Xan & Bob

Be Alive!

I will be celebrating my 55th birthday tomorrow. I know there are some people who aren’t excited about birthdays but I for one LOVE THEM! I mean, think about it…the alternative to a birthday is pretty grim.

So, I choose to celebrate. And by celebrate I don’t mean a huge party and piles of gifts. I mean I choose to celebrate me and the life that I am living. I do a lot of ruminating about where I am at compared to my last birthday. Have I accomplished the goals that I set out? Where do I want to be at this time next year?

What I’m finding this year especially is that it’s okay if I haven’t quite reached all the goals I planned this year. I’ll just keep working on them. I think this year has been a reminder of what’s important to many of us. Are we spending our time doing what we truly want to do? Are we keeping promises to ourselves? Are we giving ourselves grace?

The poem below is one that I have cherished since the 1980’s. I bought it on greeting cards, a coffee mug on my desk has the poem on it and I gave a large framed print of it to my dad on what turned out to be his last birthday.

Be Alive by Jan Michelsen

Think freely.

Smile often.

Tell those you love that you do.

Rediscover old friends. Make new ones.

Hope. Grow.

Give. Give in.

Pick some daisies. Share them.

Keep a promise.

Laugh heartily.

Reach out. Let someone in.

Hug a kid.

Slow down.

See a sunrise.

Listen to rain.

Trust life.

Have faith.


Make some mistakes. Learn from them.

Explore the unknown.


This is what is truly important. This is how I want to reflect on my life this past year. Have I truly been alive and appreciated the life that I live? Yes, is the answer.

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