Slice of Life Challenge day 6 #sol17

Sometimes birthday plans can change…

Title: “Gratitude”

Today is my birthday.  Although I know there are some who prefer not to notice birthdays piling up, viewing them sometimes as they do magazines piling up in the corner basket (“I wish those things would stop arriving at my house!”), I for one look forward to my birthday each year.


This year, our plan was to travel to the Connecticut shore to see old friends, dine in an old favorite restaurant, and stay in an old favorite hotel.  All as a family.  We would then rise and shine at whatever hour the children opened their eyes, and join our friends for brunch- maybe even after a swim at the hotel.  And then, after inventing a leisurely plan for spending the day in the historic shoreline town of New London, we would return home for a family dinner at the homestead.

But the kids are sick. Hmm…yeah, that’s not gonna happen.

And so, the plan has changed.  And I know I could be bummed out about that, I suppose.  But a mentor once told me that when you choose life for everything it is, and everything it isn’t, you are just so much happier.

I feel so fortunate to be the father of three wonderful children, the husband to one amazing wife.  And to be the son of two wonderful parents.  And the friend to so many wonderful people. And the grandson of a wonderful Grandmother.

Today I am grateful.  As I write this morning, my daughters have awakened.  They’ve come downstairs.  And each of them has hugged me. With their cold-stricken, cough-hampered voices, they’ve said to me, “Happy Birthday, Papa!” So I must sign off.

But I will close with one of my favorite lines to one of my favorite movies, “Jerry Maguire.” This line was delivered by the actor playing Dicky Fox at the end of the movie; he says, “I love my wife.  I love my life.  And I wish you my kind of success.”



Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 29 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy specialist, working and living in the great state of Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a former co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting writing teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops,

12 thoughts on “Slice of Life Challenge day 6 #sol17”

  1. Happy Birthday Lanny! I absolutely love that line from Jerry Maguire, too. I’m sorry your girls are sick but I love the positive attitude you share here and how you have such a grateful heart. Wishing you a day of joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy birthday, from one Piscean to another! Kudos for finding the joys that surround you instead of pining for those that seem absent…though I do hope you get some fresh salty air soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy birthday, Lanny! So sorry to hear that the kids are sick, which is putting a damper on your birthday plans. Fortunately, there’s always next weekend… or next year… to do these things!


  4. I’m so glad I stopped over to read! Happy Birthday Lanny, although I’m sure it’s a little late. I like the idea of living life for everything it is, not isn’! Thanks for a positive morning message!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy Birthday! I think you’re right, staying present and being grateful for all you have is the mindset that will bring you happiness- what more could you want?
    However…that weekend in CT sounds lovely, maybe you get to reschedule?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy Birthday! I like the structure of your piece. You described your plans so clearly. Then drop the bad news – “But the kids are sick. Hmm…yeah, that’s not gonna happen.” Then your optimism and gratitude is revealed loud and clear. I , too hope you are able to reschedule when all are feeling better.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy, happy birthday! I love your positive outlook and gratitude for your life. But perhaps now your birthday can be extended into the next weekend … a longer celebration of sorts! Just a thought because you look forward to your birthday and all. 😉 Enjoy it for all that it is – a special day to celebrate you!

    Liked by 1 person

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