A Beautiful Work In Progress

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Birthday Love Delivered. Beautiful Flowers from BFF.

I am a beautiful work in progress. And what a great time to remember this on my birthday. It is tempting to look back and list all of my "accomplishments" through my years in this world. I have to stop though because those successes are not mine. Those are the Lord's. All the beautiful things, people and memories that I have are what He has given. They are all undeserved gifts from Him.

I will instead give thanks for what really matters. On my birthday I am very grateful for the gift of love, warmth and having all of my needs met.  All my life, I have been blessed with love. I am so thankful that I belong to a  loving family, that I have been given a set of parents who love me unconditionally and have been blessed with long life to continue to bestow their love on me, my siblings and every member of our family from the littlest to the biggest. I am blessed with caring and loyal friends. All my life, I never have to want for anything.   There is always plenty of food on the table that our parents taught us to always share, and laughter at our warm home. I often say that I have been blessed with love that are more than enough to last a hundred lifetime.

My birthday this year is a special one. I am in awe that I have been living in this world for this long! (No,  don't you ever  dare call me "old!" Ha! Ha! No woman is ever old unless she decides that  she is.) I am also excited for all the surprises that life is yet to bring me. I might be older now, and wiser, yet I am also more graceful, more confident and still beautiful in a strong and quiet kind of way. 

For this birthday, instead of celebrating for just one day, I have decided to do a "Birthday Year."  Why fit in all the fun in just one day when you can celebrate for an entire year, or even a decade?

These are so many thoughts and ideas that are going through my head that I just decide to list them randomly:

1. I am going to pursue what is graceful and beautiful. I will mix fun, playful and classy in my style. 

2. A couple of weeks before my birthday, I decided to liberate myself from the scale. The numbers used to set the tone on how my day would be. 2 lbs less in the morning will be a happy day. A lb more will ruin my day. In almost 10 years, I have been depriving myself of enjoyment. As I drink that glass of wine, share a sumptuous feast with my family and friends or a delicious date night left me nothing but worrying what the scale is going to tell me as soon as I get home, and the next morning. I have been missing out on the most important things in life and for what -- mere 2 lbs?!

3. This year is going to be about acceptance of my body and the beautiful woman that I am. The extra 9 - 13 lbs that I carry do not make me less lovely  or attractive. I have made a decision to still keep my pretty clothes that no longer or never fit. My style is classy anyway. Someday, I might be able to finally wear them but without declaring a war on my body or being on perpetual diet that never works. I will buy new ones that I will enjoy wearing.

4. I will continue to pursue "healthy" instead. I have always been healthy. My diet consists mostly of vegetables and non-meat. In fact, I say that I am about 98% vegetarian. With my decision this year to stop eating cheese, my diet gets healthier. I am lactose-intolerant and eating cheese really makes me sick. After making a decision to give up cheese and dairy, my life literally is so much better!

5. I will age gracefully. I have been blessed with good genes. Getting older is harder but inevitable. I always look at least 10 years younger. While my friends were worrying about the tiny lines turning into wrinkles, I have been asked to produce my driver's license twice at a restaurant. The server called his manager because he thought that I produced a fake ID! I would never get tired of telling this story and now I am writing this down for the record! As I have mentioned, growing older is inevitable. I am determined not to recapture my youth but accept aging with class and grace.

6. I will always be a little girl at heart who loves pretty things, one who finds joy with seasons and looks forward to celebrating the holidays with BFF.

7. I am going to create a Fabulous Birthday Year List. I am going to tackle this list with my love who deserves a special mention on this special occasion because he is the extension of my heart, my life and my happiness. Being with him for over 10 years, in my younger years and moving forward to getting older, he is my friend, foodie partner, fellow traveler and adventurer, my cuddly couch potato, designated driver as I get to drink those many flutes of bubblies. I look forward to many more adventures with him in the years and decades to come. And I pray to grow old with him with wrinkly skin and gray hair hopefully in few more decades. (But hey, Botox someday!)

8. And life is truly more beautiful because of my BFF who "gets" me. Our hearts understand each other. The simplest joys in life make us both happy. We both  look forward to life's celebrations and enjoying the changing of the seasons.  I look forward to tackling those items of my Fabulous Life List with her as well. And sharing many, many holidays,  seasons and life's adventures with her. 

9. I will make sure that I do not miss any moment that I can spend with my family.

10. As it is, a year older and nothing really changes except I vow to be less burdened by the unnecessary and be more happy. I will continue to enjoy every moment with my family, true friends and improve my relationship with God every day. 

My Birthday Goal for the next years to come:  Have fun and be happy! 

My Birthday Letter To Myself

Congratulations, you fabulous girl! You strong-willed, feisty fighter you! You wanted so many things and you  fought tooth and nail to get them. You got grit, girlfriend, and you have shown the world of what you are made of. And you are made of some tough stuff, and lots of love. Despite the fierceness you have strove to be kind at all times even though it was not always easy. And despite the harshness that you have witnessed and experienced, your heart has remained soft.  When you were so scared to face people and you have just cried your eyes out but no one knew about it, you stood there as if you were on fire and have delivered your heart out not for you but for others who needed you to be their voice. You have been blessed with opportunities that are not granted to many -- to speak publicly and be heard by the world and  to start something that has been followed and continue to change lives. The half a minute of recognition and the compliments both shallow or sincere are fleeting but you did it and yet you do not let them spoil you. You held on to that humility, and have always put others forward first. Don't you ever forget. You have been faithful to the Lord's calling and you have made your mom and dad proud. Now celebrate your life. Happy Birthday because your work is continued to be cut out for you. There's still more to come. The best is yet to be.

Happy Birthday, you beautiful and fabulous woman. 

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