I turned 33 last week on the 19th. And while it wasn’t my favorite day this year, it was ok. I’ll have others. My day started nice enough with Alex the Elf sitting on my new Kerug coffee maker. I always thought they were cool but never thought we’d own one. I had been fine with my coffee pot from 82 since 82. Ok not really 82, but it was old and just fine. Even if it leaked coffee each time I poured it, it was fine. But yay, add to my addiction please. Thanks hunny, that was sweet!
After that I had to get Andi ready for an appointment with a new Dr. Actually it is a chiropractor. There is a lot behind this and after this, that instead of totally throwing this post on a tangent I will just promise to comeback another day and talk about the specifics of all that. On our way to the appointment Andi Jane bursts into tears after I explain to her that us moving to a farm for her birthday probably won’t happen. After she wouldn’t stop I said Andi, “it’s my birthday, can we talk about this later?” Whatever, we get to the appointment, the guy is amazing and worked so well with her. It was a great appointment, I was encouraged, she was excited, yada yada… “ok let’s go to school!” “No” “No?” “No I don’t want to go to school, my back hurts now” (as my eyes roll) “you are going to school” this was the conversation all the way to school. Cut to me in the parking lot trying to pull a 68lb kid out of the car while she is SCREAMING and fighting me. Yes. This happened. Oh did I mention it was my birthday? We hadn’t experienced a fit like that in at least 6 months and she let all those frustrations explode out of her right there in the school parking lot. I slam her door and say fine, you can go to work with me and when we get there your dad will take you to school. You might need to throw in a $ and an # and maybe a $%#$*@$(@*@*$(& as well if you want the exact way the story went, not proud, just honest. It was infuriating. She got me. I am a patient mama. I am one very patient mamajama, but I have a limit and unfortunately when my limit is hit it is not cute. Not at all. So then we drive in silence. I am very certain there was steam escaping my ears. There had to be, I don’t know where else it could have escaped from. We get to work and dad takes her to school. Not one peep from her to her dad. She just rode quietly to school, got out and went to school. Curses. Yes, many. Oh did I mention it was my birthday??
From then on I worked. Had lunch with my sister and hubby. (yes my co-workers are my sister, my husband, my cousins husband and a sweet girl that has worked for us for over 10 years, to say were a family business would be correct) but my mood was just even. Not down
but certainly not up. It wasn’t my 16th birthday. It wasn’t anything special, but typically don’t we all just have a certain beam in us on our birthdays? Maybe not everyone, but I do. At least usually. I’ve been at therapies with Lily, the hospital with Lily, I had OB appointments, I have been sick a time or two all on my birthdays and none of those put me in the mood like having a fight with my daughter. I felt
disrespected, devalued, a person with no sense of authority, embarrassed and sad. I let a 6 year old do that to me. The rest of the evening
was nice, beer and wings with Andrew (yes my choice) but the day just stayed on an even keel for me. It sucked that I was unable to cheer
up. I was unable to change my attitude, but it was what it was. I needed to share that background to go forward.
I’m reading errr rather listening to a book that was read by some friends in a book club that I rarely can ever attend but I like to read what
they are reading, it is called 1000 Gifts. It’s not exactly a book I would pick up and read. Well the cover is very pretty, so I may pick it up
but if I read the back I’d probably put it back down. It is a religious book so you faint of heart for Jesus soooo would not like it, and even I
someone who proclaims to the world that Jesus rocks my socks has a hard time listening to something too preachy and I bet myself a
couple years ago would tune out on this one, but you know why? Because of the truths the author speaks of. No one wants to know how
they are doing things wrong, not unless they are willing to make changes of course, so this book has been very challenging for me. I love the
authors writing style, very poetic and I like that she is the one who reads her audiobook. She has a cute Canadian accent that I like to copy
while in the car. But that really wasn’t necessary to share. But you should hear me when I am listening to a book read by a British reader.
Oh cheer-io. I so wish I had an accent. Wow. Ok back to my book. She starts by sharing some of her life experiences that were really awful,
she saw a lot of tragedy and darkness but she started looking into what the bible says of giving thanks, eucharisteo, and being thankful and
finding you joy through being thankful and it really changed her life. It was a small project of writing 1000 gifts in her life that just grew and
grew and she now is blessed because she blesses others. Its a beautiful book, I am near the end and my mind has just been so wrapped
around it all and that is why I go back to sharing my birthday. Not to complain, not to be felt sorry for, not for parenting advice for an out of control child, but who I am, where I am and where should I be and who I should be. The book makes lots of mention about people who feel entitled to happiness and do what they can to be happy tend to be pretty miserable people. Also when we have expectations, we are always let down. Like for instance my birthday. Why did I feel that I should have this extra special glow on my birthday? Do I deserve that? No. So why did I expect it? So I share my birthday experience and this book because it is changing my thoughts. She also mentions in this book about how many times she washes dishes (she is a mother of 6!) and expected thankfulness from her family and when she doesn’t get it she is upset, disappointed, sad, etc but then she says what if every dish I wash is like washing God’s feet? Blessing him. Ok this was a huge point she hit on me because I feel disgruntled every time I do dishes. I hate them so I am annoyed that I am the one who most often is doing them, so when I heard this I thought oh yuck, I can’t think like that. I can’t feel like I am blessing God, I want thank yous from my family. But then when I dig deeper and really think about this, how do I really want to feel from the inside? Do I want to be “right” on all accounts that it leaves me feeling annoyed, frustrated, grumpy? Or do I want to feel good on the inside and feel joy that only I can decide for myself to feel. And when I think of how I parent when I am full of joy and how I parent when I am grumpy and frustrated those are two different me’s. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know which one produces better results.
It’s not easy being thankful. It’s not easy finding the “beautiful ugly” as she calls it. But it is so necessary to do so.
So this 33 year old woman is kind of lucky in a sense that I get a whole new year with my whole new year. A time to look back on what I liked about 32 and 2011 and what I want to change moving forward as a 33 year old in 2012.
I want joy and I feel like I have the tools to find that joy. It will never be with a new house, or a farm (Andi….), or more money or more of anything. It is finding your joy in your house, right now with what you have.
I look forward to a new year with new insight. I pray that I am able to stay on course as this year goes. I am challenging myself to find that beautiful in everything, even the ugly and I challenge everyone else as well. It’s not easy, but it’s also not easy for everyone around you when you choose to be angry over the expectations you put upon everyone else. So cheers to 2012! I look forward to what I will bring to YOU.
1. Sunshine on my face
2. A city surrounded by mountains
3. Crooked teeth smiles
4. Sparkling blue eyes
5. A boy who is hard to understand
6. A husband willing to swallow his pride and make changes for his family
7. A sparkly blue wheelchair
8. Big round brown eyes
What are some of your 1000 gifts?