The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and they day you find out why. —Mark Twain

On Sunday I turned 46 and, in between migraines, basked in the generous receipt of well wishes. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

This year’s birthday came at the perfect time—after June’s numerous in-person and online events and before Italy retreat time. Most of the week’s meals included vegan strawberry cupcakes and cake (how-to here). On Friday, I sipped tea with a friend and hosted the Tranquility du Jour Daybook Virtual Launch Fête. Saturday I took my first beginner ballet 2 class and indulged in brunch at Ladurée with a girlfriend. On my birthday, I took a yoga class at Tranquil Space/YogaWorks, nursed two migraines, and savored dinner at DC’s go-to fancy vegan spot, Fancy Radish.

Birthdays beckon reflection. Since mine falls mid-year, it serves as a useful tune up. What’s working? What needs attention? What experiences have I had since my 2018 birthday? What experiences do I hope to have by my 2020 birthday?

When I reviewed my 2019 wishes, I noted half of my intentions had manifested. A few included: Year of Tranquility conversion into a book, three healthy pugs and kitty, finish Journal Therapy certificate, thriving private practice, and meaningful retreats.

Here’s a sampling of uncompleted ones: published articles (never submitted), thriving garden (not enough sun for veggies, focusing on flowers), finish veterinary social work program (pushed back completion to early 2020 to align with their scheduled summit), and 25% less stuff (need to schedule more declutter days).

While it’s easy to get frustrated on what didn’t happen, I find it more useful to note what isn’t on the list and did happen such as TDJ Soiree, a mini ballet performance, and the new Daybook. Reviewing the 2019 wishes serves as a reminder to submit articles, declutter, and nurture what is feasible in my garden.

It’s also a good reminder of progress, not perfection. Over the course of a year, our priorities shift and, similar to a snake shedding its skin, we, too, must release what we outgrow to make space for what’s to come.

During Summer TDJ Live, we contemplated our summer wish list, how our word/theme of the year had unfolded, and what we wanted the rest of the year to look and feel like. To me, this is an ongoing process—seasonal, monthly, weekly, daily.

In the words of Mary Oliver, “Listen—are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?” I believe that reflection followed by action helps ensure we’re doing so much more.

Although I may not yet know my full why (see above quote), these moments of reflection help get me that much closer to clarity. And birthdays help! Bisous. x