After planning for nearly a year to be in Sweden for my half-century birthday, I felt so fortunate to wake up in Stockholm. Flowers and some of my favorite breakfast food—garbanzo beans mixed with fresh dill, sliced cucumbers, and walnuts on the side—delighted my waking eyes.
A certain someone also surprised me with some very special gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegan chocolate raspberry balls for breakfast dessert (it seems unreal that such food exists).
Then I walked about, on a much desired photo tour, throughout the neighborhood.
Which led to an ancient church, where the candles alone felt like a celebration of life (are there really 50 little candle holders there?).
Which led to an amazing veggie restaurant (where nearly everything was also gluten-free). It was a stunning feast.
And, humorously, even though I mindfully prepared for this half-century birthday, as soon as the clock ticked me into this new year, tears filled my eyes and rolled down my cheeks. I seriously wanted to go home, curl into the fetal position, and be held.
Oh my gosh, I had no idea that I would feel this type of sadness at the precise moment I would leave my 40s and begin my you-know-what's. I can't even say that word! And while I was in public, no less. It is a shock, that number. So (mindful moment alert) I allowed myself to breathe and to feel it.
Of course, a certain someone brought freshly baked (GF!) carrot cake, vegan ice cream, and a present, which helped make everything feel all better, too!