June 7, 2012

It's my birthday!

Little 1988 me telling 2012 me that I'm three years from 30.
Today is my 27th birthday. Well, technically as I'm writing this, it's June 7th in Hawaii. BUT. My heart was born on (and will always be set to) Texas Time, which means today is June 8th.

As I think back on my 27th year of life, there are two events that stand out the most. Both events involved plenty of hours in the hospital, and both events reminded me just how precious life is.

Event #1
I spent most of my 26th birthday in the ICU just down the road from where I grew up, praying that my father-in-law's health would continue to improve. He had suffered a massive heart attack just two days earlier, and we got on a plane in Honolulu that night, not knowing whether or not he'd be alive when we landed in Houston.

It was emotional week for all of us. You see, June 8th isn't just my birthday, it's his too. Since he's been in my life since I was 13 years old, we'd spent half my life celebrating this one special day as "birthday buddies." We visited him daily, and he miraculously continued to improve. As the week went on, I joked that if he'd wanted to spend our birthday together, he could've just asked.

If we didn't already realize it, or had let it slip to the back of our minds, this scary, surreal situation that took place one year ago reminded us all that life. is. precious.

Event #2
Without a doubt, the highlight of my year (nay...LIFE!), arrived on October 24th, just a few months into my 27th year.

Bryson is the man. He's precious in every sense of the word. Somehow we were chosen to be entrusted with this sweet little soul, and let me tell you. Being a mom (while crazy and yes, monotonous at times) is like the gift that keeps on giving. He brings so much joy to our lives that I sometimes can't stand it. And then I have to talk through gritted teeth.

Being responsible for an entire person - emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically, financially - is an overwhelming and awesome responsibility. It's a gift.  So while B will always be our little anniversary present, I also consider him birthday present this year. Just by being, he reminds me on a daily basis that life. is. precious.

Moving Forward: Carpe-ing Kairoses
I have to admit that, while I've treasured so many moments of this past year, I haven't been as mindful and present as I'd like to be. I'd see or hear something about spirituality, introspection, and reflection, and yawn inside. (Sure. that could be because I was yawning on the outside too, but hey. We seem to have our sleep situation under control for now.)

Over the past few weeks, I've spent some time thinking about ways to be more present. Something clicked, and instead of rolling my eyes at the mushy-gushy talk of self-awareness, I opened my eyes to it. I've read a little, watched a little, and thought a lot. One mantra that stuck out was shared by Deepak Chopra:

"The past is gone. The future isn't here. Now I'm free of both."

While fully living in the present is an admirable goal, it's not always easy to do. I read a great blog post titled "Don't Carpe Diem" when Bryson was a newborn, and I couldn't have said it better myself.

She distinguishes between Cairos time - "the hard, slow passing time that we parents often live in" and Kairos time- "God's time...those magical moments in which time stands still." She ends by offering up some wise (and perhaps more importantly) realistic advice, which I've adopted as my goal for this next year of life:

"Carpe a couple of Kairoses a day."

So, that's it! After a memorable year of ups, downs, and all-arounds, I've developed a new appreciation for life at its very beginning and near its possible end. I've become a mom, found more meaning and fulfillment in my work, and learned to be content in my circumstances.

Life is good.

Happy birthday to me, and to the rest of my June 8th birthday buddies (I personally know at least NINE!). And happy 27th anniversary of having FOUR girls to look out for, Mom and Dad :)

May we all carpe some serious Kairoses today, and each day after that.

P.S.  This post is not related to my business, which is about helping bright entrepreneurs attract their dream clients, one brilliant message at a time. HOWEV - if you like my writing and want help with your own, sign up for free tips at www.nikkielledgebrown.com!

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