Guess what?!? In a couple of weeks I will turn FORTY!
I am glad my birthday falls in November, because Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. As a little girl I thought our big traditional family dinner was somehow related to my birthday. When I went away to college, the holiday was my chance to meet my father's side of the family. Nowadays I get to spend Thanksgiving with some of my favorite people and share a good meal. More than anything, I think I appreciate Thanksgiving because it's the only holiday without an expectation of reward. No candy, no cards, no gifts. Instead we have a day to reflect on our blessings, and express gratitude for what we do have.
And I am grateful. I have a wonderful family, good health, great friends. I have all my needs met, and most of my wants. So, this year, in honor of both my birthday and my favorite holiday, I am inviting my friends and family – both given and chosen – to mark the occasion with me in a different kind of way. Obviously I can't invite you all to my home for dinner (although you are welcome at my table any time). Instead I am asking anyone who feels like celebrating with me to please donate to an organization called Heifer International. www.heifer.org
I've been donating to Heifer for years because I believe in many of their ideals, especially:
- Individual empowerment, especially women
- Passing on the gift – acting locally, building community
- Environmentally sustainable development customized to the local environment, culture, and need
I'm not going to set a fundraising goal. True, I'd love to say I donated an ark for my birthday. But this is a celebration, not a campaign. (I think we're all sick of campaigns!) However, I know a number of my peers hit 40 this year, too, and I'm going to encourage anyone who beat me to it to chip in Forty Bucks for Forty Years.
Regardless of what you donate, I do want to say that I count my self truly blessed to have you in my life. Thank you.
And here's a link to my gift registry: