A Birthday’s Worth of Gratitude

English: A chocolate birthday cake

English: A chocolate birthday cake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You don’t get but one day a year to celebrate, or at least quietly admit, that you’ve gotten a year older.

In my case, it came with a little baggage (the start of a pension and aging up for competitive swimming and running purposes), but it’s still good to be here. Dinner tonight was out; after all, what’s a birthday celebration if  you’re doing all the work?

Dinner was about wine, seafood, truffles, cream sauce and a small piece of chocolate cake. I shared the cake with The Husband. Normally, I don’t share chocolate anything with anyone. I’d sooner use my fork to stab you through both hands, in fact. But he was paying for dinner, and by dessert I was getting a bit full, and thinking that my cholesterol meds deserved to work less tonight.

On the way home, the passing scenery, so familiar because I see it going to work and coming home, caught my attention anew. It wasn’t the buildings, trees or the sunset. It was the people.

I saw people walking home with big packages, and I know these people do this because walking is their only means of getting from Point A to Point B. I walk a lot, but I do it for exercise and by choice.

I saw people hauling groceries from store to car, shopping on a Saturday night because they have no other time to get it done. My time is tight, but I have options. I can get groceries on my lunch hour, on weeknights or on the weekend.

I saw people pedaling old bikes, coming from hard labor jobs: dirt-streaked, sweaty, sunburned; carrying lunch boxes or bags of takeout food home to waiting families. I cycle, but my ride is nice, and it’s because I want the workout.

I know many people did not eat as well as I did tonight, and never will. For them, the words “fine dining” are as foreign as any language besides their own. Their food is discounted, donated and found via dumpster diving by necessity. Their homes are often not their own, and not places of safety and comfort, as mine is. Their job choices are dictated by how little education and access they have, not by how much they know, who they know and the technology that’s available, but not to them.

Happy birthday to me. It’s not bad to be me, though it can be better. But at least I have choices.

 

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Filed under Aging, Chocolate, family, food, inspirations, thought

3 responses to “A Birthday’s Worth of Gratitude

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