I’ve been thinking about what I could write about my birthday. I’ve read a number of pithy little posts, from talented mama’s about their imminent 40th birthday. Lots of self realization happening. Lots of great writing. Funny stuff. But it’s all been done. What will I say. What can I add?
And then I realized. It doesn’t need to be witty (although it probably will be, I mean, you know me) and it doesn’t need to be polished or well written. It just needs to be honest. Be me.
And, you guys, here’s the deal. Here’s what 40 has brought me…….I’m happy. I have love. I have health. I have family. I’m in love with my Dub and Dublets. I feel satisfied, fulfilled and proud of my company and career of choice. I feel like I’ve worked my way here. I have wonderful friends, all over the world whom I value and respect and cherish. I have parents who are all kinds of supportive, I have a sister whom I adore. I am me. I’m also all out of fucks to give about what people think of me.
If you’ve read any of my past posts, you’ll know a lot (a LOT) about me. You’ll know that I have lived through fertility issues, the miracle of our daughter and then our son and his illness that nearly took him from us (http://thankgodforwine.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=85&action=edit). I’ve lived through my own life threatening illness (http://thankgodforwine.com/lets-talk-about-boobs) and ALL of the emotions that go along with ALL that stuff. You also know I have been a fierce advocate for girls and women and I’m passionate about laughter. Lots of laughter. You’ll also know that I recently met and said goodbye to sweet Ida Clementine, my God Daughter and niece http://thankgodforwine.com/hello-and-goodbye/ . It’s been a short and busy 40 years.
My life has been, in the words of Glennon Melton Doyle of Momastery; Brutiful. It’s been a mix of brutal and beautiful. It took me 37yrs to love me. I’ve been happy in my skin for about 3yrs. 40? I can’t wait. I want to savor my children and my husband. I want to love them with all of my being. I want to hug and squeeze and be joyous with them. I want to laugh. I want them to think of me and think of hugs, laughter, kindness and silly. Granted, right now at 4 & 6, they probably associate me with rules and jobs and not being allowed to watch Netflix day and night, but I have high hopes they’ll rally.
Lately as I’ve been thinking about how I can do my best and how I can be my best self, I’ve been faced with some mind numbingly stupid situations. Situations that have reminded me that the (figurative and literal) “mean girl/boy/person” still exists and some people will hate you, no matter what you do. Situations that have made me feel angry. Situations that have made me want to totally withdraw because I just can’t be bothered dealing with such inane “bleurch”. But, because my life is brutiful, I’ve showed up. I’ve showed compassion and I’ve stood up for what is right. I’ve let go of the what if’s and held my head high. I’ve made the conscious decision that I won’t be a part of the bullshit, I’ll be part of the solution. I will show the negative’s that I will still be positive. I will #liftasisterup and I’ll show my kids that I can do hard things. I will show compassion and kindness no matter how horrid the situation. I’ll show myself that I can do it, no matter what. I’ll be held accountable only by me. Because, you know what? Life is hard. Life is wonderous. Life is brutiful and this Mama ain’t got tiiiiime for haters. That. THAT is what the last 40 years have shown me. As I said. I’m all out of fucks.
And this is MY (partial) list of learning: Show up. Show compassion. Don’t be a dick. Know you can do hard things. Be a good human. Take care of your body. Think of others. Put yourself in their shoes. Strive to be physically and mentally strong. Tell the truth. Do the right thing, not the easy thing. Don’t engage in bullshit. Answer the question, even if the answer is “I’m not sure”. Know it’s OK to pause before you answer the question. Know it’s ok to remove yourself from the situation. Don’t jump off the bridge with the others – unless it’s Karaoke, then jump off no matter how painful it is. Be open. Smile (I hate to smile). Know when to stop. Trust your gut. Know it’s ok to spare someone’s feelings. Don’t beat yourself up. Know that you don’t have to be friends with someone. Don’t talk shit. Don’t let pride get in the way of right. Have an opinion. Ask the hard questions. Love yourself. Promote and encourage others. Pause. Pause again. Be still. Get uncomfortable. Say “I’m sorry”. Say “I was wrong”. Make the effort. Be open. Learn what you don’t want to be. Say “I love you”. Exit gracefully and always, always find the humor.
My sister told me this a few years ago, and it’s stuck with me. “I cannot control what is put upon me; all I can control is how I respond”. Quite possibly, THE wisest words I’ve ever heard…………….Well that and, “always close your mouth when you’re scrubbing the toilet”. Here’s to 40, bitches.