Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

When You Look at the Steps in Your Life and Realize You Were Learning to Dance All Along

Wow—what a week!! I had a significant birthday recently, and everyone kept asking me if I was okay about it.

When I think back to my last significant birthday, I felt so miserable and so terrified and so alone.  In this past decade I experienced a great deal of hurt. But I  learned from it. Am learning from it. And what I am learning is how wonderful it is to be around truly loving souls again.  
And can you guess what some of the kind, loving souls in my life did? They threw me a dinner party…to distract me from an even bigger surprise party! These pictures show the birthday glasses they made me wear. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. My former sister-in-law even flew out here from San Francisco.  As if their presence wasn’t enough of a present, I felt absolutely showered with love. Then they gave me gifts—both silly and serious—and a journal in which every person there told how we had met and become friends…a gift that is, like these friends, truly among the greatest treasures of life.

When I was a teenager, my goal was to become a fully self-actualized human being by the end of my life. It’s been a much longer, harder road than I ever could have imagined. But as I age, I learn that life really is more about the journey than the arrival. It’s about knowing we are, at this moment, on the right path. Or maybe even just on a path. When I look back at my past and see all of the mistakes I’ve made, I’m horrified. But when I look back at how very far I’ve come with the help of my genuine loved ones, I am much more satisfied. And how far I’ve come has so altered the quality of my life that I awaken every day and am so grateful that I’ve been allowed another day, another step.

That’s what aging is. Another day. Another step along the path. Another chance to love more, to learn more. To dance more.
Okay with aging? Seriously? It is one of many ironies in life that the longer I live, the more I love life. Sometimes I think this aging thing is absolutely the greatest thing ever invented. When I am thankful for every day, every day I find I have so much to be thankful for.

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. ~Buddhist Proverb

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. ~1 Corinthians13:13


  1. Tammy,
    Your post is very inspirational. "When I am thankful for everyday, every day I find I have so much to be thankful for." You are a gem, a sparkly diamond in many lives. Thanks.

  2. Beautiful post. It tells me more about you than any of your other posts. To have the people you care about spend so much time and effort on your behalf is a testament to the kind of woman and friend you must be. You are loved and dearly valued by many. That is perhaps the most significant gift to carry with you. Happy birthday!

  3. Hi Tammy,
    Happy birthday. What an inspirational post!
    I love your spirit, and your glasses are awesome.

  4. Thank you so much Tammy for this post. I'm hitting one of those milestone birthdays too and wasn't sure I was entirely happy about it. Thanks for turning me around!

  5. Thank you all for your wonderful comments!!! Lisa, your words as usual are so charming, but I didn't deserve the horrible birthday I got ten years ago, and I probably don't deserve such a nice one now. The point is what a testimony it is to the wonderful, talented people who are in my life now compared to ten years ago. I once read an article on success (wish I could remember the author's name!) that really surprised me. When asked the secret to his success, he said a lot of it was due to picking great friends. He was absolutely right!! The most worthwhile people in life know how to make others feel wonderful...and that definitely includes all of you.

    Lana, Happy Birthday!!! Hope you have a wonderful year!

  6. Tammy, this really is a beautiful and inspirational post. I can't believe I totally missed this on my Blog Roll. Hmmm, that crazy internet gremlin!! Your glasses are fabulous, dahhhhling!! And YOU are a wonderful, well deserving, beautiful person! I'm so proud to call you my friend!


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