Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Through Others' Eyes

The most precious gift that you can give to someone you love is to steadfastly fix your gaze upon the very best of that person and never let it falter.
~ Gwendolyn Campbell

Well, it happened.

I turned 50.

Amazingly enough, the world didn't come to an end.  ;)

Although, now that I think about it, the date is relatively close to the "end of the world" supposedly predicted by the Mayans...

Okay, I know what you are thinking - that's not until December.  But still, I'm within 4 months of the end of a 5,125 year cycle...  That's within 0.007%!  I'd call that close...  

Anyways, while there are some signs of my mind slipping (see above Mayan digression), the transition to a new decade was relatively uncataclysmic.

I most decidedly did not want a big fuss and, going into it, was hoping that we could all just ignore it and pretend that it didn't happen.  But my husband, Ana and my friends wouldn't let that happen.

Instead, they found a way to take the sting out of the day and make me feel very loved and very, very lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful people in my life!

Ana, with some help from a friend, made a 3 1/2 minute YouTube video, full of photos of me and special times in my life, set to music.  :)

My friends put together a gift basket filled with my favorite snacks (Fritos and dark chocolates) and gift cards to my favorite places (including, of course, Joann's!).  But the most wonderful thing they did was to create a scrapbook for me - and they included 50 colorful index cards, each inscribed with something specific that they love about me.  :)

It turns out that my husband had a very similar idea (independently) and he wrote me a three-page letter that started with these words:

To Gwen, on the occasion of our 30th anniversary and your 50th birthday     Five Things I Really Love About You     Dear Gwen: It occurs to me that the cards I give you on these occasions often only have a very small, generic message from me followed by “Love, Scott”. Mostly this is because I reckon that I already have said to you most of the things I would write and I’m afraid of being a bore by repeating myself. But I’ve been thinking lately that, at least once, I should put into words all the things that are in my mind when I sign “Love, Scott”. And being a year where both our anniversary and your birthday are nice round numbers, this is probably as good a time as any. So here are five things I really love about you:

Everyone wrote about how they see me.  And I did recognize some bits of myself - I do love to tell stories, I love to laugh, it's the people in my life who give me joy and I love starting a brand new pad of paper at work!  (Even if I haven't finished the old one...)

But some of the other things were said - it seemed like they were describing some amazing woman that I would love to get to meet some day...  

And it occurred to me that one of the most amazing and wonderful things about all these people in my life is that, despite knowing me for years and having been exposed to all of my flaws and warts, they still see the good things in me and believe in me.  

And they think those things are more important than my flaws and warts.  

And that makes me want to try to live up to their vision of me...  

And it makes me one very, very, very lucky woman.  :)


  1. Happy Belated Birthday! Yes, you are fortunate, in so many ways. And remember--the best is yet to come!

    1. Thanks, Gwen! That's what a lot of folks have told me... So far, so good! :)

  2. Happy Birthday! Remember, it's only a number; it's only a number ... du-dum, du-dum, du-dum!

    1. That's what my husband always says!

      Thanks, Mary! :)

  3. Happy belated birthday! And wow, what a thoughtful gift from your husband and friends!

    1. Thanks, Becky! Yes, it was wonderful - they turned a day I was dreading into a fun, joyful day and a memory that I will treasure forever. :)

  4. Happy birthday, even if I am late!

    1. Thanks, Elaina! Good wishes are never late! ;)