Today is my birthday. I’m not sure I’ve posted on my birthday before. It’s been six years this fall since I started this blog. I’ve written my way through some hard times and big news. This birthday doesn’t feel like either of those. Today I’m 48. Fifty is approaching. My good friend and day care partner Liana loved turning fifty. She had looked forward to it since she was a girl when she had an older friend she admired who was fifty. Now I’ve got loads of older friends and folks in my life leading me into the second half of life, fifty seems sort of young. Not young like thirty, which didn’t seem young when I was twenty, but does now, but young compared to sixty or seventy or eighty, which come next. Whoa. I’m not ready for any of those yet, but figure I will be when I get closer, which I will, no doubt in record time, though forty seems a ways away, and not a birthday I like to remember. Compared to forty, the idea of fifty feels great. I expect less angst, hope for less loss, less stress, less ambiguity perhaps, more grounding if I’m right and lucky. At forty I still had high hopes of making great change, and worked hard at it inside and out. At 48, I’m not so invested, and would even say not so hopeful, about my ability to do the things I wished I could do at forty, and in many ways, that feels not just ok, but good. The stuff that matters seems to be working, more or less, friends, family, work, a modest sense of community, love, home, money. I’m keeping on keeping on, and all the parts are more or less working, roof leaks and unfilled day care spots and van repairs of the day notwithstanding. I’m relatively sound of mind and body, and if those ahead of me in years are right, this matters more and more, while the other stuff matters less and less.

So, it’s been a good week. I’ve met with a million roofers and am hoping soon to decide what to do and to choose the ones to do it.  My big birthday gift is a snowblower! Go figure, the woman who trims hedges with a big set of shears is going to push a big, loud machine to plow the snow. Now to figure out how to store it and the carriages and wagon for the day care safely and securely and without too much hassle under the front porch.  We said good-bye to a beloved day care guy on Tuesday, in the last hours before Thanksgiving vacation. I have mixed feelings on that, too. His spot is only half filled, which hasn’t happened in years. He’s a lovely guy, and we will miss him and his lovely family. Richard is back and we’re walking the path, though without so much of a vision of where we’re headed as happiness in being together, hoping that will do.

My kids are home, all three since Wednesday, coming and going a bit, but here for meals, with me and our family on the Cape for Thanksgiving, here today on my birthday, up late last night in the house after dinner, here for breakfast and lunch today. Ben asked me what I wanted to do on my birthday. Brief thoughts of a trip to the ICA dimmed when I considered the glow of being at home with my kids. Really, that’s about it. Later we’ll head out, Ben to a friend’s for a post Thanksgiving bash with SVS alumns, Jonah and Isabel and I and maybe Isabella to Richard’s, where tomorrow we’ll have a big brunch and an outing to a concert I’ve been looking forward to awhile, a Crooked Still reunion, with appearances by Daisy Mayhem and another band of which I’d never heard, whose music I streamed and liked this week, sort of Ralph Stanleyish old timey tunes performed by youngish people. Then we’ll stay another night at Richard/s, return to school and home on Monday. I’ll drop the kids at their dad’s Monday night and return to a quiet house, then day care work on Tuesday. Life goes on, marching towards Christmas, birthdays, Isabel’s trip to Australia, hopefully roof repairs,

Once upon a time, I looked forward to big things, starting a school, spiritual transformation, marriage and kids and house and home. Most of that I’ve had. Some of it I’ve lost. Some may lie ahead. The not knowing has grown strong. Being happy while not knowing feels important. The kids’ well-being, all our happiness, love, family, friends, home, enough cash to make things work, all that I have for now. Thanksgiving feels about as real as it could, with gratitude for life as it is, hope and faith for the future, love all around. I don’t feel particularly inspired or inspiring. I do feel relatively at peace, well loved, strong enough for now. I’m looking forward to the day, to the shop, the packing up, the time around the house and on the road, the reunion with my guy, the life I’m living now. More than that is hard to say. I wonder if you hoped for more.