Today is my 33rd birthday and I get to celebrate by doing something I love (teaching tiny house design and building) at a place that I love (Yestermorrow Design-Build School in Vermont). I’ve spent my last two birthdays here as well, so I’ve got a hunch it’s going to be a lovely day!
As I complete my 33rd revolution around the sun (and especially when I realize that I am now as old as my mom was when I was born and 1/3 of the way to my 100th birthday), it’s a good time to reflect on where I’ve come from and who has helped shape me into the person I am today. (Friends and family, I love you dearly!) I’ve also been doing some preflecting on the things I’d like to do, the places I’d like to go, and the person I’d like to be.
The overwhelming sensation of all this has been gratitude. I have fabulous, inspiring, caring friends and family all over the world, a cozy little hand-built house and another one in the works, a great community, fun and meaningful work, the world’s cutest feline companion, a calendar full of exciting adventures ahead, and a tremendously lovable fiance. I feel so lucky!
But it’s more than that, too. I wish English had a better word to describe the feeling that’s somewhere between “lucky” (which seems accidental and happenstance), “proud” (which seems like I’m taking all the credit), and “blessed” (which seems like divinely ordained reward system). What’s the right word to describe being pleased with the goodness I have surrounding me and the contentedness in the knowledge that I’m creating more goodness, too? In any case, I’m thankful that the decisions, actions, and circumstances of my life (both my own and those of others) have lead me to being right here at this point in my life.
As I’ve been winding down for sleep this week, I’ve been reading (which is something I don’t always get around to and something I really enjoy). I just finished up Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy (which is great and if you haven’t read her first book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I think you can just skip that one and move right to this one!) So two nights ago I started reading The Cozy Life: Rediscover the Joy of the Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of Hygge by Pia Edberg. I can’t remember how I came across this little book, but it’s utterly charming and I’m so glad to have found it, especially in this little moment of my life. These two books have been great reminders that usually it doesn’t take much to make a moment just a little more cozy or a little more joyful. Sometimes just adding a cup of tea, taking a couple minutes for a walk, initiating a hug, or stopping to watch a butterfly helps reconnect us to ourselves, our loved ones, and our planet.
Yesterday was a great example of a marvelous day: I woke up without an alarm, read for a few minutes, wrote a note to a friend, took care of a few business items during my morning “Power Hour,” had a hearty breakfast, did a bit of project management and a consultation for a design client, enjoyed a scrumptious lunch, helped raise the second wall of the tiny house we’re building this week at Yestermorrow, went for a dip at the swimming hole across the street (and tried the natural waterslide this time!), savored a delicious dinner, took a catnap, tapped my toes to jam night on the porch, visited students at their drafting tables to explore design ideas, said goodnight to Isha via FaceTime, and sat by the fire for a bit before crawling into bed. Contented sigh.
I am delighted to embark upon my 34th year and look forward to seeing how it unfurls!