Today is my 42nd birthday. I don’t know if my mom and dad intended to make me think that my birthday is a holiday, but it definitely IS one in my mind. We didn’t do big blow out kids parties when I was growing up. We were fortunate that our extended family all lived within the same area. I am the oldest of seven cousins. We played together all the time and our birthday celebrations were family affairs. I remember that we got to pick what we wanted to eat, mom always made fabulous cakes (sour cream chocolate with mocha frosting is STILL my favorite) and it was still a celebration of existence and being part of the family. My memories include presents, new clothes, and love.
Greg asked me this morning if I remember my 21st birthday. I do! I was crazy in love, planning a wedding, looking forward to student teaching, graduating from Ohio University and getting a job in middle/high school choir directing ANYWHERE outside of Athens County. My life goals included getting my doctorate in Music Education and being teacher of the year. Hopefully, by the time I was thirty.
Amazing how, literally, half a life later, things have changed. I am still insanely, crazily in love with my husband, I am still a music educator but have traded having a Kindermusik Maestro status for the Teacher of the Year Award. I have continued to take courses to improve myself as a teacher but no longer care about actually obtaining a higher degree and title. I am the mother of two gorgeous, smart, great girls. And we STILL live in Athens County. You know what – I LOVE it here. I have always said that God meant for us to stay here and he has blessed us over and over again.
And now, this week, I have taken another step into a new segment of my life. I have begun to plan on having my own space for Kindermusik and piano lessons. The incredible people at ACENet ( a small business incubator in Athens) has agreed to take me as a tenant and is giving me the opportunity to fulfill something I thought was only a pipe dream. We will be able to offer more classes at times that are best for parents and their children. Who knew seven years ago when I started teaching just a few classes a week for someone else, that I would own my own business and be growing and thriving?
So today, I want to celebrate – not me – but all the people who have loved and supported me through the years – my parents, my sister, my extended family, Greg, the girls, my teachers and friends (past and present) without every person who has been with me at some point in my life I would not be the person I am today.
Have a fantastic day everyone! Take time to realize the blessings and count the value of what you have in your life. Choose to be content where you are and set directions to grow where you want to be. Parents – hug your children, support them in their interests and let them know you love them every day – it will pay dividends now and when they are older.