I just celebrated the most amazing 40th birthday. I would have never guessed that I’d do so in London, and it definitely added a special touch to this milestone. Husband and I had our first date night out here (even hired a babysitter!) to a fabulous Moroccan restaurant, which was appropriate since he’s planned a trip to Morocco for my present. Yesterday, we took 5 year old for high tea and to see Cirque du Soleil. My Facebook wall overflowed with birthday wishes. And best of all, I got a handmade card from 5 year old, in which she wrote out her birthday message to me half correctly and half phonetically. I was for some reason moved to tears that she spelled birthday brfday.
How lucky can a girl get? (And can I still call myself a girl at 40?!) I’m beyond grateful for the love of my friends and family. I’ve been reflecting on how much I learn from everyone in my life, every day. Viewing our experiences through a lens of learning can change how we react. And one of my intentions for 40 is to not take these learning opportunities for granted, even when they aren’t welcome. At yoga class the other day, I opened up my chant book, and the following jumped out at me (I’ll spare you the Sanskrit):
Even if you have good looks, a beautiful lover, great fame and mountains of money, if you are unable to bow at your teacher’s lotus feet – what is the use? What is the use? What is the use? What is the use?
–Shri Adi Shankaracharya, from Guru Ashtakam
I’m not going to pretend that I don’t enjoy going out for a lovely dinner, taking a nice vacation, or being entertained by a dazzling show…but I feel that I can say that at my age (cringe), I also know that novelty wears off fast, and what matters is who we love and what we learn. And that we continue loving and learning, no matter what. That is my biggest brfday wish. Namaste.