I do it, and I do it big. Here's to not forgetting about it.

Posts tagged ‘birthday’

Battle: Part 2 of 3

I have been 35 for nearly a month, and it has not looked like anything I imagined.

I am part of a large cohort of humans whose 2020 looks much, much different than they had planned. I was supposed to have lost more weight instead of gain back what I lost at the end of 2019. I had scheduled to race in Austin and Philadelphia and remove them from my bucket list of running in America’s 50 largest metropolises, rather than rehabbing a knee injury via Zoom physical therapy. For the first time in my professional life, I am unsure of my job security as an educator, as I suspect that any job cutting may come at the expense of specialists. My family has had biennial reunions since 1992, and now only God knows when we will reconvene with our matching shirts and high decibels in a hotel lobby. I lost an Uncle to Covid 19 whom I typically only saw at those reunions and have yet to be able to properly memorialize him because of stinking Covid 19.

What do I care about? How do I honor God from my couch? I hate to say that I want to be true to myself because my best self honors God, but He made me with certain strengths and weaknesses; if He made me a square I’m not supposed to mess with circle business, you know?

Yes, I care about being healthy, especially given the pandemic and my proximity to my parents and grandmother, but I do not have the emotional energy that I had last August to go ovaries to the wall with a disciplined eating regimen. I am volunteering to do some data entry with a campaign I support, but you know what? Sometimes I just want to take a nap. I was asked to step into leadership with a professional organization, and listen to this – while I am the first to advocate why my existence as a music teacher is essential, for some reason when I think about doing the work that facilitates student experiences, I think to myself – how important is this right now? There are people calling for the military to be in the streets; maybe the concerto competition can wait?

As I read my own words, I see a common thread. I’m not trying to tickle my own ivories, but come on – apparently God has blessed me with the spirit of a helper. Isn’t my moral responsibility to my family first? Can I really serve them if I am not my healthiest self, which means I gotta be right with God and perhaps not ordering baklava and pralines and eating with little restraint? Or am I being too hard on myself? Life has come at me pretty freaking fast in the past year, and I cannot fight every single battle that comes my way! I think part of adulting is accepting that my arsenal does have limits – but isn’t part of growth increasing my arsenal?

I WILL help – after I get a cookie.

cookie monster

Missed Opportunities: On Turning 30

I was partying so hard with my loved ones that I’m just now getting around to my birthday post, tee hee. 

A little more than two weeks ago, I walked into my classroom and saw that it had been decorated with banners. “Happy 30th Birthday!” they read. I have incredibly thoughtful colleagues, I thought to myself. Then I ripped everything down that had the “30” on it. I was pretty sure that it was the part of me that is a private person that had this reaction. I don’t think that 30 is old; rather, I just don’t think everyone needs to know personal things about me and I consider age to be personal. 

30. Whoa. I suppose my adulthood is pretty legit at this point. As the last of my close friends to turn 30, I’ve watched varied reactions, ranging from indifferent to negative. Meanwhile, at work I was told by a colleague that she had seen no one more happy to be 30 than I was. It’s true – I am happy! I love celebrating my birthday, as displayed by how I went dressed to school that day –  

 

Yeah, I definitely look my age. What I’m not sure I understand is why this is a problem, unless it’s just the “holy crap I’m actually gonna die someday” rearing its ugly head. I also feel more aches and pains than I did 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago. If there’s anything I am bummed about, it’s that I’ve had 30 years of opportunity to be good to my body and I squandered quite a bit of it. I got to be over 200 pounds – twice! I caused a car accident – thankfully, just once. Then the good stress, like starting my first job and finishing school. I’ve earned these stray grays and aches for sure. I don’t think it’s particularly fair to blame aging for any of this when it is simply the effects of long-term abuse. It’s like blaming the victim when she’s had enough and being upset that she needs therapy when you really should be seeing how you can help.

I am thankful to be 30. I am blessed that my body is still pretty healthy. I am well enough to say that I would take the wisdom that comes through surviving my twenties than the energy that it took to do the stupid stuff I did. Who knows, perhaps I will make fewer mistakes now only because I go to bed much earlier, hah! I get to continue doing all of the things I should have been doing in the first place – eating well, seeing the doctor regularly, hydrating properly, sleeping sufficiently. It’s not as though I suddenly need them now that I’m older. Finally I am wise enough to see how indispensable these things are. 

In an effort to be more open, I did tell a Kindergarten class that I am 30. I think it’s stupid that women try to hide their age and I regretted ripping down the 30s from my classroom and thus perpetuating that foolishness. There’s a lot of awesome ahead; God promised me in the book of Jeremiah. I’ve survived myself, thank the Lord! The kids’ reaction? “OMG you’re so old!” I chuckled. 10 is old to a 5 year old. Not doing it again though – must protect instructional time, after all! Note to self – only share if not teaching. ☺️

Thirty. Bring on the next decade!

  

Coachie on Crack

There was more to this conversation, but this is the part that got my attention – 

Me: Why am I slower than I used to be?! 

Coachie: Blah blah insert reasonable scientific answer oh and you’re a year older…sorry! 

I want to make sure I’m understanding correctly. My age is supposed to have some effect on my physical output? No. Way. 

Up to this point, I had been pretty excited for my birthday. I even have a countdown on my phone! I am thankful for the life with which God has blessed me. My twenties have been a big deal – I’ve finished my formal schooling, started my career, become slightly less insecure, am becoming more physically fit, and finally get to stop kissing frogs. I am starting to see just how blessed I am. Bring on the years, baby. Then Coachie drops this bombshell on me. “You’re another year older…sorry!” Black isn’t supposed to crack at ALL, much less so early (Lord willing!) on life’s timeline. I’m confused. 

I went to my computer and started looking at pictures of myself from my early twenties. “My word,” I thought to myself. “I DO have cracks!” I look in the mirror and see lines that weren’t once there, not to mention a gray or two that has appeared since 2005. “I’ve been thinking to myself that I just keep getting better and here’s all this…aging. Yikes.” 

If I am being honest with myself, I still believe that’s the case. I AM getting better. The cracks in my black are evidence that growth always comes with a cost, whether it be time, money, or gray hair. I suppose I could have stayed inside away from the sun, or not taken the risks I have. My life is that much richer because of my choices. 

That being said – I have since upped my moisturizer game. 



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