Every year, I get the birthday blues. And every year, on my actual birthday, I remember how loved and cherished I am, because I already have the best gifts: amazing family and friends.

Gifts are nice, but more precious to me are the thoughts and feelings and love that go into choosing them.

It’s knowing that people spent time and energy, not just money, on the gifts: a loving note, a handmade candle (thank you so much, Roanne!), a home-cooked meal. It’s knowing that people are happy to spend time with you, if only through video calls because of quarantine restrictions. It’s knowing that people know you well enough to send you something that will lift the spirits, calm the soul, or make you laugh out loud.

I am loved, and it is beautiful. Thank you, world.

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