Hollie Grimaldi Flores: Another trip around the sun | TheUnion.com

Hollie Grimaldi Flores: Another trip around the sun

Hollie Grimaldi Flores
Columnist

Hollie Grimaldi Flores

While many of you may have spent yesterday professing your affection to your partner, or lamenting the lack of love in your life, I celebrated another trip around the sun. I have always loved having my birthday on Valentine's Day. People are generally in a good mood on this day of romance and even when I wasn't dating anyone, I could usually count on at least one friend to spend the evening celebrating with me.

In fact, sometimes they would celebrate my birthday rather than think about not being in a relationship. My birthday was the anti-Valentine's Day cure.

When I was going to school, there was always a party. I could count on candy and chocolate and an exchange of loving sentiments. Pretty much everyone I knew celebrated on my birthday — even if they weren't celebrating me.

I admit to being one of those people who milk their birthday for as long as possible. I have stretched it for as long as a month, but more often will revel for a week. I have never been one to ignore the end of one year and the beginning of the next.

Birthday fun

This year I kicked off the celebration by attending an afternoon comedy show. Watching stand-up comedy at 2 p.m. Sunday was a bit unusual, but a lot of fun. The group that organized it, plans to do it monthly. It was popular, and I highly recommend it, if you love to laugh.

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The next day my daughter and I drove to Marin County to have lunch with a girlfriend I don't see nearly often enough. She recently launched a new clothing line, so it was a bit of a working lunch as I helped her with some business issues. While we worked, my daughter tried on all the clothes. It was a short but sweet time.

From there we drove up the coast to spend the night at the beach. Another friend and her husband rented a house for a few days and invited us to join them. The house literally faced the ocean on Highway 1. The weather has been exceptionally mild, and this week was no exception.

The sky was blue, the sunset orange and the night sky clear. I looked out the bedroom window and stared at the stars until I drifted off to the sound of waves crashing against the rocks on the shore. How could I feel anything but fortunate? It was beautiful and as always, spending time on the shores of Northern California restored my soul.

I have come to believe the term "over the hill" came into being because after a certain age, days seem to race by on a downhill trajectory. Time seems to pass at an increasing rate of speed. It hardly seems possible that another 365 days have gone by since my last birthday!

Pondering the past while looking forward to the future

Looking through my journal, I reflected on some of the changes that have happened. I was reminded of some of the things I managed to accomplish and gave myself some grace. I did not waste too many days.

I smiled thinking of new friends I have made and long to see others that I do not see enough. Not unlike New Year's resolutions, I like to spend a bit of time around my birthday thinking about other things I still hope to achieve and set intention to focus on my priorities.

I am striving to find a balance between work and play and I think I am getting better at it — working a bit on and off throughout the day before heading back home. Technology allows for telecommuting, to which I take full advantage. In this case, there was better Wi-Fi on the edge of the continent than I have at home in the foothills, so I was more productive at the beach than in my office. (Well, that is my story and I am sticking to it!)

My actual birthday was spent back home with a little work, a little play and a lot of family. My priorities firmly in place.

My time at the beach is something that helps me find my center. I still "feel small when I stand beside the ocean." I am reminded there is a finite amount of time I have in this life and I am determined not to waste too much of it in worry or sorrow.

For New Year's, instead of resolutions I chose a word to live by. My word is light. I chose it (or it chose me) as a reminder to stay away from the negative and to focus on the good.

My birthday is not only a time of celebration, but I also use the day (or week) as an opportunity to reflect and assess. Six weeks into the year and I am happy to say I am on track.

My wish for this next year is not for me but for you. May you find yourself healthy, happy and loved. For a person born on the day that celebrates romance, what more would you expect?

Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a Nevada County resident and freelance writer for hire. She can be reached at holliesallwrite@gmail.com.