These flaws are my badges, and I wear them proudly, for the things I have done to earn them have made me the woman I am.
I earned my gray hairs through worrying about my family and through trying to be a good mom, wife, person.
I earned the hardware in my neck, and my stiff and sore back, by choosing a life path that involves taking the best care I can of my family and my patients, and forgetting to take care of myself.
I earned my stretch marks by carrying amazing children, who have taught me about what's really important in life and who I love more fiercely than I ever imagined possible.
I earned my wrinkles through 40 years of mostly smiling and laughing, and a little crying, and a lot of sunshine and some wind in my face.
I earned my extra 5 pounds by realizing life's too short to pass on pancakes for dinner or ice cream for no reason at all, and by admitting a morning snuggle beats the crap out of running any day.
I earned my baggage through a relentless, but futile, quest to become some superhuman version of who I thought I should be, or who somebody else thought I should be, through ridiculous goals and expectations and not cutting myself any slack.
And I earned contentment and peace this morning -my birthday gift to me - by appreciating all I have and all I have accomplished, and by deciding to focus more on loving myself and less on changing myself.