Day 82: “I’m Still Here”

In less than twenty-four hours, I’m going to be a year older.

Technically, I’m going to be a day older, but since it’s my birthday, I’m also going to be a year older (at least from a legal perspective). Given my propensity for random reflection on often obscure topics (which you may have noticed if you’ve ready many of my entries on this blog), it’s no surprise that my birthday often becomes a time for (possibly too much) reflection – and more times than not – for questioning the previous twelve months, downplaying any accomplishments I might have had and focusing on whatever faults and missteps I can remember.

Last night, while I was watching some vintage theatre videos on YouTube, I ran across a clip of Elaine Stritch singing “I’m Still Here,” from Stephen Sondheim’s Follies, during a special concert celebrating the composer’s eightieth birthday. Even though most of the song’s lyrics concern the day-to-day (and year-to-year) life (and career) of a fading (perhaps even faded) actress, its final stanza reaches far beyond the specificity of the character’s personal narrative to celebrating a sense of personal triumph.

I’ve run the gamut, A to Z
Three cheers and dammit, “C’est la vie”
I got through all of last year, and I’m here
Lord knows, at least I was there, and I’m here
Look who’s here, I’m still here

Tomorrow, even though I’m probably still going to be spending more time than I should glancing at the successes and staring at the failures of the past year, I’m also going to do my best to remember I’m still here – and get ready for another year of dreaming and doing, feeling and falling, hurting and healing, failing and succeeding, rising and remembering, and loving and being loved.

I’ll run the gamut, A to Z. Three cheers and dammit, “C’est la vie.”

That’s life.

And life is a beautiful thing.

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