Numbers are funny things. I’m no math whiz, but I spend a lot of time with numbers. Numbers fascinate me. I’ve been thinking about 53 for days. Today is my 53rd birthday. It’s not a spectacular benchmark, as birthdays go, but I didn’t really expect to see this one as a younger woman. So. There’s that. ๐Ÿ™‚

A new day. A new year. New choices. New opportunities.

A new day. A new year. New choices. New opportunities.

Fun facts about 53? It’s a prime number. I’m not sure I’m actually ‘in my prime’ though, some days. There are more facts about 53ย readily at hand on Wikipedia, and elsewhere. In the meantime, aging is a thing. Real, and if one is fortunate, inevitable.

I have no elaborate birthday plans, no lengthy wish list for birthday gifts, no unmet need so specificย that only cash exchanged for goods, wrapped in paper, and provided to me precisely between dinner and dessert will address it. I struggled to come up with something to want, beyond my traveling partner’s good company, and the well-wishes of friends.

53. 53? 53. Definitely 53. Tired more often than I’d like to be. In more pain some days than I can easily manage. I weigh a few pounds more than I’d like. Certain the career I had doesn’t suit me. Uncertain where my journey will take me next. Standing betweenย what was and what will be, awake, aware, and content to continue the journey, mostly without a map. Wiser than at 23…but I thought so at 33 and 43 too, and I look back on those moments with a smile; I didn’t know as much as I thought I did, and wisdom was more of an idea, a hope, and a goal. I suspect that is still the case, at 53, and that I will be smiling at my idealistic foolishness, mistakes, and wrong-headedness, at 63, 73, 83… if I am aroundย to test the theory, I’ll be grateful. I’m grateful to be here, now. Grateful that most of what isn’t ideal can be chosen differently.

What do I want for my birthday? Something intangible. Something I already have. Love. Contentment. The pleasure of my traveling partner’s companionship (although he is not in this room, now, we’ll spend much of the day together, later). I want to feel good. Enjoy the day. Sure, I want to be adored, it’s my birthday…enjoying the day is enough. Sometimes the unexpected, the unplanned, the unsought moment is what makes a day memorable; why chain myself down with plans and expectations today? It’s my birthday. ย ๐Ÿ™‚