If you follow me on Instagram, then it probably comes as no surprise that this past weekend, on Saint Patrick’s Day to be exact, I celebrated my birthday. It was a beautiful weekend spent with family & splurging on hibachi & birthday cake.
Adam did a great job of spoiling me, per the usual. I woke to flowers on the morning of my birthday, as well as some gifts and fun day ahead. He let me indulge in plenty of coffee, walks at the park, and good eats and Irish fun at my favorite restaurant called The Fed.
The weekend was super fun, and then I enjoyed a week off of work on a much needed stay-cation, which was icing on the cake. And, to be honest, the celebrating still isn’t over. You see, for us, we don’t just get a birth-“day”, we get a birth-“month”. We celebrate long and hard.
But, if I’m being honest, each birthday these last few years comes with thoughts and pondering of what’s ahead and feelings of unbelief at how fast life seems to be going by. I mean, I’m in my mid-thirties. When did that happen?
I shared an article on Facebook recently that pretty much summed up how I feel about turning 36. On one hand I love to be silly, take SnapChat photos, and live carefree. But, on the other hand, I realize that I have responsibilities and real life “stuff” that creeps up and steals that innocence. I can remember that feeling of wanting to be a grown-up and how I was going to own this life and have it all together, and now I’m just plain finding #adulting to be difficult. I agree with this sentiment from the article,
Most days are filled with compromise, budget talks, piles of laundry, and lots and lots of cold brew to help me keep my eyes open, cause Lord know the second I hit the couch I’m out for the count. Marriage is hard work. Nursing is hard work. Maintaining a household is hard work. Why wasn’t I more prepared for this thing called adulthood? Ha!
Then, of course, there’s always “the baby thing”. Ten years of infertility, struggling with my body image, depression, anxiety, and the list goes on, takes a huge toll on me, and every year that I celebrate another well-lived 12 months, I wonder when I will be able to carry new life in my belly, feel those kicks and hiccups, and eventually snuggle that baby in my arms. I would like nothing more than to be covered in peanut butter fingerprints, dogding legos splattered all over my living room floor, and planning dreamy birthday parties for my little ones that currently only exhist in my Pinterest boards. Other women my age have middle schoolers, are finishing their pregnancy years, and are moving past the sleepless nights of infancy and toddlerhood, and yet here I am, still stuck at the starting line, still trying to figure it all out.
There are many days I feel like I should still be sporting Lip Smackers and scrunchies in my crimped hair, while other days I feel terribly behind the crowd and as old as the hills. That weird crunching sound my knees make now can attest to that. And, I’m sure I’m not alone. Future knee replacements, here I come!
So, if you find yourself celebrating 36 , or whatever birthday is especially hard for you, and wondering how you got there and if you’ll ever get your act together… you’re not alone, friend. As much as we like to share our “perfect” and happy side with the world on social media, realize that everything behind the tiny squares, Instagram filters, and flowery status updates isn’t all hunky dory or as glamorous as it may seem.
I think we all strive to live the life we dreamt of back in the days where we read “The Babysitter Club” and played Mall Madness with our girlfriends. We all just want to do our best, live our best life, and reach our full potential.
So, here’s to another year of praying and waiting, to changing and thriving, and to just plain doing better than the day before. Because that’s all that I can control right now….my reaction and what I choose to do with these next 365 days, and so can you, sweet friend. Here’s to us choosing grace over guilt and celebrating progress, not perfection.