Happy Days

 

I enjoyed a perfect birthday. I am very happy I was born in April and I have especially enjoyed it since “they” named April 22 the official Earth Day. I know it has more to do with Spring and blooming flowers than me, but it feels personal. Then there were all the flowers, cards, messages and gifts from family and friends to remind me that my presence here on Planet Earth does make a difference.

Mother Earth and I are One – we are in perfect accord. I stop and smell the flowers, I smile at the blue skies, and I visit the ocean often. Like RW Emerson and the other Transcendentalists, I find God in Nature.

Did you know that more people are born in April than any other month? We are closer to our animal nature than we might like to think. We pop out and announce our presence with gusto, just like little sheep or goats. We are on the same schedule as the spring flowers and go through the same process of youth, maturity and old age as they do.

In my heart, I am the same person that I was at age 11, 18, 35, 50 or 65 but this was birthday #79. That makes me old and I notice it physically. However, I find the ageless Jane is a very active part of my emotional and spiritual nature. I am One with all the different ages of Jane.

Memory is part of what makes me different from those little goats and sheep. Since I am human, I can think about the past and the present as well as the future.

I have memory and I am capable of thought and belief. I think and believe that I am one with a Power For Good that is eternal and greater than my physical body. I am One with Life.

Birthdays are great days for reflection and as I have aged, I have become more reflective. This year felt very special to me, partly because I have more time and partly because writing this blog has made me pay more attention to my life.

My birthday seemed perfect in so many ways and I did focus on the many blessings of the day. There were some surprises but no disappointments. I was surprised my coffee maker died but I was happy that I had an answer when my daughter asked the proverbial birthday question. “I want a new coffee pot,” I answered. “I want one just like the old one  – with no fancy buttons – just on and off.

So I got a coffee pot and everyone was happy! I also got to choose a restaurant for lunch after church. When the Greek restaurant had a sign on the door that said, “Never on Sunday,” I got a second choice and that was Mexican. I probably would have gone for Chinese if I had to come up with three wishes but two were enough.

Today, my house looks like a florist’s shop. The church sent flowers home with me. My nephew gave me an orchid. A friend who lives a long way off sent me a big lovely bouquet by telegraph. I love flowers and have taken up drawing them as a new expression of my art hobby.

Perhaps the best gifts of all were the ones from my artistic friends. Leah Oviedo gave me her new book about building your own affirmations. It is filled with delightful illustrations and ideas suitable for young adults. To see her book, go to writewhatyour know.wordpress.com

My friend Jo sent me a set of note cards that featured her brilliant photographs. I will probably keep them all because they seem too precious to use.

My brother John sent me a new link to his enlarged website. I love the way he has developed into a serious (if non-traditional) outside artist. You can see some of his work by checking out  theartistjohn.com … but be warned that it is neither sweet nor pretty. It may startle you and/or make you think.

I started out as an art teacher many years ago and I’m now illustrating a book with my friend, Gina Ogden. Although I’ve always been interested in art, this is an entirely new venture for me. They say it is good for the elderly to do new things and I guess doing the drawings for a pillow book about love and sex is a new thing.

Old age is more than a time to recite your health problems or count your money. It is a time to do new things and more importantly, it is a time to reflect on the blessings in your life. I took Sunday afternoon and evening to reflect on some of mine. If you are reading this post, you are a blessing in my life and I am grateful for you.

One of the gifts of maturity has been to see how well people actually do over the long haul. About twenty years ago, I began to see that my friends and family really were like the characters in novels. They may have struggled through heroic trials and tribulations, but they achieved a great deal. I have learned that you should never give up.

I have learned many lessons in life. One is that perseverance pays off. Another is that the aging process brings a lot of joy. I count my blessings nearly every day and I am truly grateful for how well most things have turned out in my life.

If you were one of the many people who sent me a birthday greeting, thank you. If you didn’t then next year will be even better because I’ll be entering an exciting new decade. Imagine that – I once dreamed of being grown up and now I am. Isn’t life amazing?

Ask yourself

How do I feel about age?

Am I grateful for my life so far?

What are ten things I am grateful for?

 

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5 Comments on “Happy Days”

  1. Impower You says:

    I am so happy your birthday was perfect and that you enjoyed my book. I am totally with you on keeping electronics simple. A very basic on and off button makes mornings easier.

    Thank you for sharing John’s art. It’s indeed whimsical. I like how colorful his paintings are and the face make me smile.

    As for the questions, I feel just fine about my age. I always figure that if I don’t like it, than in just 364 days it will change. I am indeed grateful for my life and I can easily think of 10 things (and even more people) to be grateful for. (^_^)

    Thank you for the shout out, my blog is http://writewhatuknow.wordpress.com

  2. Rachel Lampert says:

    Dr. Jane
    You are a blessing in my life. In fact my life took a turn for the better the day I met you almost eigthteen years ago. How time flys when you’re having fun.
    I love you
    Rachel

  3. […] just turned 79.  I wanted to share her reflections on her birthday and on aging in general:Happy Daysby janeclaypool I enjoyed a perfect birthday. I am very happy I was born in April and I have […]

    • janeclaypool says:

      Hi Maia,
      I am happy to have you share this blog entry and I hope it will bring me more readers. You said I was one of your teachers? I would like to know more about that. Love,
      Jane

  4. Mari Saavedra says:

    Jane,
    My heart sings with joy knowing that you had a great B-D celebration. Too bad I missed it, but, being that the universe is infinite and timeless, your B-D could be also today. So, HAPPY BIRTH-DAY, my dearest, dearest mentor, friend, and great role model. Felicidades, besos, abrazos, y mucho amor!!! Hope to see you soon.


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