Happy Birthday Nat.
You turned 28 a few weeks ago, I know you know, you were there. Now you’re an even age in a prime year and for some reason we both like the sound of that. It feels monumental. So it stands to reason that 28 in 2011 will be a good one. Make it happen!
This year has been a long one, longer than others in recent memory. Weeks were weeks and months were months. You finished the year the way you started—one routine day after another. One foot in front of another. One crested wave at a time. You worked a lot this year and it wasn’t always clean or easy—in fact it was rather grueling and uneasy at times as you dealt with some fairly abnormal and uncomfortable situations. But now you’re a rockstar at what you do and you wouldn’t trade what you learned professionally (both project and personnel wise) this year. You’ve graduated to the majors. Congrats!
This was the year you might have become a platinum flyer if you stuck to one airline instead of two or three. Salt Lake, New York (x3), Portland, Colorado Springs, Detroit, New York, Montreal, Kansas City, New Hampshire, Amsterdam, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, Salt Lake, Portland, Detroit, Panama, New York, Portland, Salt Lake. You finally figured out the art of packing (Method: pick a color palette and then create a cohesive line), and more importantly, the art of unpacking. (Method: do it the second you walk in the door. No excuses.) And to think – you planned twice as many trips as this in your head.
You also learned the nerdy joy of saving. This, plus the fact you sometimes buy your cheese at the counter has certified you as an adult.
All kidding aside, you are an adult, and you’ve learned to serve like one this year. Serving God has become part of your daily routine and it’s been the greatest blessing of the year. It’s easier to keep perspective on what’s important and what’s not when you’re anxiously engaged in a good and righteous cause. The minutia of life’s tiny injustices become moot when you remember that myopic vision keeps your line of sight narrow.
This is the lesson you should remember from year twenty-seven. Keep expanding your peripheral vision and look out for others and you’ll be alright.
You have been, are, and will no doubt continue to be abnormally blessed. Keep focusing on the “haves” instead of the “have nots.” Drink a little more water. Wear heels more often. Go and do and then don’t regret. Be a better visiting teacher. Don’t feel anxious thinking you should feel guilty for enjoying spending time alone. Use 4 words when you’d rather use 13. Laugh more. Move your car on street sweeping day and avoid the $50 tickets. Keep listening (loudly) to Country music—it still makes you believe in love.
Above all else, know that I love you. The realization has been the greatest gift of this Late-20’s stage. Please regift to 29.