All posts tagged: Birthdays

Remembrance, not regret

Birthdays that end in 0 are much easier for me to handle than the ones that end in 5. I came to that rather trivial realization sometime over the past year. Approaching 30, 40, 50, or 60? No big deal. In fact, for that last one I used the occasion to gather 60 lessons I’ve learned over six decades. It was great fun. The ones that end in 5, however? Umm…they seem to be more problematic. Perhaps it is because I’m suddenly closer to the next 0 and the next decade than to the one in my rear view mirror. At 35 most of us finally realize, if we haven’t already, that we are no longer a kid. At 45 you can claim with some degree of persuasiveness to fall in the middle age bracket, but that has its own set of challenges. (Mortgages, anyone?) By the time you hit 55 you are conscious of the fact that few people live to be 110, and you are face-to-face with all that implies. And at 65? …

A Wrinkle in Time

I am still every age that I have been

It was a big week in our household, as we acquired a new hip and celebrated a birthday.*  As a small child, you may have received a new puppy on your special day.  Others years may bring clothes for college or gifts for the new apartment. Later, you might rejoice with a new child or a special trip abroad. On occasion one might celebrate a birthday with a broken shoulder.  Now that we’re in the new hip stage (for a second time), I’m comforted by this thought of the author Madeleine L’Engle: “I am still every age that I have been. Because I was once a child, I am always a child. Because I was once a searching adolescent, given to moods and ecstasies, these are still part of me, and always will be… This does not mean that I ought to be trapped or enclosed in any of these ages…the delayed adolescent, the childish adult, but that they are in me to be drawn on; to forget is a form of suicide… Far too …

Thoughts for a Birthday

Birthdays are funny things.  You know intellectually that you are only one day older than you were the day before. But the flipping of the year – in my case from 62 to 63 – has effects that have nothing to do with intellect and everything to do with your emotions. In approaching this year’s birthday, I’ve been focused on the fact that life is short.  I’ve written in the past about the need to savor every moment.  However, when you truly recognize that life is short, you think about how that knowledge will change the way you live. You begin to think about the things that matter, and the things that get in the way of the things that matter. I can only speak from the perspective of someone still in the workplace, but it is easy to find all-too-many instances from the working world that get in the way of your focus on what matters: useless meetings without agenda or purpose, process designed without thought, colleagues looking to you to do their work. …

Lesson #61: You Never Know…

Earlier this week, two colleagues and I were “stranded” in New Orleans because of multiple flight cancellations back to DC.  Monday evening they surprised me by taking me out for an early birthday dinner at a wonderful restaurant called Herbsaint – which just happens to be where the husband of the former executive assistant who made a cameo in my 60 Lessons From 60 Years (Lesson #18) now works. One of those colleagues just sent the following message: I was struck by the juxtaposition of the two images…of David’s celebrations. I think the takeaway is that you should always go ahead and have the deep fried lamb neck, dirty rice with sausage, fantastic pinot, and decadent dessert when you have the opportunity. You never know what comes next! I think I’ve just discovered Lesson #61. More to come… DJB

Fat Tuesday Birthdays…

…are MUCH better that Ash Wednesday birthdays.  Trust me, I’ve had both in my life.  So when this year’s special day fell on Fat Tuesday, I decided to celebrate by…eating! (What else?) Three meals out, and three delicious and artful Happy Birthday treats.  The first one, shown above, was courtesy of my boss, who felt bad that I had to attend a business breakfast on my birthday.  Thank you Stephanie! The second one – a delightful cheese tray – came courtesy of the fabulous Iron Gate Inn.  I’ve had two meals there in the past three weeks, and it is quickly becoming a favorite.  If you don’t believe me, read Tom Sietsema’s review in the Washington Post. And the last one… …was this fantastic chocolate bourbon mousse, topped with fresh whipped cream, shaved chocolate, and raspberries.  This flavorful concoction was Candice’s creation. Thank you, my love! And with that, it is very appropriate that Lent begins tomorrow. More to come (but not too much more for the next couple of days!)… DJB

It was twenty years ago today

On a bright, clear, and wintery Sunday morning — December 20, 1992 — two infants, each barely over 5 pounds in size, entered and forever changed our world. Of course, we didn’t know it at the time, because we wouldn’t learn of their birth from the adoption agency until the next morning. But when I heard that they were born around 11:50 a.m. (and Claire will know who came out first and how much older that twin is than Andrew), I recalled that at the  very moment of their birth I was singing the ancient carol There Is No Rose of Such Virtue on the last Sunday of Advent. Knowing that their birth mother could deliver at any time, we were certainly – in that Advent season — looking forward to those births. And we’ve been singing ever since. Claire and Andrew came home with us on January 14, 1993. They received a royal welcome from friends and family, who decorated the house with balloons, left strollers and diapers on the front porch, and brought …

A Note of Thanksgiving As I Enter My 58th Year

I had difficulty getting out of bed today…the last morning wake up of my 57th year. For some inexplicable reason my life is full – on the verge of overflowing – on the eve of my 57th birthday.  (I had to ask Candice, and she confirmed – when you turn 57 you are beginning your 58th year.  I never was great at math.)  First and foremost, Candice is wrapping up her stay in the hospital after successful hip replacement surgery on Wednesday.  We head home today to continue the recovery.  Both children are getting ready to go overseas (Claire by herself to Sweden; Andrew to Costa Rica) over spring break. Yikes!  How did that happen? My sister texted me last night to say my father went to the emergency room with a lung infection, high enzymes, and low sodium…and the news got worse when she called to say he had a mild heart attack this morning. I just spoke with my brother and Dad just came out of surgery where they found 95% blockage in one …