My birthday is on Thursday… it’s kind of a special one because this year I get to celebrate being alive and healthy. I can drive to work, and feel the cold air on my face or appreciate the beauty of the falling snow. Usually right about now, I reflect and the trend has been determining that the past year has been really tough. It’s been a lot of years since I said, “wow, what an easy, fun year”… That sucks, and I’m hoping to change that in 2019.
The past year has me feeling all of the feels. There were good things yes, but there were so many more bad things. I smashed down to rock bottom and was tested more than I have ever been. I also learned just how strong I am, and I am thankful for that.
It’s my first birthday without my dad. The way I feel about that fact is really impossible to describe. I miss him so much. It’s been hitting me hard lately, and I think it’s because as my life is slowly feeling more normal, the void where he was is becoming more apparent. I miss his ability to stabilize the family… without him sometimes things seem so out of control. We’re doing our best though and the reminders of him are all around us.
Last year I just had to make it through each day. There was so much grief, sadness and instability. It was put your head down, get it done and worry about the rest later. Cancer blazed a trail through my life – starting with my dad’s journey, and ending with mine. It took so much from me and here I am, wondering how to rebuild and how to heal.
This is the year of self-love. It is a year of kindness, of saying no, of being more mindful of my choices and giving myself so much grace. This year is about working hard to live purposefully and with gratitude. This year I will travel, and indulge in things that are meaningful to me. I will put myself first, rest when I need to rest, and remember how far I’ve come. I’ve learned a lot about stress – where it comes from, how to calm it and how to avoid it.
I’m thrilled about turning 34 and feeling more determined than ever to love myself and have an “easy” year. I deserve it, and I pray I’ve done enough to make it happen.