Just Life

Currents | Fifty-nine.

Happy Wednesday friends, and Happy Birthday to me! Today I’m celebrating fifty-nine years … and the first day of my 60th trip around the sun. I love the birthday tradition I started last year, to pause and reflect on what is right now.

First, though, a shoutout to the background in this photo. We had a prayer service at church this morning and I had time after to walk the labyrinth out back, notice these camellias, and pause for a photo. I don’t know who decided that chrysanthemum should be the birthday flower for November, because camellias are certainly prettier, and they smell so much better. I’ve been a fan for 56 years!
Embracing another season of staying close to home, and so grateful that still affords me the opportunity to see friends and family. My birthday gift to myself was a few new candles and a few new Athleta tops. I guess I’m also embracing cozy.

Wearing jeans and sweaters or leggings and sweatshirts, and still (a year later) unsettled about how to cover my ankles when I go outside. My shoe wardrobe is Uggs, boots, sneakers, and flats. I really need to figure this out before 60 because “grown up”!

Eating macarons (and later pasta and ice cream). because birthday!

Drinking red wine, coffee, and tea. and looking forward to the cranberry sparkling water we found at Costco yesterday.

Listening to books. this Spotify playlist. and sometimes, just the sounds of the house.

Reading the Aspen Long List, a few new releases, and selections for bookclub. looking forward to getting into some of my own backlist and a bunch of books sitting on my shelves.

Watching The Great British Bakeoff (this season has seen some fantastic contestants and bakes, but ugh, we’re disappointed with the few that are headed to the semi-final), the latest season of Grantchester (does anyone still watch this? it was on Masterpiece last month and Marc recorded it), and – still! – the latest season of Ted Lasso.

Needing to figure out the bookshelves in my house. We have plenty, but most of them are full of something other than books. and right now (currently 😉 ) I want them to be full of books.

Wanting to get back into a yoga routine. I really enjoyed the 10-15 minute a day practice that I did a few weeks back. and I loved feeling sore in a good way the next morning. I tried daily yoga back in 2015 and that was a bit much, so we’ll see where I end up. I do know that flexibility, strength, and balance are still my goals, maybe even more so now, so we’ll see.

Wishing for Sara to get into her own home. She found out last week that it would be “January” (when she signed the contract last May it was “October”). She’s been a trooper, and we love having her with us, but …

Hoping for a renewed season of spiritual growth … Advent is always good for that. and I’m hoping for some deeper connections with my small group. I’ve made connections with two women in my small group and I need to follow-up. I also need to keep exploring on my own.

Wondering just how far the vaccines will take us. My experience with the vaccines wasn’t great (a day in bed) – and I had a nasty flu shot reaction, too. but I’d happily sign up for that every year if it meant we could gather/travel safely. There are places I still want to visit – in the US and other countries, and I don’t have unlimited time …

Practicing presence. and y’all it’s hard.

Planning to talk to Sara about a Thanksgiving menu. and getting myself totally into the space that toasted cheese sandwiches would be fine. in fact, maybe even perfect?

… and these last two entries I copied from last year. and they’re still perfect. I always love when past me does good stuff, and she did!

Saying Thank You to y’all for stopping by. especially if you take the time to comment!

Celebrating the opportunity to make another trip around the sun. with family and friends who love me.

xxoo. and one last look at this birthday’s camellia

19 Comments

  • Juliann

    First – Happy Birthday and how lovely to see your face.
    Second – I passed that 60 year mark a bit ago and I’m not sure covering your ankles is a thing. Unless your ankles are cold.
    Third – Love this reflection. You are so good and faithful with this. A beautiful practice. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  • Bonny

    Happy Birthday, and I wish you a wonderful, healthy year ahead. I know that you are much more fashionable than I am, but I decided that sneakers, Merrell clogs, and Uggs are perfect for this 64-year-old (especially because Uggs are just like my slippers!) My fingers are crossed that January is a real date for Sara. The sellers of Ryan’s house were originally told July, and they had a 30 day contingency in our contract, just in case. They used it, and we moved Ryan in at the end of August, but their new place now won’t be done until December. Enjoy your birthday cake and those Thanksgiving grilled cheese!

  • Honore´

    The camelia is lovley and the perfect accompaniament to your birthday celebration !

    Love the idea of grilled cheese sandwiches on Thanksgiving, especially with a dollop or two of cranberry sauce, made from whole cranberries…hmm, I feel a thought forming: add fresh cranberries to shopping list – no need to wait til Thanksgiving to fix.

    Do continue to enjoy your 60th trip around the sun… I am delighted that we get to celebrate with you!
    Cheers~

  • Jane

    Happy Birthday Mary! Fifty nine on you is as beautiful as the camelia. I am happy you have so much good to celebrate. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

  • Debbie

    Happy Birthday, I wish you all the best for the coming year!
    My shoes are mainly Allbirds, Birkenstocks, Ugg boots, and a pair of Clark black flats. I really love Allbirds and have several pairs.
    Thanks for the playlist recommendation, the playlist I’ve been recommending to everyone is Autumn in New York.
    Take care, Mary, and enjoy your birthday!

  • Cathy

    Happy Birthday. I’m ten years older than you, having an October birthday. Where did those last ten years go too? Enjoy absolutely everything. Not sure what the issue is with ankles? I just settle for comfy footwear these days. Sounds like you are really thinking through this phase of your life, all I can say is go for it while you can. Wanting an adventure, do it as soon as you can, tomorrow maybe too late.

  • Kat

    Happy (belated) Birthday! (and YES! I really enjoy Grantchester! In fact they were my companion yesterday as I began the task of sewing on 24 buttons! lol)

  • Sarah

    I am so sorry I missed wishing you a very happy birthday yesterday, so my belated good wishes! Thank you for being my friend and role model!

    Sorry to hear that Sara’s move-in date has been pushed back. I know you enjoy having her there but want her to have her own space, too.

    I wish I had a solution for cold ankles. It seems there is a trend (or was, in the past couple of years) for pants to not come all the way down and leave the ankles exposed. Wearing socks covers the gap but also looks a little goofy with my usual clogs. At least no one sees me these days so I don’t care!

    Sending you good vibes today.

  • April

    Happy birthday Mary!!! I’m a day late, but I know when you were born, they kept celebrating your arrival for many days. May you be blessed with peace, love, quiet, health, and feel the embrace of God’s love every day. Please keep reading and knitting. You inspire me and, I’m sure, many others.
    ❤️🎂🍾

  • Margene

    Maybe it’s being 70 but I don’t feel it’s a problem to wear handknit socks (mostly stripy) with clogs or sneakers and leggings. I get comments about how cool my socks are all the time. How about short boots for dressing up. I love that look and need to find a pair of my own. How beautiful you are (inside and out) to send so much positive joy out into the universe. Your reflections are introspectively inspiring. Thank you for sharing so much of your life. You make many connections in all aspects of your life and that certainly takes presence to do so. Celebrate your special day all week! All month! All year! You will have a great year while inching closer to that magic number. XO

  • Penelope Witthauer

    I am so inspired by you and look forward to every Mere-et-Filles posts. I wish you a wonderful 60th year. It’s a great decade, full of growth and exploration.

  • Lydia

    Looking forward to joining you on parts of this journey. Toasted cheese sandwiches- yes please! My committment to yoga has certainly helped me balance on one foot the last day +! Wish I’d gotten on this ban wagon a LONG time ago. So good for the body.