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Who Knew That Expecting Less Could Make Your Life So Much Better?


So October 7th is my birthday and also my dad’s birthday! The story goes that Mom actually held me inside her body for three extra weeks so she could have me on Dad’s birthday. Where there’s a will there's a way and if anyone can do it, Shirley can!

In the past, you would usually be reading posts in anticipation of my birthday because I love to PARRRR-TAYYYY for the entire month of October.

But not this year…

This year I was in a funk.

I had just returned from Tanzania and Zanzibar. I was jetlagged, tired and, quite frankly, a little off. Strangely, I was kind of letting everyone know to not worry about celebrating—and that is sooooo not like me!

So, I was not expecting really anything to happen but a few calls from my family and Mom and Dad having me over for dinner.

On Friday night I went dancing and a friend of mine surprised me at the club with balloons, cake and even candles. I don’t get embarrassed easily but I actually blushed a little when the whole club stopped to sing Happy Birthday to me!

In the morning, I had breakfast at Natalia’s with my dad and sister, who came in from out of town. It was so fun hanging out with just the two of them. On our walk back, Dad put his arms around both of us and shared how much he loved us. The sun was on our faces, our tummies were full, and our hearts were full too.

Then my friends organized a beautiful hike up Cape Horn Skye. They packed brownies and wine to toast to me at the top of the mountain. We cheered, did pencil jumps, and I climbed a tree and pretended to be riding a bucking bronco (this was AFTER the wine of course). I don’t know if I was out of breath from hiking or laughing so hard.

Later that day my daughter and her family surprised me and my parents hosted a dinner party. Everyone at dinner said something that they loved about the birthday girl (me) and boy (Dad). There was laughter and tears. My heart was just bursting with love from all of the kindness. I felt so complete and loved. Even though I am alone, I’m not lonely. Love just comes from all kinds of places and fills up the cracks of your broken heart if you let it.

But there was more. The next morning a walk with my sis and breakfast at Next Dough Neighbors and Squeeze and Grind because—why have one breakfast when you can have two? Can you say sweet and savory? Then another adventure out to Moulton Falls for a small hike to the beautiful bridge and then lunch at Moulton Falls Winery. Finished the afternoon at Pomeroy Farms where we enjoyed the hayride and other farm-style activities. My grandson had a blast and it felt like old times being back at the pumpkin patch with my kids, except now they have kids!

Christine and Roger offered to host me for dinner that night but I was “partied out!” I didn’t think it was possible but I had been celebrated non-stop the entire weekend. I had laughed, cried, hiked, chased and played with my grandson, hugged my family and felt so incredibly loved that I actually declined a dinner date!

Later that night I had a few facetime calls with some favorite people to finish off my weekend.

And here is what I learned. So many times I have tried to organize some big celebration and, if people didn’t show or things didn’t quite work out like I had planned them, I would feel disappointed and frustrated. I especially have struggled with this on Mother’s Day, but I’ll save that for another post. The point is when I relaxed and allowed others to lean in, they did! It’s like “Opposite Day” where I said, “I’m good with doing nothing” and everyone jumps in and does everything. I think sometimes we put too much pressure on a situation or on people to make something perfect and yet, if we release control, it all unfolds as it should.

Now speaking of BIG BIRTHDAYS and BIG THINGS, I have some exciting news to share—travel tours are about to be released!

Talk about low expectations—all you have to do is sign up for text updates and that will keep you in the loop of what’s happening. No pressure. Just a chance to hear a little more

Text "Tours" to (209) 721-6830 to get updates.



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