So, today is my day.
It’s my birthday.
I remember being a kid and LOVING my birthday. I see that with my kids. They look forward to their birthdays like they do Christmas morning. And really, why wouldn’t they? Presents, cake, and being the center of attention.
A day when you world stops and people celebrate you…for the pure and simple fact you are you and you exist.
I think that I stopped caring about my birthday years ago.
Which is somewhat sad, in retrospect, because it means I stopped thinking that I was worth celebrating for the pure and simple fact I existed.
Which eased fluidly into my belief that disappearing, or living as invisibly as possible, was the right way to live.
The easy way.
The appropriate way.
The necessary way.
Last year on my birthday, one of my best friends in the whole wide world took me to dinner at a beautiful restaurant during an impressive thunder and lightening storm and insisted we order chocolate cake for dessert, in honor of my birthday.
Perhaps it was a turning point birthday, or perhaps it was just the person, but it was the first time I had had a birthday in years when someone went out of their way to just dedicate time and intention to me, and me alone, on my birthday.
It was the first time that someone pushed aside life and said, “Let’s go. Cancel everything else. This is time to celebrate you.”
So, this year I’m trying to take some of the birthday wisdom from my kids and the special intentions from a special friend and make my birthday special.
That means a morning of yoga with my favorite yogis and an afternoon at my favorite cupcake bakery with my kids.
A time to celebrate me and a time to celebrate my kids.
Nothing extraordinarily special or ostentatious. Just enough to bring a smile to my face and a smile to the face of my kids.
So – what is next.
I guess in the last 12 months since my last birthday, I have done a lot of growing up. I have changed fairly significantly. I am more focused and a bit more determined than before. I am closer to wrapping up some important projects. And I was able to do things I never quite thought I would actually do. I have deepened some powerful relationships. I have made new ones. I have slowly let dying relationships burn out. I have slowly started to learn trust again and have started to be more astute and sometimes more generous in the people I share my trust with. I’ve faced physical and emotional exhaustion and survived. I have fought battles and come to understand losing from a whole new light. In my losses I have learned the value of picking my battles. I think I also might have learned the power of loss and slowly am accepting the consequences of loss as part of the cycle of life.
In the world of numerology, a complete “life cycle” consists of a nine year rotation. Although I am officially in a “9 year” – I can say that unofficially, it makes sense that the last year has been a struggle and a period of tying things up and exploring new life options as it was a “9 year” in terms of my married self. The last year has been hard. It has worn me down past the point of anger and bitter, into a land of easy resignation and in many cases, apathy.
But, it is just part of the cycle.
Today is the start of a new year for me.
And like I mentioned before, I’m starting it from a point of celebration with yoga, a short run and cake…probably lots of cake.
In the big book of life, I’m still wavering dangerously close to the land of failure. I am still tired and disheartened. But, I’m embracing hope and respecting the ebb and flow of time to bring back some of the illusions to life I have misplaced.
That means I am going to trust myself, regardless of how challenging, uncomfortable, or hopeless something seems, I will hang on for another day.
It means I am going to push myself to finish projects that once seemed daunting and impossible. Like finishing my Ph.D.
I am going to bravely face goals that I have continually turned my head away from over the last 12 months of out fear of failure, such as finishing one of the many manuscripts I have started, one specifically promised to my Fairy Blog Mother at Redmund Productions many many many months ago.
I am going to start to practice more patience, something I tell my son to do about a million times a day. I need to start taking my own advice. Magic doesn’t happen immediately. It takes time. I need to embrace the passing of time, even when it is painful or frustrating, and accept it for what it brings with it. I guess this means that I am accepting the saying “Good things come to those who wait” in a way that suggests to power on, move forward, trust and work and when the right time has come, it will have been worth it. This is admittedly a hard lesson for me. Incredibly hard.
Yet, it is probably one of the lessons in life I need to work on the most.
And this practice means trusting that what I am working toward, or waiting on, is the right thing to do.
Even when it is hard.
Especially when it is a struggle.
And obviously when its seems impossible.
I survived the last year.
A year that started with spending time with a loved one and cake.
I’ll survive the next one, too.
And will start it with loved ones and cake.
The lesson in this?
Add loved one and cake, and everything will be OK.
Happy Birthday in the Candy Jar.