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Birthday Roast Turned Toast

I don’t remember when my perspective on my birthdays shifted, but I think maybe it was around age 50.

You know, it does kinda jolt a person to be given black balloons and a bunch of “over the hill” messages. People mean well, and it is humorous to joke about it at age 40; but ten years of journeying through life later, at age 50, I was laughing on the outside but feeling remorse on the inside.

The older one gets, the faster time seems to go; and I sense the overriding sentiment is that more of the life journey is behind you, rather than out in front. Even though I know one’s mindset actually generates the thoughts that creates the feelings and then ultimately the projection on the movie we are living, it is challenging to escape the predominant paradigm.

“You are only as old as you feel…” was just a saying I heard; and looking back now, I can say I was age 54 when I began to embody it. So, I am truly free from the dark cloud of “over the hill” messages coming from the matrix. Yep! And I see evidence of that even more now as I just celebrated my 70th birthday last week.

My sister, Joy, and my friend/business associate, Amanda, both encouraged me to celebrate this big event with friends, and I finally agreed with the thought that people could come together, and bring their presence (no presents) and “roast me” — help me laugh out loud about the escapades and adventures we have experienced over the past few decades.

I found the perfect place, in a private room within an Irish Pub in Lake Oswego, near my home. Twenty-seven of my friends and family — and of course my partner, Mark, who was in on the planning — filled the space with laughter and love. Joy had collected pictures of me from different stages of my life and designed a banner that hung on the wall where people could write a message or a memory, and then she had a chocolate cake (the special one-of-a-kind Belgian recipe) with 7 candles — one for each decade. I made my wish, and then another surprise.

The Roast turned out to be a Toast. One by one, beginning with Joy, people came forward and shared their heartfelt appreciation for friendship, business partnerships, family bonding, and of course some funny incidents that were true memory-makers. I was touched, moved, and inspired to tears. Amazingly, I took it all in, practicing my new habit of receiving; and much to my surprise, I found myself speechless and overwhelmed with a deep sense of gratitude for the love I was surrounded by. It is such a great acknowledgment to know that Who I have been becoming over these past 7 decades is making a difference.

Over the past week, I have read and reread the birthday cards with so many thoughtful messages and one thing has become clear:

I see that the dream in my heart is coming true. My desire to help others has been received and even more so. The personal movie on my screen shows beautiful scenes of people helping others and paying it forward in a multitude of ways. 

I am even more determined now  to live my legacy, channeling focused and loving energy with other heart-centered Change-makers for the intergenerational learning models, where we all learn sooner rather than later how important it is to bring who we are to what we do in ways that allows us all to be the change we want to see in the world!

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