Tonight it dawned on me that God's plan for me does not include requiring much sleep. I am sure I've written about this a bajillion times: for as long as I can remember, I have gotten by on very little sleep. I usually can fall asleep very easily (once in a movie theater...in my defense it was a Friday evening and it was a 10:00 movie showing...I snored loud enough to embarrass the person I had come with). But I cannot sustain it. Two to four hours of sleep and, without aid (as in prescription sleep help) I am done. Even with sleep help, I rarely sustain anything over five hours. Only the heavy duty horse strength pills will knock me out, and then I feel terrible in the morning: a sleep hangover, and it takes me most of the following day to get back to my alert frame of mind. I can function on little sleep: it is part of my original and unique design.
This is all to say that it's 3:45 in the morning. I turned out the light at midnight. I've been awake for an hour or so just thinking about things. Lots of things to think about since I've got two more days of work and about two weeks worth of things I need to wrap up in order to leave, and I still have lots of loose ends to take care of before I go (like ceiling contractors and stopping the mail and calling the credit card company and getting all the info together for all my travelling companions and instructions for Andy's travel, and how to help my friend who is going through a terrible time...).
I've had a nice conversation with God about turning fifty and how grateful that I am for His love and care. How impressed I am with his exceedingly abundant plans for me that have turned out to be more than I could ever have thought to ask for. One is having a wonderful loving supportive family (yes, I know I vent about my father, but I know he loves me and would do anything to help me...all I would have to do is ask...and I know he does the best he knows how to. That his hurtful words are unintentional and something about him and not meant to hurt). My sister is the best anyone could have and she's mine! My brother is the most positive person I've ever known. My mother was an angel here on earth and, though she wasn't here nearly long enough, I look forward to spending eternity with her. I know people whom would not be so pleased with such a blessing. I am a fortunate one!
Next are the incredible people He's put in my life. I could have never imagined having these really great friends in my life who love and watch out for me. Who I can be myself with. Who reach out to me. Who trust me with their feelings and secrets. Last night I got a call from Mary Nelson whom I've known for about 25 years. Whom I don't get together with, or even speak with very often, but when we do we never have to start from scratch. Who always remembers my birthday even though I rarely remember hers. It was a great reminder of just how much I'm loved. Other friends checked in on me almost daily when I was sick this spring. Some started celebrating my birthday two weeks ago sharing dinner (they brought) on my deck. Some are taking me out for drinks tonight. Some are sacrificing a week of their life to hang out in Siena with me. Many others have already called or emailed me today. I am blessed with really, really wonderful friends and I often find myself thinking about what a wonderful blessing it is. I don't have time for loneliness.
He gave me a son to care for and learn from and see grow and turn out to be someone whose company I can enjoy, who is trustworthy and who has turned out pretty well despite the stress and heartache that he grew up in.
There's this awesome house that He put in my care. It's my rose covered cottage in the heart of Bellevue? With a lake view and shared waterfront. A wonderful garden to tend: not too big, not too small, just right. A place that inspires creativity. A gathering place. Interesting neighbors who keep an eye on me, in a good way: friendly, but not too friendly. It's the most perfect place for me. Exceedingly abundant.
There's my personality packed puppy that helped bring me out of a place of isolation and has turned out to be such a wonderful addition to my life. He always makes a great entrance for me, warms his way into people's hearts, is good at home for long hours while I work, and is sleeping soundly next to me (but not under the sheets!) at this moment, taking up very little space.
There's my work, that has provided for me well, and is, for the most part interesting. Though stressful at times, I realize that that kind of responsibility is what makes it provide well for me.
There's my health that ain't too bad considering my age!
There's the travel I've gotten to do. Parts of the world that I've gone to with family and friends that are far beyond what I ever thought I'd experience. I can't believe that He's made it possible to go to such extremes this year: letting me experience His love through the bedraggled yet hopeful and incredibly loving Sudanese. And now, in the next few days, spending quality time with my son as we discover Scotland followed by hanging out with some wonderful women at a villa in Tuscany. It just stuns me when I think about it. Talk about exceedingly abundance beyond what I could have ever dreamed of.
Six years ago, when things weren't looking so good and I had to give up on the life I thought I always wanted I had no idea what was in store for me. And now, at fifty, it feels like I'm right where I should have been all along. I'm not bothered by turning fifty at all.
This writing started with my sleeping patterns, or lack thereof. One of the things I was thinking about this night involved trying to remember the story of how I cheated death as an infant, just so I could get to fifty. I need to check with my dad to find out how old I was. An infant though, small enough so that when I stopped breathing in my mother's arms during a family car trip, back in the days when baby's rode in arms and not in car seats, a Sheriff they were able to flag down was able to drive down the highway at ninety miles an hour holding me upside down by my feet with his non-steering hand to deliver me to a hospital. By the time we got there I was breathing again. They kept me overnight and everything checked out. They figured it was an S.I.D. occurrence and it never happened again. I cheated death because there were things God wanted me to do and experience this side of Heaven. Turning fifty must have been one of them and so I celebrate.
Maybe my lack of sleeping skills relates back to that time I almost slept too soundly as an infant. Tonight it gives me time to reflect on reaching fifty and what an incredible journey it's been. How exceedingly abundant and beyond what I could ever have asked for it is.
Post Script: It is going to be a special day. The sun is out and beautiful. And I just have to report that my 20 year old son called me before 8:00 this morning to wish me a Happy Birthday. He also told me that at the radio station banquet last night he won an award for all of his VOLUNTEER work! I am a proud mama. Yes I am.