This is 45
Birthdays are contemplative, at least for me, so here I am. I'm 45 years old today. I'm living my calling as a teacher, although I struggle frequently to keep up with the demands of the job. I'm married to my best friend, who alternately supports me and keeps me in check when I am off on a tangent. My children are growing up to be intelligent, intuitive human beings who care about the world around them, but also suffer from anxiety like so many other children. They inspire me every day to be a better person, even when I don't feel up to it. I still have three out of four parents and a grandmother. I'm blessed to have them in my life. I'm overweight and probably make too many excuses about why I don't exercise (although I did walk during my lunch today). I have a fucked-up immune system due to allergies, several stress-related conditions, and all kinds of other mess. Most days are painful and I often find myself going "shit, now what?" But I can still walk, I can talk, I can breathe most of the time, I can see enough to drive and read with large print and aids. I have a big mouth, I often talk too much and say more than I should. I'm passionate about many things, so much so that I often can't contain it and it bleeds out in unprofessional ways. I'm so incredibly busy with work, kids, family and life that I rarely get to spend quality time with people other than my immediate family, and I miss that, but I keep moving forward in hopes that when I have the time, my friends will still be there. I give away money to the causes I care the most about, sometimes to ridiculous levels, but never so far as to take away from my children. I'm terrible about sending cards but I almost always get a happy birthday in somehow. I have everything I need (yes, I have accepted that a second toilet is a want and not a need). I am blessed. I am happy.
And then there's this whole author-y gig. It's the icing on my delicious cake. It's the one thing I feel that I've committed myself to and followed through on because I wanted it, not because I had to. It's fulfilled me in ways that teaching hasn't, in ways that dancing never did. I wake up in the morning and want to write every day. I have set goals for myself and followed through on them. I've spent thousands of dollars on publishing as well as classes to get better because there is always more to learn and I love learning. I'm not making a profit, but I'm creating stories that people are choosing to read and sharing with others. I've met the most incredible people that have become close friends and I've met others who send me notes in passing to say "hey, I loved it, keep going." I've put myself out there in ways I never thought I would ever have the courage to. I've doubted myself most days but pushed through because I knew that despite what anyone else thought, I was doing something that made me happy. I'm not a great writer, but I've grown and learned so much since I started that someday I hope to be good.
To sum up, 45 might not feel great physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually I'm in a great place. I plan to spend the next 45 loving my husband, treasuring my kids, supporting others, and creating stories that spread hope, love, and the joy of music. Oh, and going to concerts. And hopefully finishing this damned back piece. And fighting the good fights, because there will be many and they will be hard, but that's what I was put here to do.
Where are you in your journey?