Birthdays Are For Gratitude

Today’s the day my soul entered this earth. Florence Nightingale Bollay [nee Toohey] went into labour at the ‘ripe old age’ of 30 in 1972 and gave birth to her first child. My father had hoped it would be a boy [in those days the sex of the baby was unknown until birth. Strange concept, hey]. This hope would stay alive until his son finally arrived at the fourth try, almost 10 years later.

Thanks to Facebook, we feel like superstars.

Hope; that thing that keeps most of us going and usually, circumstances permitting, lays a foundation for gratitude. And I feel bucket-loads today. Birthdays are one day out of 365 that God has given each one of us to feel special, receive attention and calls [yes, some people still do that], be surprised by gifts, love and laughter.  Thanks to Facebook, we feel like superstars.


It’s barely high tea and my day has been made. Showered with love from family and friends; priceless. And without coming across as an ad for Hallmark cards, my kids gave me the most precious moments. My 3-year-old who is usually up with the birds slept in until 08:00 and did not wet the bed. Yes, simple joys really cost nothing. When I went to check if all was well with the 4-year-old who was still sleeping at 08:30, suspecting he could be ill, again, I was greeted by “Happy birthday, Mom” as he opened his eyes and reached out for a hug. Overjoyed is an understatement.

Nine years ago, someone got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

My me-time in the sauna this morning was a trip down memory lane as I reminisced that today is also the anniversary of our engagement. Nine years ago, someone got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. With the backdrop of the majestic Drakensberg mountains, the trajectory of my life changed forever. As I said yes, obviously, in a whirl of surprise and elation, I had absolutely no idea what the journey would entail. I only had assumptions based on societal lies. Everything was supposed to be decidedly rosier from that point, right? Wrong!


One of my biggest lessons is that life was never meant to be ‘all good’. That has never been promised. And indeed, it’s actually through our struggles and pain that we are able to grow and elevate ourselves into the souls we’re meant to become. It’s the difficult times that shape our resolve and most importantly, our purpose. It’s safe to say that I’m going through one of the most challenging periods of my entire existence. Maybe that’s a little dramatic, but hey, it feels like it. And my perception is my reality.

Just as I’ve told you, this is part of my purpose and the Universe is giving me pause moments.

My struggle right now is on two fronts – my health and my business/career. My wiser, more mature self can step back and acknowledge that it’s a necessary part of my growth. Just as I’ve told you, this is part of my purpose and the Universe is giving me pause moments. To realign, gain strength to move above and beyond. But the scared teenager, the one who appears whenever I’m confronted by fear of failure, trips me up. Often.


I have now embraced the purpose of birthdays. Not a day that’s characterised by sorrowful contemplation of the larger number that now has to be filled in on application forms. It’s an opportunity to bask in love and gratitude. Particularly for the seemingly little things, those we take for granted while we’re always focused on what we don’t have. If there’s anything that I want my sons to know it’s that their worth is housed within. The external is all an illusion.


So, with immense gratitude and in the spirit of the ‘accounting irregularities’ that are now commonplace, I’m taking a new approach to the added year; 4 + 6 = 10. In numerology, “the number 10 is the only karmic number that indicates a release of karma. A new door opening. A clean slate.  A rebirth”. I’m running with this. I’m a perfect 10. Thank you, Lord. Now, let me eat cake!



  1. Have a fantastic day. And have a slice for me too!

  2. Eat your cake and enjoy IT my friend. You are a perfect 10??

  3. Lovely, girl!!! ?❤???

  4. Well written! You have an awesome way with the pen.

  5. Awesome, written with such truth & wisdom. Wishing you a blessed year!

  6. Happy Birthday my friend. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us.

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