Happy Birthday to Me . . .

http://www.amazon.com/Denim-Diamonds-Lori-Robinett/dp/1631030035/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405879835&sr=1-7&keywords=denim+%26+diamonds

Lori L. Robinett, author

 

Today is my birthday. I’m not ashamed of my age (47), but I am a bit surprised at it. It’s like I woke up one day several years ago, looked in the mirror and though, damn, when did I get old?

My face is fat, my skin doesn’t have that youthful glow, and my eyes are hooded.

But I have to say, I’m very happy in my skin these days. I’ve started working out (going to 9Round – “get fit, not hit”), drinking more water. I journal more often. Buddhism and mindfulness are part of my daily routine. And my writing is, very slowly, becoming more authentic. The older I get, the less I worry about what people will think.

At one time, I thought my birthday deserved a celebration. Then, 12 years ago, I spent my birthday at my best friend’s visitation after she lost her battle with cancer, so I didn’t even want to acknowledge my birthday. And now? Now, I feel good. I’m in a good place. And am looking forward to celebrating my birthday with pizza, beer and the 2 hour season premiere of The Following.

Happy Birthday to Me . . .

My birthday, 2010

My birthday, 2010

Birthdays are supposed to be happy occasions. When we’re little, we put on crowns or tiaras and hit pinatas and have cake and ice cream. But what happens as we get older? Personally, my birthday is now tinged with sadness. My best friend from high school passed away (cancer) several years ago and I spent my birthday at her visitation. My birthday is now a reminder of loss and how short life can be. To make it worse, this is the first year without my daughter at home.  So . . . what to do? How do you celebrate a birthday when you don’t feel happy, happy, happy?

Simple.

You live in the moment.

You look around you and see all that you have to be thankful for. Family. Friends. Pets (after all, what says unconditional love more than puppy kisses?). Your health. Don’t give me any BUTS. But nothing. You have family. Extended family or adopted family. You have friends (and if you don’t have friends, get off your sorry rear and reach out because there is SOMEONE out there who needs a friend just as much or worse than you do). You may have health issues, but there are those out there who are worse off. Even when our daughter was in the NICU and we didn’t know if she would make it, there were others worse off. We considered ourselves lucky.

Take a deep breath and allow healing energy into your body. Breathe out the negative energy. Picture whiteness entering your body, and darkness exiting.

Take care of yourself. Do what works for you. Personally, writing helps. Scrapbooking helps. Curling up with a good book helps. Making a cake and licking the beaters works.

Don’t get me wrong – this isn’t a sad post. I am not sad today. I feel blessed to be living in a house that is nicer than I ever imagined I’d have, with my husband of nearly 20 years (who surprised me with a Browning .22 this morning – what says love more than a firearm?!) and my puppies around me, and I will get up tomorrow and go to a job that I truly enjoy. Life is good.

But I also recognize that there is an undercurrent of sadness and loss that I feel today.

I feel the sadness, identify it, accept it. And go on. Because life IS good.

Family, Surprises and Growing Older

Eula's 90th Birthday

Eula’s 90th Birthday

I’ve never thought of myself as a creative person, but I write, scrapbook and papercraft. Though I usually share writing, I thought I’d share a layout with you today.

This is a layout about my great-aunt Eula. This was when my mom and her brother (Joe, in the photo with Eula) surprised Eula with a cake for her 90th birthday. When she walked into the room, her face registered disbelief, surprise and happiness. It was a fun weekend, and I was glad we got to help her celebrate her birthday.

This year, I turned 45. It has been a tumultuous year so far. After I turned 45, we had the whirlwind of my daughter’s senior year, culminating with Prom and Graduation. Then she moved out, which has been a struggle for me. But as I look at this photo of Eula, I realize that this year is but a blip. It is the way of life – we raise our children, then they leave. That’s the way it should be. And now that she has moved out, it is my turn. I can explore my creative pursuits and get to know me again.

What have you let take a back seat over the past few years? Are you ready to explore?