Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Forty


It's a bit after the fact, but here's a little birthday wrap-up:

My fortieth got off to a rousing start because I had to renew my driver's license, and this is the first time I can remember not lying about my weight on my license. I've always fudged the truth by at least ten pounds, and sometimes even more egregiously. This year I agonized but finally decided it's time to make peace with myself. After all, truth counts most in those little areas where only I would know I was lying. That said, I'm still feeling bitter about having to give up my old license, which had a much better photo than this time around.

Jim and I took the kids to dinner at one of our favorite local places, and it hit me unexpectedly as I was cutting into my big, juicy steak: there was no one I'd rather party with than them. One of my girlfriends asked recently if I was doing something special for my birthday. A year ago, I would have wanted to go out and celebrate this milestone with friends, and maybe have a separate party later with family. Somehow, when I wasn't paying attention, that changed, because now nothing matters more than being with my husband and kids. It's even more enjoyable to watch Jimmy getting a chocolate mustache while slurping down my birthday sundae with gusto than eating it myself.

Don't get me wrong; I loved my kids before and tried to always put them first. But it used to be because I knew that's what a mother is supposed to do and while I wanted to be a good mom, I sometimes resented having to place my children's needs before my own. Now, so much more of my own personal joy comes from seeing their happiness and growth, rather than from my own gratification. Paradoxically, I'm also better able to find the balance in taking care of my own needs so that I have the energy and inner calm to be available and present for them.

And that joyful balance is the best gift. EVER.

1 comment:

Gretchen said...

You're beautiful!!!!!!!! Great mug shot. You look like a happy teenager....if there is such a thing?? (: (: