Every year, I fight the birthday blues. Since 9/11/01 I have struggled with this battle of depression and funk from August to September. Two years, I have done really well and learned some coping tools to help me fight the funk. It is the sole reason I write ''Music that Takes Me Back'' series on this blog, it is a way of keeping my focus.
My new goal in striving to be vulnerable on this blog and transparent, I will honestly share that this year I have struggled fighting that funk. I have been in introspective mode for over a month and let a lot of really minor things eat at me. There have been a couple of major things as well that led me to my usual, '' I hate my birthday and EVERY year something bad happens.'' That isn't true but in my mind that is where I go. Thankfully with the help of my friend's Joel and Kay, I was on a great track of positive thinking until last Friday. We got some news about our new insurance payments and Marty's pay that really just threw me into a pit of wallow, worry and sadness.
My true calling in life is serving others and loving others. This year my service of others has called me into a difficult friendship that has challenged me. I committed to praying for a friend and recently that friend was injured severely and that has left me pretty devastated. I really haven't been able to share that due to respect for privacy and anonymity. It has been a burdened carried in silence. I have also seen other friends struggling with parents falling ill, family struggles, health issues and many other issues. I have been bearing a lot of burdens, I am strong and can handle it, I just sometimes need to share that I need lifting up too.
This year saw us accomplish a major goal of almost twenty years, we moved out of California and started a new adventure. Things have gone very well with virtually no setbacks. Really the only setback has been Elizabeth's struggle to make friends and this recent financial blow. Other than that, it has gone amazingly well for us.
Here is what I learned from my self assessment of the last several months:
I have learned that I over react, sometimes in a really ugly way and really am trying to work on that. I am a bit like Steve Martin in Father of the Bride. I think Marty was about ready to throw me out of the truck on the way to work this morning.
I worry far to much about the little things, I already knew this but it has been maginified recently and I am working on not sweating the small stuff. I remember in the not so distant future thinking Marty was going to die and living in such a dark place. Life is good everyday we are alive! Our lives have been so much worse and I have always overcome. I have overcome more in my life than some overcome in an entire lifetime, I am a testimony to resilience and need to show that to others.
Being independent is a good thing but sometimes you need to lean on others. I have become so used to vaulting others secrets and burdens that I started not sharing my own. So many have heavy weight to carry, that I don't want to burden anyone else. So I just clammed up and that isn't good. I recently have started confiding in more and being completely transparent with a few friends.
I have let others opinions and thoughts about my move eat away at me. Instead of not worrying, I have taken those negative thoughts on as my own burden. I cannot fix it for them or make it better, I just have to know they will deal with it in their own time
This morning, I started the day crying. I just was deep in the funk and dreading this week. I let the little things add up and just contributed it to my annual birthday ''curse'' and Marty was done with it. He and Andrea bear the brunt of this every year and they both try their best to snap me out of it and I pretty much let them down.
I heard this song in the car this morning, reminding me I am an ''Overcomer'' and have overcome so many huge obstacles in life.
I was working on positive thinking when I opened my Twitter and saw this:
A young boy Conner's age named Luke did that for me. It was such a sweet gesture from not only Luke but my all time favorite cyclist Jens. It made me smile, forget and let go, because if Jens Voigt says then it is so. He is one of the most inspiring forty year old's I know and truly someone who buries himself for others expecting nothing in return for himself. He is a happy go lucky guy and truly someone I look up to. It was an instant reminder of who I want to be and who I really am. Two men doing something nice for me for no reason at all. It was one of those moments that I reaped and was blessed.
Forty is starting to loom closer and I have set some big goals for myself to achieve. It is a few years off but I am telling you to keep myself accountable:
Stop worrying about what others think about me. Just be myself and if someone doesn't like it, then move on and forward. If someone doesn't like what I say or do, that is their problem not my problem.
Stop living in introspection and putting life into action
Get these last 70lbs off for good.
Go back to school. I think that I have finally decided that I want to be a nurse midwife and go back to working in labor and delivery at the very least. This is a long term goal that will take several years to accomplish but next year, I am going to start the foundations.
I have two books to write and I need to write them. Instead of putting it off, I am just going to start doing it. I have stories that need to be told and shared with many people. This blog is a great start but I want to put it in print. We can all see God doing something with the crazy things that happen to me in life and I want to share that with the world...well I already do that don't I?
So here is to making 37 the working year, working for these goals, working with Marty and the kids toward building our future in Tennessee. Focusing on the positive and eliminating the negative.
Thanks to everyone who has been helping me through the past month and letting me lean on them while I have been working it out. We all fall down sometimes and with the help of our friends we get up again! Here is to a great year.
One reason I write the birthday blog series is because I believe in the power of building others up and lifting others up. I love my friends and family, I want the world to know the wonderful people in my life and share them. Making people feel good and important is huge, there is so much power in kindness and treating others as you want to be treated yourself. That came back to me this morning, always so good to have it come back and remind me to keep going forward with that mission in life. My outlook is: ''This life is not about me, it is about self sacrifice and serving God through loving others''