Thirty-six today. Still mid-thirties, right? I’m not freaked out by getting older, I actually love that I’m not in my twenties anymore. And imagine being a teenager again!? No thanks…
I am grateful for everything I have on this birthday. But that hasn’t stopped me crying most of the morning. My poor parents who FaceTimed from Melbourne and started singing Happy Birthday only to see their sick daughter cry at the other end of the line in Brisbane! Sooooooorry mum and dad……
I don’t know what came over me. No, wait, hang on. I do know.
I feel sick. A head cold, very lethargic and my ear hasn’t been great. Nothing dramatic. But the weekend was a write-off. Very frustrating when it’s your ‘birthday weekend’!
Everything is harder when you’re sick. And I am not even really sick. (If you’re traveling through life feeling unwell a lot, or have a chronic condition and are listening to my whinge thinking “shut the f&$k up you spoiled bitch” then I totally hear you. And I’m sorry.)
But the thing is that SO OFTEN friends will be upset or unhappy and preface it by saying “I know I’ve got nothing to complain about” or “there are people far worse off than me” or “I’ll be fine I’m just having a moment”.
I call bullshit on that!
Whatever you are feeling – feel it. Feel it wholeheartedly.
Don’t apologise for it and don’t try and squash the emotions. Yes there are always people worse off AND better off than you. But your life is only relative to YOUR life.
So I’m sitting here today feeling sick AND homesick. A terrible combination. I want nothing more than for my family to pop around with a cake, take the kids out to the park so I can rest and then perhaps hang around for a BBQ dinner tonight. To me, that would be bliss. My peeps in my life, right where they are meant to be.
It’s been eight years living away from Melbourne and we have met amazing people, lived in great places that will always have a place in my heart, learnt so much and grown stronger and more resilient. My husband and I are a great team, but we get worn down too. Right now we feel a little worn. A little ragged. A little less than ‘fighting fit’.
So I crave the warmth of my family. I crave someone taking care of ME!
I crave a day off.
But there’s three little people who don’t really get that mummy needs a big fat break! Their needs remain and today we escaped to the countryside for some fresh air and fresh juices. Sounds blissful and it was, until my son started to nag and nag and nag and nag. Wow. Mummy’s only got a short fuse today buddy….
So it’s my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to! If not today, when it’s all about ME, then when!?
But when I want to pull myself out of the funk, then here’s what I do….
I return to grace. I return to thinking about all the things that I am so blessed to have.
The beautiful people who have called or messaged, or posted on my FB wall. The breakfast in bed, and the kid-made wrapping paper, and their pure joy at giving gifts. My beautiful husband for whom I would honestly be lost without. Our children. My siblings and parents – my strength. My in-law family who mean so much. My health, my struggles, my determination, my chaos, my dreams and my tears – grateful for all of that too. (Grateful for the kids resting so I could write this!)
Now – this isn’t an instant fix – but it certainly improves my headspace.
And I’ll give myself a pat on the back for where I’ve come this past year. To think that Small Steps to Wholefoods wasn’t even born yet, at my last birthday!!
Last night I was sitting with my three kids on the couch and my husband took a photo – there’s not many photos of me with all three kids. And I thought how crazy it was that five years ago, none of them were earth-side. I didn’t know them. One was only 4 days away from being born. So I’m celebrating five years as a mother on Friday and that to me feels significant today.
I wonder what I’ll celebrate next year? Hopefully that moving back down south isn’t too far away. In the meantime my gorgeous Brisbane family sustain me. How lucky to have met a bunch of extraordinary women I am privileged to call my friends.
OK, think the tears are over. Time to bake a cake!