Thursday, July 30, 2009

Today Is My Day

It’s my birthday! I’m another year older and I would like to think another year wiser too. The past 20 months have been a rollercoaster ride for me. The challenges I faced I don’t wish on anyone (not even my worst enemy). OK, I don’t have any worst enemies, but you get the point (LOL).

This year’s birthday comes with many wishes. More than that, it comes with new adventures too. I am finally serious about looking for a new job. I’ve missed working, but it was impossible for much of the past 20 months. Now that I am recovered and back to being healthy active Paul again, I am ready for the new adventure of working for a new company, working with new coworkers, and I am going to take an even bigger bite of the apple (which is gluten free – LOL). I’m ready for some long hours (not too long) and maybe a little travel too. I am also ready to hang out with friends whom I haven’t seen in some time (Ruth, Laura, Sue, Martha and a few others). I have a few other wishes, but those I can’t share. If they do come true, I guarantee, you’ll be the first to know.

I’ve had many wonderful birthdays, and the friends who have celebrated with me over the years are the best. I must admit (and it might be the age talking) I get more excited by words than gifts (that’s not to say this boy doesn’t like a gift on occasion - LOL). Seriously, I really do appreciate words. A special thank you to Ron M, Jamie S and Reggie H for putting a smile on my face every year. It’s hard to keep up with people’s birthdays, but you somehow manage to remember me… Always! My heart is full. There are so many others who honor me on my day with kind words, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. My birthday this year will be simple, and that’s just how this old man likes it (OK, I’m not that old).

No matter what today brings, I know it will be a good day because on the eve of my birthday I exchanged correspondence with a friend that really set the tone for the day. My friend Tina sent me a beautiful email, which I am sharing here, along with my response. I hope you enjoy the correspondence as much as I did. Tina, thank you for the liquid lunch too (LOL):

Dear Paul,

I am writing this on the eve of your birthday. I want to put a couple of sentences together to let you know how much you mean to me. This is a much tougher task than one might think, especially since you are so proficient at writing and I am a mere amateur. Since we first met, I have been craving your presence. I enjoy your company. I look forward to your input to what I have to bring to the table, and I even enjoy your occasional cranky side remarks. Sarcasm is a great thing, isn't it?!? We can discuss topics in a real way, meaning that we don't have to worry about how the other person may react if they disagree. I value that most of all. You are a true friend! Not just for your birthday, but for life in general, I hope that life gives you all the things you dream of. You have grown so much over the last year and more, (more than anyone could have asked you to). It's time to spread your wings again. It's time for you to fly! You have been grounded long enough. Start taking off! With all my heart and love. Happy Birthday Paul!!! - Tina

Dearest Tina,

You B____!!! You made me cry on the eve of my birthday. How incredibly sweet, kind and thoughtful. You truly are an amazing friend. There is no hesitation on my part when I say, I crave your soft side. It's delivered without pretense or reservation. It comes with power, warmth and it really does make me tingly all over. It's funny... today I was trying to remember how/when we first met, as well as the many other details people try to remember with relationships. I was really searching hard for our beginning and realize, it’s just not that important. What matters most is the time we take to nurture each other’s heart, mind, soul and spirit. So many people are chasing anniversaries (the married kind... LOL). We just chase each other for conversation, drinks, laughs and so much more. Oh, how I love to laugh, especially with you. Thank you, my dearest friend. This might be age talking, but it's words that seal the deal with me... with us. Our words are always honest and sincere. We always know where we stand. Yes, we can disagree, but for us it's just a disagreement (nothing to lose sleep over or break the vows of friendship). The above sounds like a love letter and in some ways it is. Tina, thank you for always thinking of me, for your words of wisdom, for your smiles, the hugs, the back rubs and the list goes on and on. Yes, it's time for me to fly once again, but I don't fly alone. I fly with many friends who've always believed in me and kept me balanced and moving forward in this crazy thing we call life. Together we go forward... laughing and loving. Much love!! - Paul :)

Dear Reader, without a doubt everyone needs a little Tina in their life. (No, I’m not sharing! Get your own.) Never take friendships for granted. The key to any great friendship is honesty and loyalty. Always take time to tell your friends how you feel. Good or bad, be real because only then can you weather the storms of life. For those friendships where things might be a little cloudy… maybe it’s time to talk more openly and to speak candidly, thus breathing new life into the friendship. I can’t end this post without saying, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME.” - paerki

Photos: Liquid Dinner

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