There's a 44-day span during the year when my family celebrates our wedding anniversary and all the birthdays. Monday ended our season of milestone hurrah with the annual finale—my YaY for 365 more days on the planet. This year—44! I love it when numbers coincide, so inspiration set in and got me to thinking.
I'm so very grateful, as is Jeromy for the opportunity to wake up next to one another, hug our kids, and reminisce about our lives.
And on that note, I've thought about my birthday wishes—past and present—especially how they've morphed over the last couple of decades.
Young and in love, married at 21 (Lord, that does seem young, right?), we didn't need much. Good thing because we were first-year teachers brimming with hope, affection, and fearlessness—yet at the very beginning of learning what it looked and felt like to live on a budget and save with a purpose. No matter. The unicorns and butterflies still flew around our heads when we gazed into one another's eyes. Bump the gifts. I had him. (Cue teenage gagging in the background.)
Fast forward ten years—I'm a mama with a baby on one hip and a toddler on the other. My husband and I still gazed at one another, but now it was more from shell-shock than passion. Exhaustion had seeped into our very bones. New business. New baby. New baby again. We were battle buddies bound together by Jesus and the hardcore will to survive. The unicorns and butterflies? See ya.
What did I want for my birthday during those harrowing days? Time. Alone. Walking around Target with a cup of coffee. Didn't matter that my wallet held nothing but hand wipes and animal crackers. Seriously. Just let me be a zombie and stare into space as I walk unencumbered through the aisles.
Now I see those mamas. I can spot them. I want to walk up to them and give them a hug, whisper happy birthday to you, and promise them it will get better. But that would be weird, so I don't.
Fast forward to now. What do I want for my birthday? Financially we are in a better position. Our kids are independent creatures, walking the halls of the high school as I walk the aisles of Target with my cup of coffee—alone.
My wish? Time. Time with my husband. Time with my friends. Time with my children. Just give me time. And I received it in abundance. A morning where we summon the unicorns and butterflies. An afternoon with friends, laughing about the antics of being in our forties. An evening listening to our freshman and sophomore chatter about their days. And with every blink, gratitude seeped into my bones.
Time is the one commodity we can't get back. Those tick-tocks are worth their weight in gold.
Let's not waste them, Y'all.
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.