April 2021: Birthday Edition – By the Numbers

Yesterday was the beginning of a new year for me.  This last year before a new decade.  Oh my.  It was a beautiful day – in every way.  I have felt so blessed.  And I thought a bit of look back at this past year would be in order.  This past year was a doozy – not going to lie.  But there have been joys, blessings and sweet things….and I need to concentrate on those.  So, a few highlights (just a few).  By the numbers:)

EIGHT – the number of months that I have been volunteering at the food pantry.  I was beyond disappointed when volunteers were no longer allowed at the assisted living and those afternoons – spent playing UNO and other table games with my senior friends – came to an end.  I still miss them; however, new volunteer opportunities were waiting to be discovered and I have so enjoyed being at the food pantry.  A lot of it is phone work and/or computer work but I really enjoy interacting with the clients and, especially, enjoy the new friends that also volunteer.

FOUR – the number of months that it took my husband to recover from his torn quadriceps repair.  His fall, and subsequent surgery and rehab, was one of the first injury emergencies we have worked through – at least, that involved one of us and not the children…well, the boys (who did have some broken bones etc that landed us in the emergency room many years ago).   I think we handled it quite well.  I’m a mediocre nurse (would never make it as a true nurse – ever) but he was a great patient.  Four months recovering was about half the time it “typically” takes to rehab from that surgery.  So we are told:)

THIRTY-FIVE – the number of years it has been since we had an artificial Christmas tree – as in, we have never had one since we have been married.  But this was the year….and I never imagined I would ever say this – but our fake tree was beautiful.  Not a real tree – but it was completely assembled and decorated as a labor of love by our daughter…which made it beautiful.  Ah yes, and 35 is the number of years we have been married.  A “big anniversary for us – as we like to call them every five years – but we were unable to take our much-anticipated England vacation.  Heart-breaking, to be sure.  But, we will get there.

TWELVE – the number of months that my bestie and I met for our monthly breakfasts.  We did not miss a one.  I just can’t explain how much I look forward to those two hours over an omelet…and how much my tank is refueled during those breakfasts!!  Not my belly – but my “tank.”  Ha.

EIGHT – the number of Junior Church kiddos that I work with every Sunday morning.  Talk about refueling your tank!  That ministry  – and those eight children – are such a delight.  They keep me on my toes.  They make me laugh.  They help keep me young.  They fill my heart with joy and each Sunday morning is a highlight of my week.

ONE – the number of weddings I went to this last year.  It might not sound like many but the fact that even one was able to take place – and at Christmas time even – is worth remembering.  Covid restrictions did not make it easy, to be sure, but it certainly went off beautifully!  A wedding to remember:)

THREE – the number of months my husband has been retired.  Completely.  As in, at home all day – with me:)  A new season for both of us and, admittedly, one I was hesitant and unsure about.  But we have created a pretty good new rhythm and I am so happy for him.  He is loving this retired life!  We are both truly enjoying it.  Note to self:  change can be good!!

In yesterday’s post, I also promised a few random facts about the birthday girl…um, me!  This seems like a good place to insert just a few:)

– I do not like change.  This is unusual because change has not always been so challenging for me.  However, the older I get (ahem), the more I seem to resist change.  The status quo seems just fine.  Once the change takes place, very rarely do I regret it (or think to myself “I told you so”) but I definitely have to push myself.

– I am a homebody.  Not sure if I have always been a homebody or if this is any result of aging.  I actually blame covid.  But, I am very content being at home.  Although I would like to travel and plan to do so, it does not thrill me like it once did.  Even when I’m not traveling, I do not need to be on the go.  Being at home is my happy place.

– I would never make it as a nurse.  I mentioned this above but my hats off to those who are good nurses (not all of them are) but what a difference you make!  In recovery rooms, emergency rooms, offices or assisted living facilities – in so many ways – a good nurse changes everything!  Me?  I’m out at the sight of blood…or other bodily fluids.  Gag.

– I once thought I wanted to be a dairy farmer.  Only those who really know me are laughing out loud.  Not sure what I was thinking.  Although I would not have passed out as a farmer, I would not have any better suited as a farmer as I would have been a nurse.  Thankfully, God did not see to answer that prayer the way I had asked!  For what it is worth, I also “considered” life as a midwife.  See above.  Um, no.  Thankfully, most of my jobs have involved a lot of talking.  And talking?  I’ve got that!!

– I love Thai food.  It is my favorite.  But, apparently, I love American Thai food.  When I went to Thailand, I was sure I was going to enjoy nothing but amazing Thai food all day every day.  That was not the case.  I barely recognized the Thai food they were serving me in Thailand and, what I did eat, was so incredibly spicy that there was no way to taste it – much less enjoy it.  The food is hot.  Spicy hot!!  And why does so much of it have a chicken foot floating in it??

– I would love to:  learn sign language well enough to interpret, learn the clarinet, visit the UK, write a children’s book and, well, lose 50 pounds.  Might as well dream big!!

Who knows, this good be the year!  I’m looking forward to this year ahead!!  One more year before I begin the next decade.  I’m blessed and hope-filled!!   Any good tips for this last year of my 50’s??!!

3 thoughts on “April 2021: Birthday Edition – By the Numbers

  1. I am absolutely resonating with your random facts #1 and #2, Jennifer. And it makes me smile that you are focusing on ‘joys, blessings and sweet things.’


  2. I loved reading all about your last year “by the numbers,” and also the random facts you shared about yourself. I can relate to the first two as well, although I think the older I get, I’m actually getting BETTER at change. (Trust me, though, I had LOTS of room to improve.) As for being content at home, yes—that’s me in a nutshell. 🙂

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