Tuesday, April 18, 2017

28 Will Be Great!

*I'm writing this on 6/2 and am in a bit of a sour mood - mostly because, surprise surprise, I don't feel well. So I thought I would do some opposite action and write about a really joyful memory.*

GAH! My birthday was SO amazing! A few weeks before my birthday I started a new medicine. I was titrating up and once I reached 3/4ths of the dose, I lost joy. I didn't want to engage in activities I normally would and I couldn't figure out how to start even simple tasks. After 2 days of crying all.day.long I realized it was the medicine and I backed off of it until I was able to stop it completely. During that time, I thought about what I wanted to do for my birthday, but my brain wasn't working and I wasn't able to tap into a creative place. 

Luckily - after I was off the medicine, I jumped right back into life and living! And with this lift in sadness came the fabulous idea to celebrate my 28th birthday with an open house style party! My theme was JOY (and owls snuck in there lol). So many people came and I was able to feel/receive their love for me.

What I find so amazing is the huge difference my recent birthdays have had. For many years in my early 20's, probably up until 26, I felt a great deal of sadness on my birthday. Not from the activities, food, or celebration, but because of the stupid number. In my mind, I should've turned 22 on my mission, I should've been married by 23 and celebrating with my husband, I should've been expecting a baby by 24, I should've had a baby by 25, etc etc. Along with those would have come accomplishments in my career as a speech therapist assistant and a house, car, dog, etc. Having those birthdays come without my "should's" was really hard. 

Oh how I wish I had not wasted time in the Land of Should.

Also, there was a time when I could literally count on 1 hand the people in my life I thought cared about me. I was in such a dark place and often thought about my funeral. Besides the Bishop officiating, I assumed my counselor at the time would come out of obligation and drag his wife along, and I knew my dear friend Suzanne would come and bring her then partner. That's it. 5 people. In my darkness, this was my reality. I believed those were the only people who would come to remember me and out of the 5, only Suz would do it because she loved me. The rest were out of guilt. 

It breaks my heart to think that I didn't believe my family would come. Now, my perspective has shifted, my heart has been opened, and my eyes SEE the many, many people who love me. I hope my funeral isn't for a looong time, but when it comes, it will be packed :) There are so many people who love me. And even better, there are SO MANY PEOPLE I LOVE!!!

I could not have asked for a better birthday. Our house was filled with kids/adults/families and I was so happy. I was also proud of the way I managed my anxiety. I was able to participate in the party and be present in the moment. I wish there was a way to physically save days so that you could go back and re-live them - this is a day I would for sure re-live.

By 9:30 the house was quiet and I had a pile of gifts (even tho I asked for no gifts - people are too sweet). Gifts are my love language and I think because I was tired and a bit over-stimulated I began having an internal breakdown. I have some slight OCD tendencies and wanted to finish all the birthday things on my birthday. I found myself trying to force myself to open the presents while internally crying (ok, externally too!). Finally, in a moment brought to me by DBT skills, I realized, not everything has to be done today. I validated my fatigue and told myself that after an excellent rest, I'd feel like opening gifts. And being rested, I'd be more fully able to enjoy them.

I was right! I opened my gifts the next day and couldn't stop smiling. I am SO grateful for the love of my family and friends. The day could not have been any better for me.

I am blessed.

I am loved.

I got sooo many fabulous ideas to make 28 a Joyful year!

I loved this - I set up our dining room with construction paper and crayons - the kids then made creative works of art!

This was super fun to make :) 


My Owl Cake by Bonnie Blue Cakery!

Another delicious cake made by my friend, Sarah!

Jalim & Dayna


Stacey & Bron

The Baileys

The Lisonbees

Logan & Jillian

The Fam (minus my sissies)


These are just a few of the many many people I love who came out to celebrate!

Oh, and I got my picture taken with Jesse the Screech Owl!!!

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