October 31, 2020 – Saturday 6:47am
Sean Connery died today. He was 90 years old. Isn’t that something? And he died in his home, in the Bahamas. The quick headline I read said something about him being ill for some time. I hope he didn’t suffer. I mean, I wasn’t some huge fan – I’m not a big fan of the Bond movies at all, though I think I have pretty much seen them all, but still…he was a great actor. Truth be told, whenever I think of Sean Connery, I think of The Hunt for Red October with Alec Baldwin. I loved that movie regardless of all its flaws…. Eeeh, I hope he was a decent human being. At the very least, he seemed smart enough to go live in the Bahamas and enjoy his life – wow, I’m kinda jealous. Ha!
Maybe inspired is a better word. 90 years old. I always think about the fact that I’ve been in Los Angeles 20+ years and question – what have I spent all this time doing? Sometimes it feels like it’s gone by so quickly and other times it feels like I just got off the plane in LAX and kissed the ground that I had finally arrived. I really did kiss the ground when I got here. Well, the airport floor really. Kind of like a kneeling forward-head-touching-the-ground gratefulness. I then pretended to look for something I dropped… (too funny). Either way, I kissed the ground when I got here is all I’m saying… and if getting to 90 is truly a possibility, then I guess I have a lot more time than I once considered…
It really is about perspective isn’t it? How you chose to view things.
I celebrate my birthday every year like a crazy person. Why? Because when I was growing up we didn’t celebrate it in any memorable way. Honestly, I don’t remember any birthday celebration. After my mom died, I don’t remember celebrating it at all. But now, as an adult, I celebrate it so much because there was a time, in my teenage years, that I didn’t think I’d make it to my next birthday. I remember vividly begging God in serious prayer to let me make it to my next birthday and I promised I’d do…. well, 15 things I didn’t want to do. I made a bet with God, and I’ve always kept my end of the bargain – to the best of my ability.
But here’s the blessing in all of it: most people, especially women, see their birthdays as a year gone by. They see it as some horrible thing. Aging. Getting older. Jeez, I can’t wait till I’m 65 or 75 or older!!! I mean, when you think you’re not going to make it to 14, 15 or 16, it changes your perspective. I see my birthday as another year I made it through. I got through one more year! My whole thing about birthdays is that it’s a bench-mark of getting through it all anyways and knowing you’ve got another shot at another day. Another week. Another year. It’s when I actually feel like it’s a “New Year” and worthy of celebration. I see it as: I’m so lucky to still be on the journey at all…
Of course, I see it as my personal holiday. It’s a day to celebrate all things fabulously ME! I have my personal little rituals that I do that day – it always includes things to take care of myself of course, like marking my calendar to make my yearly appointment to get my physical and dental cleaning (uhem, this is the organized crazy person in me). It’s also the time I set aside to make sure I shred all my hand-written journals – if necessary – depending where I am in writing process (if I don’t do this yearly, I will have boxes and boxes of sketch books full of bad writing just sitting in my apartment/garage). I go running or workout near the beach, to my favorite place – “my” bench overlooking the ocean – and sit for more than a minute to reminisce when I first saw this place (same day I kissed the floor at the airport!)…
Usually after all that, my birthday becomes a non-stop time of hanging with good friends over a meal. I’ll meet with one friend for brunch, another for dinner and so on for as long as it takes… There’s no doubt that by the end of my celebration, which can easily take more than a couple of weeks or so, I’ve gained more than a few pounds, but it’s always worth it.
It’s funny. How people celebrate a birth, stress about birthdays and then mourn a death. We should celebrate all of it. For weeks even. Life, all of it – every single morsel of it, is quite extraordinary. I say, celebrate ALL OF IT! And yes, when someone dies, we’ll miss them — that part is sad. But celebrating the life they’ve lived… that just seems so much more logical to me.
Hmmmm. I wasn’t expecting to write all of that…I’m going to figure out a way to celebrate today… just the fact that I’m here and have another shot at all of it. Brilliant.
Rest in sweet peace Mr. Connery. May your memory continue to be blessing and thank you for reminding me about today.