny aspiring high school sprinter have I been this ass-kickingly buff. By summer I will have a six-pack. (And this time I'm not talking beer.)
7. My godson is one hell of a little dude (and his mom is one of my favorite people as well). I can't wait to watch him grow up and introduce him to the mindfuck of Royals baseball (no, really - it will make him stronger).
8. I am healthy and I have access to clean water and food. So many people can't say the same.
9. Cheese is delicious. I am really stupidly thankful for cheese.
10. I love that my mind can still be blown. Most recently I stood in horrified awe of the bulbous, bulging starfish on the columns beneath a pier in Seattle (pictured below).