*photo by Sabrina Hill
Today, this birthday girl share 10 Things About Birthdays.
#1 Being Lazy is Awesome.
It's 3:29pm. I am still in my pajamas. And have been 0% productive today.
Yup, today is my birthday, so I win all the games and I get to do absolutely nothing all day, guilt free. My type A part of my personality is squirming, but my birthday brain says this is perfection. Go with it.
Ok, ok so I am writing this reflection blogpost. Maybe 5% productive today? Oh and I will eat some cake and have someone else cook for me, outside the house, which might require putting on real clothes, unless we get takeout (which doesn't sound too bad right now) but besides that, yup, laziest birthday ever. #NailingIt
The good, the bad and the unexpected: 10 Things About Birthdays..
Birth. Day. I woke up this morning feeling that classic glow of birthday happiness as I curled up in my fluffy white comforter and sunk my head into layers of messy pillows. My phone glittered with sweet texts and Facebook messages. I felt content. And sleepy as heck from the past weekend in Vegas. My husband burst in the door and sang me a perfectly out-of-tune happy birthday song while I smiled wide, hiding my face.
#2 The Birthday Blues are Real.
My husband left for work. Then I made a giant smoothie. Chocolate peanut butter banana. Then I just sat. In the quiet. Still messy-haired and Pj-clad. Absorbing the sunlight and air and faded blue in the sky. The quiet got quieter. The stillness in the air more certain. And then it hit. A twinge of sadness. Aka the birthday blues.
We all get it from time to time. And there is a reason. A reason why despite feeling super happy on your special day, you can also have a twinge of feeling sad. It all comes back to one thing: EXPECTATIONS.
Oh those sneaky expectations. On birthdays they come in two ways:
1. Your actual day. (Birthday expectations)
2. Your newfound age. (Aging expectations)
"Hope for the best. Expect the worst!" - a wise man.
The first one is pretty easy for me. Long ago I gave up feeling like I needed to have my birthday a certain way. Instead, I do something that makes me feel good. And that changes every year depending on what I need. Quiet. Friends. Energy. Fun. Whatever. Today, for my actual birthday, I am enjoying being quiet, reflecting and being as lazy as possible. (Back to #1)
3. Aging Expectations are Real.
Aging expectations. This is an area I struggle with. Is this age what I imagined it to be?
I turned 36 today. Ya, I'll say it. Thirty six years of experience with this thing called life.
With every new age, comes your own personal expectations of what you should have achieved by now. We all have things on that list. Maybe you still want to own a house. Advance your career. Travel more. Have kids. Get married. Move. Spend more time with your family or friends. Have more freedom. Have more money and security. Pay off your student loans. Know more. Be more. Do more.
See what we do to ourselves?
4. You Made it This Far! That's Pretty Rad.
We all have goals and dreams for the future, but the truth is, your life is enough right now. Today. You made it here! To today. You don't want to end up looking far into the future and missing out on the brilliance of today. Today is a gift. And tomorrow really is a mystery.
"..Nothing here is promised, not one day.." - Lin Manuel Miranda
5. Count the Good, Instead of Counting Your Candles And Cringing.
When you feel tiny twinges of birthday blues, or the feeling that you are missing something, fix that by counting the good.
Many Years of Good Things. Family. Hugs. Friends. Accomplishments. Goals. Travel. Moments of feeling like life is awesome and magical and happy and filled with love and amazing people and events and feelings. The journey. The adventure. The tears. The laughter. The love. And so much hope.
#6 Age is a Number, but That's About it.
Some days I feel twelve, other days I feel eighty. My soul. My spirit is shifts every day. I feel young and energized and naive. Then I feel oh so old and tired and wise. That's life. Life isn't about numbers, but instead about all your cumulative lifetime of experiences, thoughts, emotions - happy things and sad things - boring things and incredible things - this is you. Not a number.
#7 Aging Means You Care Less About Stupid Shit
One thing I love about aging is that as I get older I care less about other people's opinions of me. I want to impress myself, not other people. That part rocks.
#8 Life Means Your Body is Aging. Fact. Get Used to it.
Aging means your body is being lived in. So.. Healthy food. Movement. Sunscreen. Taking care of your soul and emotions. Start early boys and girls and you will be way ahead of the game. It is much harder to live well when you try playing catch up later on.
*my books can help with the plant-based food part
#9 Women Are Special
That pesky biological clock. It is tick-tocking like the crocodile in Peter Pan. And the call to motherhood (wanted or not) is literally in your face at every turn. I can't look at my phone without seeing adorable baby photos and basically feeling like I am the last person on earth to not have kids -- at least that is how it feels some days. It's complicated for me and personal. But also public because every stranger and family member seems to want to ask about it. Which is fine, but also frustrating because the answer to the question "Are you having kids?" is usually MUCH more complicated than the questioner expects it to be. Each woman will have her own unique and personal journey with this stage in life.
I am so thankful to women who have written in eloquent articles online on this topic of women and motherhood, fertility, family, life with kids, life without kids and so much more. One of my good friends Steph, is a beautiful writer on this topic.
But anywayyyyyyyyys. Sidetracked there of course.
#10 It's All OK. And it's All Going to be OK. Keep Going.
But back to the happy birthday.
To having big dreams but also being pretty darn ok with what is right in front of your face.
To fixing things you want to fix and being ok with things you can't fix.
To creating happiness in your life, even though this life isn't always what you expected.
To realizing that the grass isn't always greener.
To ditching goals that don't matter anymore. And working really hard for the ones that still do.
To raising a glass to this boring, usual, run-of-the-mill day. And every part of yourself. The struggles and tears. The ridiculous joy and blessings. Both those things staining together like oil meeting vinegar in a shallow white bowl. That is our beautiful life. Oil and vinegar. Ice and fire. Ocean and earth. Black night sky and bright blue daylight.
To embracing each and every passing year with hope for the future and love of yourself.
..what more can I possibly ask for than that?
Awkward but necessary Vegas bathroom selfie #ThisIs36
Ok, I think I've rambled and reflected enough.
Happy birthday to me.
And love to you for reading this. What a gift you have brought me in spending a bit of time here with me. Thank you!
xoxoxox Now excuse me while I go bubble bath it and continue my laziest bday... ;)
ps. I will leave you with a quote from my fave movie..
“Well, yes, ma'am, I do... I mean, I got everything I need right here with me. I got air in my lungs, a few blank sheets of paper. I mean, I love waking up in the morning not knowing what's gonna happen or, who I'm gonna meet, where I'm gonna wind up. Just the other night I was sleeping under a bridge and now here I am on the grandest ship in the world having champagne with you fine people. I figure life's a gift and I don't intend on wasting it. You don't know what hand you're gonna get dealt next. You learn to take life as it comes at you... to make each day count.” ― Jack Dawson, a la Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic