Birthday Gratitude

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The kittens woke me up early
and at first I felt grumbly
but then I realized
I could sit in silence this way
and so I felt grateful.
As I sat, I pondered
how for so long
I have used my birthday as an excuse
to be selfish.
It’s my birthday…
I’ll do less work today.
It’s my birthday…
I’ll take the bigger share.
It’s my birthday…
I’m allowed to act this way.
And I realized that I’ve had it backwards.
Life gave ME this gift,
and it is my privilege to give back to life.
Happy birthday life
I whispered,
and decided I’d be the one giving today
rather than getting.
I made breakfast for everyone,
scooped the litter box,
tended to my son,
put away the laundry,
emptied the dishwasher,
straightened the kitchen,
vacuumed the car.
Each act of giving opened my heart
just a little bit more.
Maybe, by the time I turn 100,
my heart will be so open that
I’ll finally know what
true generosity is,
and true gratitude.

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