Birthdays tend to make us reflective, nasty thing that. It’s Friday afternoon, the western skies outside my windows are blooming in shades of blue, purple, and pink, and I’m home in my bata with a wineglass at my elbow. I should be out at some happy hour starting a parranda, instead I’m here being all emo, and shit.
Today’s NaBloPoMo prompt was evil, but I’m not feeling it, so off script we go again. When you work in the court system, you can’t help but see evil in all its manifestations. When murder and mayhem is your bread and butter, you don’t really want to reflect upon it in your off hours.
As far as lives go, mine has been blessed. My dysfunctions kept to a minimum. Yeah, ok, I straighten pictures that are hung crookedly and the first thing I do when I sit down at a restaurant is straighten out the silverware, but that’s minor. In the past I’ve written about my separation and subsequent divorce. I’ve given you the Readers Digest version of my life, I’ve written a love letter to aging, and I’ve even contemplated retirement. But today, as I was reconciling my time and attendance at work, I saw entries in my calendar that made me reflect upon my stage of life. The stage where you are attending more retirement parties and funerals than weddings and baby showers.
We acknowledge that death is a part of life; this year I had two family members die, women who were very important to me at different stages of my life. At work, I lost two co-workers with whom I worked for many years. Both of my parents have been hospitalized in the past twelve months and I haven’t been there. I hate that they’re so far away from me.
Of course, the flip side is that the family has had three babies born, I attended a beautiful wedding, and there are weddings and more babies on the way for next year. Life has balance.
I enjoyed a vacation in Puerto Rico with my parents and sister, something we hadn’t done together in forty years. Yes, we’ve had family vacations in Florida and Dominican Republic, but never just the four of us. We didn’t get to do everything on the agenda, but that’s ok, I got my first capicu and that has to count for something.
Professionally, it was a good year. Invitations to speak at a national juvenile justice conference and at a college’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration were just the highlights. I continue to volunteer as a board member for an agency working with children and juveniles who have mental health issues and I continue to be a voice for the general public on the Attorney Ethics Committee.
And there was fun to be had. Birthday parties, the grown and the kiddie kind. Yankee games. Being Latino. United People for Latinos in Film, Theater, and TV. Happy Cancer Chick. Soledad Speaks. Monthly brunches with my ladies. Family gatherings and bbqs. Movie screenings. Concerts. My baby girl’s 30th birthday. Writing our Lives writing workshop. Crazy fun at video shoots.
It’s been a good year. Every year is a good year when you get right down to it. If you are reading this post, you have been a part of my joy. I have prayed for you, I have laughed with you, you have been a part of my life no matter what. And I thank you.
Tomorrow evening I will join with my family and famigos and we will raise a glass to my 55 years on this Earth. Many people haven’t had the honor of reaching this age. Many others have gone above and beyond. If you give me a thought tomorrow, please do it with a smile at one of my smartass remarks.
So here’s to double nickels, Bitches!