you know you are getting old, when the first time you think about your birthday is when you remember that your tags are about to expire.
this year has been about reacting. about survival. i have given little thought to caring for myself both in mind and in body although i think i tried once or twice to invest some energy into both. my birthday came in the midst of a major regression for my son, which has left me exhausted and falling short of providing for him. i have so little time for myself that I am actually writing my birthday reflection three days after my birthday.
i woke up feeling pretty depressed which usually is never the case for my birthday but i felt so out of sync with myself that it almost seemed that i had become a stranger to myself. my son was refusing his first nap despite breaking my own rule for a moment to rock him. all i could think of to keep me pushing forward was that my sister was coming and i was going to spend some time with keith in the evening doing an escape room.
but until then, i was alone with an overtired baby and my only outlet at the moment was reflecting briefly on my ig stories. it must have been an out of body experience, because i was crying by the end of the video, which i wasn’t aware i had been recording that long until after i posted it. about an hour later, i received some of the sweetest mama messages that made me feel less alone in my heartache. shortly after, my sister arrived…with my parents in tow!
the reprieve i needed!
the day grew brighter as i spent some time with my sister celebrating my birthday, encouraging her, drinking coffee and lemon and lavender cake oh my word. i swear this was made by the unicorns. and avoiding tornado watch. yep. happy berfday. then as my husband and i made our way to the escape room that evening, we stopped off at our neighbors’ house because keith said the kids wanted to say happy birthday.
lies. all lies.
i ended up being surprised by a small group of friends who had made me feel safe this past year. and then. and then those people made me touch your hand for stupid reasons. no they just made me cry with thoughts on what i meant to them in very specific ways. i had been secretly wondering what sort of impact that i had on people, because i always felt like i wasn’t exciting or endearing enough for people to want to either stick it out or at least put forth a real effort to be friends with me.
it was all overwhelming honestly. i didn’t know what to do with all of their words. with all of the genuine love that has been difficult to receive and accept because it always seemed to slip through my fingers. it made me want to love myself better so that i could love them better.
love my neighbor as i love myself.
i think that is my cta this year. to love myself more so that i might love those around me better.