Birthday perspective

My 60th birthday dawns and with it a knock on our hotel room door. It’s my granddaughter and daughter wishing me a happy birthday. Soon, they are joined by my eldest daughter. It’s a happy way to begin the day.

Still, I’m feeling sad and old today. I wonder if there are any adventures left? I wonder if I’ve squandered my time? What have I accomplished? I brush my teeth and gaze at the image in the mirror, an old lady looks back.

We are in Kananaskis surrounded by mountains, my happy place and yet I cannot shake the melancholy.

We opt to leave the resort and go for a drive. Our destination, William Watson lodge. Years, and seemingly another lifetime ago I was there, a winter getaway with my young daughters and husband at the time. It was a difficult time for all of us. The trip was overshadowed by our daughter’s and my health concerns. I remember during that trip looking at the night sky wishing for something different for the following year, a return to good health, peaceful times. My wishes were not granted immediately, and not in the way I imagined at the time. How fortunate, as the life that unfolded was more incredible then anything I imagined.

The girls grew up, health was restored. A house was built, mountains were climbed, weddings were attended, births of grandchildren were celebrated. New jobs were started, and ended and started again. Life was lived, so many happy times, some sad, though all that remain are the brightest moments.

We leave William Watson and my heart is lighter for the perspective. We find a hiking trail and stretch our legs. The light is at its prettiest and the pictures take themselves.

We arrive back at the hotel. I’m now okay with my age, acquired wisdom and perspective. I’m fortunate for my memories, health and look forward to some future day when I might travel to this place again and marvel at all the life that has been lived.

I think of life as a map. We start somewhere and through the course of our allotted time on earth we move—walking, hiking, biking kayaking, flying across this earth, travelling some places many times, some routes just once. Some routes are so traversed they’ve worn nearly through the map, some are barely a whisper and yet each route creates the fabric of our life, a bright kaleidoscope and unique for every person.

I imagine that map in my minds eye and know that I have so many adventures left, so many trails to forge and so many memories to make, though sometimes it’s important to back track just to see how far we’ve come.


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Writing and photography are my first and second loves and thanks to technology I have the ability to share with a larger audience, including family and friends. Gone are the days of lugging around photo albums after a trip and of keeping a written journal of the experience that only I would view. The days of the handwritten letters are gone, but blogging provides a chance to share ideas, thoughts and photographs with a few mouse clicks and to receive instant feedback from around the world. It provides an opportunity to research a new place and to see that place through the eyes of a multitude of people each with their own unique way of viewing and experiencing the world. It opens the world wide and allows us a front row seat. Blogging connects us and creates a family of support. It provides an outlet and a chance to perfect the craft of writing and story telling. When I sit in my living room drinking my coffee and see that someone from another part of the world has read my words, and then I read theirs, the world is much smaller and more attainable. We are more alike than different as we share uniquely human experiences. Once I had a dream of becoming a Journalist, but somehow life got in the way. I currently have a fantastic career in healthcare and know that I have made a difference so I have no regrets. Still, I wonder if there is time to explore the road less travelled?

4 thoughts on “Birthday perspective”

  1. I see a beautiful woman that stares back from your blog, adventures and life taught to your younger sibling. For that I am grateful for your adventures either read to me at a young age or written for me. You taught me not to be so afraid of life, for that I thank you Cheryl. I’m so proud to call you my wise, protective big sis, I am blessed to have two!
    You have blazed the trail throughout our life and taught me to be strong, courageous, and to never to back down for what is right in this world.
    Happy 60th birthday Cheryl, you certainly wear it well!
    I love you,


  2. Happy 60th Birthday Cheryl! So many great memories, the first day we showed up to start our respiratory therapy career, you were so young….looking a bit older today, LOL, but deservedly so…have a great year! Marianne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember that day well. I was so worried I would be the oldest person in the class at 23. Funny how much time we spend worrying about stuff that really isn’t worth the effort.
      Thank you for the birthday wishes.


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