Today I'm smiling because... it's my birthday! But I'm actually, really smiling because I'm turning a year older.
I'll be honest - I've never liked getting older. Not one bit. When I was a wee kid, I was never in a hurry to grow up (and I'm still not!). I always thought the time would eventually come, why rush it? Why not enjoy what you have now? Of course, back then I was convinced that by the time I turned 25 I would have somehow changed the world. These days I despised getting older as it meant I couldn't escape adult responsibilities whether I liked it or not, and it almost feels as if all the hopes and aspirations I had of myself when I was younger are catching up on me as I start realising I'm not quite where I imagined to be. Not that I actually still want to be a rockstar now, but that could have been nice... Plus, older is synonymous with wrinkles and facial lines. Gah!
And I'll be honest again - up until just a few days ago, I was dreading the fact that I was turning older, then I read something in the weekend newspaper that resonated with me. A woman who was being interviewed shared an epiphany that radically changed her outlook on the way she viewed getting older. On her birthday she was visited by a friend who had lost her sister to cancer a few years ago, and her friend said a line which struck a chord in her, "We are so incredibly lucky to be able to grow older."
So today, I'm grateful to be still alive.
I'm grateful for having a loving family who, even though reside in a different country, call me at 12:00am on the dot to wish me happy birthday.
I'm grateful for being surrounded by wonderful colleagues who are always lovely to me and treat me with great respect. My teammates surprised me with a birthday cake...
...a colleague thoughtfully got another pack of M&M's for me when he went to the vending machine...
...while another colleague gave me a bottle of bubbly.
I'm grateful for having amazing friends like Wei Wei, who I can laugh for hours with tirelessly.
I'm grateful for my ability to be so easily amused. It keeps me sane.
I'm grateful for having an amazing boyfriend who treats me exceptionally well, always goes an extra mile for me no matter how tired he is, and freakishly manages to remember fleeting comments I made years ago about liking certain things...
...Brett made me Nyonya lam mee, always known as birthday noodles, from scratch again this year!
I'm grateful to be alive on this beautiful sunny day.
I don't know how I got this lucky!