A Birthday in the Mountains

It’s my birthday. I turned 51 today.

I am sitting in the Starbucks in Breckenridge, CO while the rest of my family members are on the slope skiing to their hearts’ content.  Those of you who know me best can testify that even the mild Texas winter is too cold for me. I would much rather be on the beach right now, but don’t worry about me (I know…what a relief, right?). Being with my family and watching them enjoy their spring break doing something they love is better than a trip to the beach–though I miss Abbie and David, who are not with us. The newlyweds decided to celebrate spring break in their own fashion. Go figure. 😉 My husband, Terry, was raised in South Dakota, and his family tree is rooted in Norway. He has snow in his blood. In this way, Abbie, Taylor, and Madeline are their father’s children. They were built for the winter sports. Meanwhile, their mama shivers, sips coffee, and dreams of palm trees and strappy sandals.

We have friends who graciously lent us their condo.  What a place!  3500 square feet, 3 bedrooms, shower with steam room, hot tub and jacuzzi tub, a kitchen I wish I could transplant to my house, and all in a nice area that is refreshingly free of crowds, even on spring break. Phenomenal.(Bobbie and Dena, THANKS for the loan! If only you could have scored a condo on a white sand beach for the week…)

My birthday always seems to fall on spring break, which means I often get to spend it with my family on vacation. And here we are taking in the snow and mountains of Colorado. Obviously, I was outvoted this time. Believe it or not, I’m never dreaming of a white Christmas. I’m not exaggerating. Snow is cold and wet. Yuck. At this moment, I am imagining myself sporting a bathing suit or sundress, basking in the sun somewhere.

Still, I am enjoying this time alone because I have lots of things to catch up on. I’m starting with this blog post, which is the first in about a year. Neglecting to post on my blog for a year is basically the opposite of what I counsel my clients to do. Then again, I still have a hard time imagining that anything I have to say is all that significant or interesting. Just one more reason why I’m the publicity person, not the client!

I have also come to  realize that Terry has been right all these years: my work is my hobby.  I love it.  It’s what I enjoy doing because as I work with my clients, I see lives change.  I also get to build relationships with the people who work for me, and I see directly the impact our business has on their lives. My great hope is that my clients and employees will be better for the time they have spent with me. Isn’t this how Christians should view every relationship?

So here I am at the Starbucks, diving back into the blogosphere and answering all the well-wishers on Facebook.  Boy, that makes you feel like Sally Fields: “You like me…you really like me!”  On vacation, on my birthday, on a Sunday, no less…and here I am working. By choice. I find it enjoyable and life giving. And now, at age 51, I have come to realize that my tendency to think about my clients, my employees, and my projects is not a sin. It’s not a bad thing.  It is just what the Lord has given my hands to do.  Others get their jollies from writing, painting, singing, playing music, golfing, shooting skeet, bungee jumping, or some other crazy thing (Civil War reenactment, anyone?). I find it fun to plan creative ways to help my clients get where they need to be. Basically, I just sit and think, and I find that once the creative juices begin flowing, my thoughts drift toward my family–how I can be the mom, wife, lover, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, friend. Next to the feeling of sand between my toes and waves washing my stress away, this is what I love to do most.

So I will be ok with this cup of coffee and my thoughts, at least for today.  And tonight I will celebrate my birthday with my husband, my son and his girlfriend, and my youngest daughter.  I will miss my daughter and son-in law and my mom and dad.  But I will be happy, content and blessed.  And I will have avoided major injury and shielded my non-Norwegian body from the brutal cold. It’s all good.

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