Yesterday was my 32nd birthday. Yes, it was 32 years ago today that I made my presence into the world, a crying, pink and, according to all my aunts, ugly baby. I’m one year away from my Jesus year, folks!
It’s not as bad as I anticipated it to be. I expected to wake up this morning feeling anxious about the fact that I’m now firmly rooted in my 30s, but surprisingly I woke up feeling good and devoid of any negative thoughts in regards to my aging. Maybe this is what it means to “grow up.” [Let’s all meet back here in 8 years when I turn 40 and see if I still feel that way…]
Maybe I don’t feel so bad about it because for the last few months when people ask me how old I am I’ve been saying I’m 32…so by this point it doesn’t really feel like I’m one year older than I was yesterday. Could it be that I’m the only woman who intentionally ages herself?
To honor this monumental milestone I decided to do a little bit of accounting for this past year. I figure birthdays are the most appropriate time for people to reflect on themselves and their progress as human beings, so here we go!
Hands down, the best event of the last year has been the birth of my nephew, Themis, in March. What a great way to experience unconditional love. There have been times when I’ve looked at him and teared up from the wonder of it all. It’s true what they say: once there is a baby in your life, you can’t really remember your life without one. I love him and adore him.
I was relieved this year by the confirmation of my feelings for having children of my own. Since age 15 I’ve suspected that I do not want to have children. I say “suspected” because when you’re 15, 18, 20, even 25, you don’t really know what the hell you want. You can claim one thing but you will eventually contradict yourself, guaranteed. Change, particularly at these ages, is the only constant. With Themi’s arrival in my life, this suspicion was solidified. I am ecstatic in the role of the ever-loving aunt, and this role, I have found, fulfills me wholly and completely. So, big thanks to Themi for making me realize this. WOOT-WOOT!
It took me a while (like, my entire life it seems), but this year I learned the importance of exercise. This is the magic elixir, people. It is the only thing I have found that makes me feel A-W-E-S-O-M-E. Aside from the benefits to your health and looks (my ass has lifted a couple of inches, I kid you not,) exercise keeps me mentally sane. It’s become a fulfilling habit, one from which I reap both mental and physical results (HELLOOOOOOO, BICEPS AND SANITY!)
My most recent “Why-did-I-wait-so-long?” discovery has been yoga and meditation. I’ve gotten in the habit of waking up at 6 a.m. for a quick yoga/meditation session in the mornings, and it feels even better than exercise. It centers me, calms me down, and makes me connect with a spiritual side of me that I’ve never really explored (or refused to explore.) It has brought forth a desire to find true, substantial happiness in my life – a happiness that is not dependent on material things. It centers me enough to be able to flow through the bad days without letting myself get caught up in the negativity – a vast improvement from my pre-yoga self. I find myself more tolerant of people, more willing to let their foibles pass (word-up to George Harrison for that particular phrasing) and live each moment in the mindset that “in the grand scheme of things, this is insignificant.” It hasn’t succeeded in decreasing the amount of swearing I do while driving, but hey, I’m a work in progress. OOOHHHMMM.
Don’t I make myself sound like the perfect little hippie child? I think I’m going to be the first person ever to make herself gag. That being said, there are a couple of things that I need to work on.
-I need to learn to control my patience with people; particularly those pests in my life that seem to be exist only to test my limits. Right now my plan of attack is to essentially ignoring the person when they endlessly complain and generally grate on my nerves. If I’m nodding my head and agreeing with you, but my eyes have a faraway look, then yes, I am ignoring you to save us both from an angry, venomous explosion aimed at your general stupidity.
-When I’m talking to a person and I want to give them advice, I need to learn to do so in a nice way, and not like a stern lecturer. As the saying goes, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar,” and I need to fully embrace that. If a friend can’t really grasp the concept of my advice, I get frustrated and thus louder and dictatorial with my speech. I’m telling the person what they need to do. I point fingers at them. I turn into kind of a bitch – a bitch whose intentions are good, but a bitch nonetheless. Not a good way to go, do we all agree? I need to be gentler with people.
-Other realizations, and I’m going to speed through these because I’m noticing this blog post has entered the rambling category: my listening skills could use some improvement; and I need to work on my obsession with keeping my house spotlessly clean (I could do much more enjoyable things than scrubbing my bathroom floor). Lastly, I need to stop looking at my face and only noticing the small, yet persistent signs of aging: the deeper lines around the eyes, the skin around my neck which seems to get just a little more lax as time goes by (I cringed when I typed that, for reals); and the fact that when I make an expression, hold it for a second and release it, it takes a few seconds for the expression lines to disappear from my face. Ah, the joys of aging…