Last week was my birthday. Or I should say, one of my birthdays. That’s because we all actually have many birth-days or major turning points during our lifetimes if we choose to remember and acknowledge them. Each one of these birthdays marks a significant turning point in our experience here on planet Earth. And even though there are always a large number of major and minor days of significance for each of us, I believe my life contains four extra-ordinary days of beginning. By sharing my special days with you, perhaps it will be easier for you to pinpoint and acknowledge similar events and birth-days in your life that you might want to honor and commemorate.
First of all, fifty-eight years ago I was born in Fort Morgan, Colorado to Rudy and Alice Pfeif. Smack-dab in the middle of the US, Fort Morgan was, and probably still is, a very conservative, farming community with lots of German immigrants. My mother originally came from Nebraska, so we frequently traveled back and forth between the two senior families. Actually, we moved numerous times with my Dad searching for work between Colorado, Nebraska, Ohio and Arkansas…yes Arkansas! (It’s a LONG story!) But when I was seven or eight my parents, my older sister Ann, along with my younger sister Judy and me, immigrated to the southern California desert near Palm Springs. I attended local schools and eventually graduated from Indio High School in 1973. After that I attended College of the Desert (COD) for more years than I care to admit—and while I’ve attended a half dozen other colleges of higher education, I never did get a degree. The reason? Who could possibly pick one when there were so many options!
In 1976 I moved to Colorado Springs to find my fame and fortune. No, I didn’t find fame, or fortune, but I did meet the love of my life—Thom. A long time friend of both of ours decided we really ought to know one another, and fate brought us together in the same city. Less than a month after we met I was madly in love and ready to follow him to the end of the world. We never did make it that far, but we did move to North Carolina and opened a business. I insisted on making our partnership legal in 1977—and yes, I was the one who proposed. And while we have remained childless by choice—we have birthed numerous businesses and other adventures in our life together with no regret. Finding Thom, loving Thom and growing with Thom for the last 37 years has been the greatest gift I have ever received from the Universe.
In 1989 I became a professional writer. Professional—meaning I was actually making money doing something I loved. Up until then I had been writing for several years, but only as a sideline to my other occupations. Then 27 years ago, Thom and I sat down and together invented a writing business for me to use my former background in real estate by writing promotional material for escrow companies around the state of California. Best of all—I was making money for my family—good money if I look back on it—and I was being paid to become a better writer. Gradually as my confidence and my writing ability grew, I started writing about things that captured my interest and that I really cared about. My first book, published by Findhorn Press in 2003 was titled, The Findhorn Book of Practical Spirituality. Publisher Zyrus Press put out my second book, The Complete Guide to Selling Your Own Home in California in 2008. My latest, Finding Grace—A Transformational Journey is a novel that I chose to publish as an ebook myself earlier this year. Every one of my books is like one of my children—each a unique, unpredictable, amusing, exasperating, prideful, independent expression of where I was when I birthed them. Even though I started receiving income from my writing way back in 1989, it really wasn’t until the last couple of years that I fully and completely felt that I could honestly accept that I am indeed an author and writer. It took a while, nearly 27 years, to learn to accept that part of me I have grown to be.
Then two years ago, in May of 2011 I started writing this blog. For the previous three years I had been writing and publishing a different website named, “Coachella Valley Green” and writing articles related to the environment and energy efficiency. I learned a lot about websites—and I learned an amazing amount about everything environmental in the world—but I grew tired of the overly technical information and approach. I also ultimately grew to believe that the only way that people will truly embrace a more friendly environmental perspective is through a change of mind and heart. And because I would 1,000 times rather write about the mind and heart (and spirit and emotion!) than technical information—SMART Living 365 was birthed. I came up with the acronym of SMART Living (Sustainable/Meaningful/Aware/Responsible & Thankful) as a way to encapsulate all that I hoped to include in my future writings here.
SMART Living 365 is turning two years old this month and I am very proud of what it has become. But more importantly I proud of who I’ve become since I’ve spent two years focusing on the ideas, awareness and experiences that help me create a more happy, peaceful, sustainable, and at the same time more rewarding life than ever before. While I am immensely grateful to everyone who found, follows, reads, and comments on my articles—ultimately the “doing” and the writing of the website are its own reward. I can’t wait to see what it becomes as it grows and matures in the future.
So those are my big birthday days. They all offer good reasons to reflect on the gifts of each experience AND to celebrate how each has enriched my life. But, what about you? We each have the choice to both acknowledge and celebrate our special turning points—or to ignore and pretend that nothing significant has taken place. I strongly recommend as this week’s SMART Living suggestion, to take the time to figure out your special days and celebrate them for all they are worth.
Question: What are your special days? Why are they special? And how can you celebrate them in a way that reminds you of the gifts they gave? Please share in the comments below.