I celebrated my 45th birthday on the 25th of March. We're pretty low-key about birthdays in my family but always have a fun time. My family - that is my family of origin - makes a point of going out to eat together to celebrate birthdays. Our dining experience is more about family time than fine food - our favorite Birthday dinner spots are Perkins and Q. Cumbers - and if we give gifts they tend to be somewhat silly or practical.
This year on the day before my Birthday I, Owen and the kids met my parents, my two brothers and my two-year-old nephew at Q. Cumbers for a fun birthday dinner. It may sound silly but while I was up loading my plate at the salad bar buffet I had this overwhelming feeling of being loved - not because of the salad bar offerings (which were wonderful) but because my family members all took time to have dinner with me. In our busy world, spending time with people is one of the best gifts of all! Then we walked around Centennial Lakes Park and talked while we enjoyed the unseasonably nice weather - more family time. More time feeling loved and appreciated.
On Sunday, my actual birthday, Owen, the kids and I went on a bike ride on the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis and then went to a wonderful bike shop/coffee shop, Angry Catfish. Later we settled in at home to open presents and make pizzas for dinner. I mentioned that presents in my family tend to be somewhat silly or practical - very often things that we would have purchased anyway. Owen tells me that the kids had a lot to do with picking out my gifts this year. They picked out some cool things for me, like the Kuhn Rikon mini-prep kitchen knife that Ryan picked out for me (probably in part because I know he wanted it, too!)
Even if I don't cash in all of my tickets (though I will, I'm sure, take advantage of "2 hours of whatever you want" soon) Rose's gift has already served a great purpose. She reminded me that I already have the Tickets to Happiness - and they are not tickets or things but people - Friends. Relatives. Neighbors. Parents. Brothers. Nephew. And especially Owen, Ryan and my Rose. My Family. I am so blessed.