Just a couple of days ago I turned the final page on yet another year of my life. As quickly as it came, I kissed thirty-two good-bye and welcomed in thirty-three. It was a quiet day highlighted by by lunch with my MIL and my two favorite blondes.
We had a meeting that evening, but of course we couldn’t let the day go by without the all important stop for ice cream on our way home. In my opinion, ice cream is a necessary part of any celebration. . . or any day, really.
|My little guy is becoming quite the photographer.|
Any flavor of ice cream will do, but pumpkin is pretty close to perfection.
This is really all I wanted for my birthday. A few stolen moments, away from the constant rush that makes up life these days, to sit and be with my little family.
After our brief stop we climbed back into the car and took the 15 minute drive home while the sun dipped below the horizon in the distance. As we drove, the sky’s orange/pink hue cast its eerie glow around us. I sat in the front seat and listened to a mixture of my little ones jibber-jabber and the blare of a baseball game on the radio. For a moment I closed my eyes and breathed in the scent of the flowers my MIL had just given to me and I thought to myself. . . all right 33, let’s do this.
I’ve never been one to place a lot of importance on the dawn of a new age. A number, is a number, is a number and in all reality. . . birthday’s mark a transition in number and not much else. The older I get, however, the more I tend to look at these days as markers or indicators of where I’ve been and where I’m going. A time to take stock and mark out the journey both before and behind. A guard against complacency.
Thirty-two was a good year. It was uneventful, for the most part, and yet I know that even now I’m not who I was a year ago. Some of that has to do with this small space and the accountability it provides to keep me moving forward. Some of it has to do with tough decisions that had to be made and experiences I had yet to encounter before my 32nd year. I realize that most of the lessons life teaches can not be planned. They just happen in all the wonderful, terrible, life-altering events that come to every person. Some of them are as loud as fireworks, while others breeze through as softly and quietly as a withered leaf falls from a tree. Either way, retrospect always provides the evidence.
I think there are some ways, however, that we can focus ourselves to be better, do better, live better. . . and that is what I have been thinking about. I’ve noticed that as my kids get older and I watch how they grow, change, and interact with the world, I become more aware of how important it is that I continually allow myself to grow, change, and interact more fully in the world. I truly believe that a lot of how okay they will be, depends on how okay I am.
I want then to be okay.
Actually, I want them to be more than okay.
I have spent a full day trying on 33 and I can honestly say that, for the most part, I feel okay. If I’m being completely honest, however, I have days when I feel far less than okay. Days when I am not smart enough, not pretty enough, not rich enough, not professional enough, not wise enough, not strong enough, not creative enough, not skinny enough, not fast enough, not talented enough, not patient enough, not courageous enough, not good enough, not silly enough, not serious enough, not. . . .
Yep, my hope for 33 is ENOUGH of this.
Yes, I know we all have days when these feelings run rampant. I know such feelings are, to a point, completely normal. But 33 is challenging me to be okay with who I am. To accept and embrace my flaws while at the same time not casting a spotlight on my perceived flaws. Why is this so important? In all reality, I’ve done okay skirting by these feelings for long enough that they haven’t created any major problems, right?
The reason this is so important is simple. . . the reason lies in these two (soon to be three) little people who are watching. . .
I know that they see how I interact with the world and how I carry myself. I see their minds turning as they see if I walk forward confidently or cower in fear. I get that they take their cues from me.
This is important stuff.
So, as I embark on this 33rd year, it it my hope that 365 days from now I will come back to this post and be able to say, yep, I’m further than I used to be. Not perfect. . . just further. It is my hope that during my 33rd year enough will be truly enough.