Tuesday, April 26, 2011

birthday reflections

Today is my birthday and I am turning 29 for the 10th time!  :)  There's me...red bump still glowing on my forehead and all!!

The past few months I have been realizing more and more the inevitability of aging, and yet at the same time, any age is what you make it.  Judging from the responses I got on my Facebook post asking my friends if they felt like their true age, most of them said no...that they feel older.  Which I found ironic, because I always feel younger than my actual age.  Like I'm still waiting to be a 'grown up'.  But I've also found that particularly in the past year, I'm also very much more aware that the seasons in my life are really changing.  Gone are my 'baby days' of pregnancy, midnight feedings and diapers.  Which is good, and kind of sad, for me.  But mostly good.  Trust me...I loved pregnancy (all except for that ninth month), but I'm happy to be enjoying the new-found freedom of no longer wiping butts, and being able to send all the kids off to find something to do on their own, as well as the alone time I have while they are all in school.  And making them help with chores...yeah, that's a big bonus too.

But I'm also simply becoming more comfortable with myself...who I am...in this season as well.  I'm finding I am much less insecure than I used to be.  (Which was very, very insecure, by the way.)  I'm no longer completely paralyzed with fear at the thought of a new experience.  I can enjoy being alone sometimes (and even shopping alone...I never used to be able to do that).  I worry less (though this one is still a battle at times) about what other people think of me.  I'm learning to take inventory of myself, recognize, accept and attempt to deal with my flaws.  Along with that, I'm becoming a bit more okay with other people pointing out my flaws as well (not that I love when it happens, but I can accept it a bit more graciously). 

But most of all, I'm trying to learn to get more 'outside' myself, and focus on others more, and in some ways less.  By 'more' I mean I am trying to become much more aware of those around me, and especially notice when they are in need.  I can tend to be on the less-compassionate side, and sometimes I can miss the needs of others in the daily grind of life.  I'm trying to be more aware of my friends who need help with their little ones, now that I'm able to actually breath myself, and remember how grateful I was for offered help when I was drowning in the sea of the baby/toddler years.  By 'less' I mean, I'm trying to focus less on what can upset or bother me about people.  I'm learning to accept that people are just different than me in some ways, and it's completely okay.  They can hold differing opinions on parenting, take differing stands on theology, and see politics from a completely different angle than I.  And I can simply appreciate them for who they are.  Oh, and another biggy I've learned is that I'm not responsible for everyone, and their choices or actions.  Yeah...that's a load off!!  (And yeah, it took some 'therapy' to get to that point...just sayin'!)  :)

And now, as I finish this post, and get ready to go meet some dear friends for lunch, I am just feeling particularly thankful for today.  It's deliciously warm and sunny, the trees outside my window are simply gorgeous, and even though no one in my household remembered this morning that it was my birthday, I am content knowing that they love me and express it to me nearly every other day of the year.  (And, to Todd's credit, he was on the ball and took me out to celebrate the weekend before my birthday!  So, kudos to him!)  I am happy and content, and thankful to see all the ways God is working in my life, and for His many, many blessings. 


Zoanna said...

Happy 29th plus 10 to you! I liked this reflective post. Birthdays are good at helping us see where we've come, where we are, and where we want to be heading. I can relate to so much of what you've said, now that I'm 29 plus...um..more than 10.

Julie said...

Good for you that everyone can "forget" your bday this morning and you are okay with it. I am still a whiny, pouty brat if my bday is mundane. I'd be awful if it was completely unmentioned.

Laura said...

Loved this post...