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Birthday thoughts

Monday, May 7, 2012 by Marianne Elliott

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Yesterday was my 40th birthday. I woke up, for the first time in my life, thinking of all the people who I’ve loved who didn’t make it to 40. I was sad and deeply grateful at the same time.

Is this what aging feels like? Am I going to wake on all my birthdays from here in thinking of the one’s who didn’t make it? Or maybe it was because I was here in Afghanistan, where living to 40 really is something to be celebrated.

Either way, it made me grateful to be alive. Especially since I was awake most of the night before convinced I could hear Taleb climbing the back fence. If you are new here, I’m traveling in Afghanistan at the moment and on Wednesday night an international aid worker was murdered in the small town where I’m staying at the moment. Anyway I made it to morning, safe and sound, and now I’m 40.

I’ll take as many more of these days and years as I’m given.

A lot has changed about my life since I was last in Afghanistan and when I think about some of those changes, I realise we don’t always get the choices or we thought we were going to get. Or the choices we were raised to expect we would get. But we get these other choices, choices that we might never have anticipated. They are not easy. And not always what we thought we wanted.

But those other choices are life. And today, thanks to three nights of thinking I might well be killed or kidnapped at any moment, I’m feeling very Pollyanna-ish about that.


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7 Responses to "Birthday thoughts"

  1. Lubna says:

    A very happy birthday to you. Hugs.

  2. Mary says:

    Happy Birthday!
    May you have a year full of Blessings.
    Happy 40TH!

  3. AMIRI says:

    Happy Birthday, with the all best wishes !

  4. Swirly says:

    Happy Birthday Marianne…here’s to 40 more years and savoring every single moment of them. xoxo

  5. Stephanie says:

    Congratulations sweetie! I turned 40 this year too, and it does get better 😉 Sending hugs and gratitude! You are an inspiration and thank you for sharing your voice.


  6. […] you heard I was revisiting Afghanistan –  turning 40, taking my book back to the people whose opinions mattered most (and those who […]

  7. […] Birthday Thoughts – in which I celebrate my 40th birthday in Afghanistan […]

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