Welcome to A Life Examined

What is the examined life? A life worth living! As I look at the road ahead, I take all the baggage from the past and use it as experience - the pain and the passion, the sorrow and the joy - allowing it to carve wisdom into my mind and hope into my spirit.
There is no experience that can't be useful to me at some point in my life. There is no lesson learned that cannot make a contribution to the future.
A tiny drop of water is a part of the ocean. A tiny speck in the night sky is a ginormous star in the distance. It all depends on perspective.
So, this examined life is to offer reflections in the hope of discussing things which are of value to myself and to others.
Love, Sarah

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

My "Perfect" Life - Part 12

A Life of Birthday Memories and Relationships:

One year fades as a new one arises. Today as I type this, it is my birthday. I think of many, many birthdays that have passed. I will wait to post this on Thursday, but it seems to me fitting, to put fingers to keyboard on this, my birthday (in my early years of course it was pen to paper, but I'm middle aged now!).

Birthday Memory: The one when I was 9, when one of my party guests preferred eating the wax candles to the chocolate cake.

Another Birthday: The one when I was 40, while living briefly in Hong Kong, with our apartment full of brand new friends, many of whom I am still in touch with.

This Birthday: Today has been quiet, peaceful, a bit too solitary, and yet, I've been enjoying the view of the lake, the company of my hubby (our son's at camp) and the setting of the sun on another extraordinary day.

I have had an extraordinary, blessed life. I've set my feet on 5 of 6 continents (I don't count Antarctica - do you... seriously?), and have good friends in all of them. I've had three interesting careers and am exploring - constantly exploring - the 4th. I enjoy life on my terms and am saved by the grace of God, so that my mistakes are forgiven and I am able to learn, love, laugh and make the best of each moment. I'd say that's a rich life.

It seems appropriate at this juncture in My "Perfect" Life, to take a panoramic view and say, "Thank You, to God, to friends, to family, for enduring the difficult parts of my personality and celebrating the parts worth celebrating. In token of that, I'll tell a short story - a true one - about my first love!

When I was 9, I was 'in love' with Michael next door. He was 10. He was gentle, kind, brave (he, me and one other once pretended there was something sinister in our attic and he went first to check it out!), and honest. I told him I loved him as much as I could spread my arms. He looked at a tree and said, "I love you that much."

In our innocence, that was the extent of our conversation and our commitment. A year or two passed, I still thought he was wonderful, but he acquired a girlfriend his own age. I sigh as I think about it; I think I sighed then. Life was uncomplicated, relationships were uncomplicated, and there was no drama.

It isn't a spectacular story, but that is what makes it special. It's a simple moment, in an ordinary life that bears remembering because it was truthful and beautiful.

I remember every boyfriend I ever had. And I remember good friends too. I've had my share of each. And what strikes me most about all of my close relationships is that I miss the ones who are no longer in my life and I appreciate those who still are with me.To me, relationships are the most important part of life - the deepest and best accomplishments are the relationships we nurture and grow.

And while I don't remember every birthday as a child, I remember the simplicity of youth. As I gaze back on the declaration of love between Michael and me, I'm grateful for my husband, and grateful for every experience that has taught me a little bit more about love, kindness and how to give to another human being. When I made my first ever declaration of love, it was returned with integrity. And for that I'm grateful... it gave me a great start in discovering myself and others, heart to heart.

And as cliche as it may sound, I'll venture to add as conclusion, the deepest, greatest, most enriching relationship I have is with my God - through Jesus.

Until next time, may you be inspired by your relationships: to laugh, to grow and to love.
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