So, after some birthday reflection, what exactly do I know at 36? Not a lot, that’s for sure. If the past few years have taught me anything, it’s that curve balls will keep coming. I once had a plan; had stability; I took the path of least resistance but then life happened. At 36, I know that I have a lot to learn, and I am so excited to get educated!
I have lived quite a life. There have been times that I have wondered how one person could be given so many obstacles to clear, so many hurdles to jump. It is only now that in my mid-thirties, I finally feel like I am living – both a sad and a happy reflection. I am thriving, alive! Happy and healthy, physically stronger than I have ever been. Mentally, though imperfect, I am in the best place – a good, stable place. I am surrounded and enveloped by the most incredibly supportive, loving people.
This year has been tough on so many, myself included. Plans made became plans changed. Uncertainty is the name of this Coronavirus game and our lives are practically ‘in the air‘, waiting on some sort of normalcy to resume so that our lives can get back on track. Maybe they never will and this IS the plan; this IS the foreseeable future. What I do know is that we need to celebrate the wins despite the precarious nature of this awful pandemic. Patting ourselves on the back needs to become routine because we have earned it; the year has been crap. There is no other way to say it but we can be proud of how we have handled it.
Birthday reflection summary…
Those who know me know that every single year there is bound to be a countdown followed by a birthday month, birthday week, and of course my birthday itself. Last year was a difficult birthday, the first without J-P. This year is a little easier but naturally more reflective as I enter into a new year with a clearer head. I have put together a little list of need to know reflections. A list that I can refer back to as well as you when times get tough (or tougher) and you deserve a break.
- Healthy is more important than skinny! I lost a lot of weight and reduced the numbers on the scale drastically. I started out wanting to be thinner and realised that being healthy was far more important. Health looks different to everyone but should encompass mental; physical and emotional wellness. We owe it to ourselves and to the people who love us to be the healthiest versions of ourselves that we can be.
- Be yourself because an original is worth more than a copy! Job seeking became a profession in itself over the last few months. I started out trying to make myself look like someone a business would want to employ rather than being myself. Blogs were deleted, social media feeds overhauled and profile pictures dumbed down to suit my employment endeavours. I made a mistake. I realise now that I don’t want to work for a business that doesn’t want me for who I am and how I look (ie. tattooed). Being surrounded by people who don’t accept me for who I am are people I should not be around. Owning our originality and being the truest version of ourselves is the best that we can do.
A few more…
- Flexibility is essential! In life; love and your career. I am a planner and I love a list or a schedule, I thrive on organisation. Something always comes along and thwarts those well-intended plans. A younger me would not respond well to this kind of interruptive chaos but now, I have learned to be adaptable and to allow a little flexibility into my life. Being flexible allows us to take a few extra knocks on the chin without taking a beatdown.
- Toxic people do not deserve your time and/or effort! People have been cut from my life. Some more understandably than others. It is not up to me to explain to people how or why someone affects me the way they do but I choose to preserve my energy. My energy is valuable and energy vampires are not welcome here. I prefer to put my time and effort into people who don’t negatively impact me in any way and perhaps this comes across as intolerant but is not intended in that way. I have had to learn to push people away who pull me down and this is because I allow myself to be pulled down. More than that, I owe myself. We owe ourselves.
Birthday reflection, the last two…
- It’s the little things! More for myself, that was all I ever wanted. Once upon a time, I wanted to be rich and successful, and now? Now I want to pay my bills and enjoy my life and the little time on this planet that I have. I want to love and be loved; share and support. I embrace the here and now as best as I can without focusing too much on what lies ahead. Balancing goals and aspirations with downtime and self-care can be difficult but it is essential. Giving ourselves permission to enjoy the little things every once in a while is the grounding we need in life.
- Embrace your inner child! Growing up can feel overrated and though I don’t wish I was a child again, I do love the reckless abandon that comes with the younger years. I have spent a lot of time unlocking that inner child, I began playing Fortnite; I am saying YES more than I say no and this weekend we are heading to Thorpe Park for a rollercoaster filled birthday celebration. We can’t go back in time but we can tune in to the children we once were and maybe learn a thing or two from them.
I could go on for ages!
The final little birthday reflection.
My birthday is normally about doing what I want to do, eating what I want to eat, going where I want to go. I am here to remind you that days like this should not be reserved for birthdays alone. Times are tough but it is perfectly acceptable (and essential) to put ourselves first once in a while, whatever that may look like to you – a Lush bubble bath; turning your smart technology off; a mid afternoon siesta etc. Laugh. Laugh, laugh, and laugh some more – it truly is the best medicine and surrounding yourself with people who make you laugh (or who laugh at your stupid jokes) can dim even the harshest of situations.
Now, let’s celebrate that I managed to keep my birthday reflection post under 5 minutes reading time because we all know how much I love to waffle! Thank you so much for all of your birthday messages and love, I truly am feeling all of the good energy birthday vibes!