I had a birthday this week. I’m not telling what day thouuuuggghhhhh unless you already knowwwwww. What I will, however, share, is that Wicket heard my age and said “Wow. Mom. 38 is really REALLY old” after a moment of stunned silence in which I assume he was trying to process that number in relation to what he knows to be his own age. I assured him that 38 is not, in fact, really really old.
I got some lovely things for my birthday, including a Harry Potter lego set (thanks Wicket) and a cheese board and knife set (thanks MattHowk!). MattHowk also made and put up some LOVELY shelves over the rolling island, so I now have a place to put my cookbooks in the kitchen! YAY!
I also got a nice little unexpected gift, in the form of a stomach ulcer. DELIGHTFUL! It DID mean that I was able to stay home from work, and read in the sun on the patio while Wicket ran around the yard and MattHowk put the shelves up. That part WAS nice.
Now, once again, I am in a position of worrying about getting my miles in, and how I am going to complete the half marathon I am signed up for. I expressed this to one of my very favorite work friends, and really just one of my favorite humans, and she gave me another lovely unexpected gift. Peace of mind. And perspective, which seems to be really easy for me to lose all the time.
She reminded me that I run because IT MAKES ME HAPPY. Holy crap, that’s right. How did I forget that? She also reminded me that I run so that I can be strong and healthy for myself and my family and enjoy eating and drinking wines, and that I am NEVER going to be perfect and that I am going to be awfully disappointed if that’s my goal. I just can’t even with what a wonderful human she is. THIS is why we need our lady friends.
The things we do because we love them shouldn’t stress us out or become an obligation, and if they do we should take a step back. Maybe this ulcer is a reminder of that. Maybe it’s reminding me that I am falling into old bad habits and am turning everything into work and stress and being way too hard on myself. It was so easy for me to fall back into “a grind” once I was finally able to run again after the ankle injury because I was able to train. It can’t be a coincidence that once I get myself in a hard workout groove where I feel like it’s “work” that I keep getting sick or injured. I don’t HAVE to sign up for more races. And if I do, I am NEVER going to win them, no matter how hard I try. Literally never. I should be remembering WHY I am running them, which is because they bring me joy and make me happy. Didn’t I JUST decide a few weeks ago that I was enough? How did I already lose that so quickly?
I have been struggling to find my “word” for 2019, and it’s fitting that my beautiful friend helped me find it as an unexpected birthday present. Joy. That adorable little Marie Kondo is on to something. My priority needs to be joy; the things that bring me joy, and bringing joy to the people around me. Choose to do things that bring me joy, and if they do not, choose not to do them whenever possible. If I HAVE to do them, find the joy in them. Stop compromising.
I got some pretty lovely things for my birthday, but unexpected and profound peace of mind is the best thing. And joy. Joy that I have her for a friend, and joy in the people my husband has collected to share our weekend with, and all the things in my life I am privileged to do and have. I am so so grateful to her for being so generous with herself to take time out of her day to bolster me.
As a side note, I wonder if my friends will find joy in listening to “Jesus Christ SuperStar” all weekend. It IS Easter weekend, after all.