I have a birthday looming, thirty-five. For some very personal reasons, this is the birthday that has lived large in my mind since I was young, and now it’s just a week away. I know that I’ve given it more weight than it deserves but I can’t help myself. It hasn’t helped matters that I’ve gotten my first gray hairs in the past few months, three or four that sprouted out unannounced and very unwelcome.
I made some big changes in my life this past year and suddenly, ripple effects from those changes are all around me. One change begets another, and sometimes I look in the mirror and my life is so different than it was just a year ago that it scares me. It’s happy, I’m happy, but the way that life can just transform so rapidly is both terrifying and exhilarating.
Last year, I would have booked a weekend away for my birthday to decompress, to shut off the social media and the internet and the job. Today, that’s almost laughable. I’m present in my job, I’m present at home. I’m not plugged in. Honestly, I’m almost unreachable. I write blog posts in my head and then forget to post them for days (weeks?). I run out of time for returning calls and emails. I live in the moment with the people that are right in front of me, and that’s about it.
So I’m heading out of town to celebrate this dreaded birthday with my closest friends. I’ll be out of cell range much of the weekend, reading, napping and probably indulging in just a little too much good food and drink. It’s not the escape I needed last year. Instead, I’m looking at it as a renewal, an affirmation that life is good. That I’m blessed. That yes, I do have everything I need. That my job, my friends, my family, my beautiful children, my husband…that is enough. That is all I need. The growth and the self-awareness, the wisdom and the new tiny lines near my eyes? Those are just a bonus.
*image found here. It’s been my mantra this year since I spotted the print at Karina’s house.