I’m excited about this one. 38. Maybe because no matter how much the shelter-in-place lifestyle is conducive to my energy levels, the party girl inside of me is dying to get out! But whatever it may be, I feel like I’ll remember this birthday for the rest of my life.
I’m at the perfect age and the perfect stage of my life that I can look forward and look back at the same time. I guess they generally reserve this for 40 and being over the hill, but that’s where it looks like I’m at now.
If you were to say to me “I can guarantee to double your life, no more and no less,” I would take that offer. I could guarantee the hard work would all be worth it because I would need my energy to see the world, to experience it, to live it before I’m gone. I could map out 38 more years exactly, and know that I will be happy with most of my decisions, curating memories and adventures before the time passes away.
But we all know it doesn’t work like that. Or does it?
This hypothetical storyline makes me question: Why would I wait for change? Why would I think it would just come? Delivered like a package that shows up one day at my door.
There were a few answers to those questions, all led by fear. But what I have come to realize is that a change of perspective is what I’m looking for. The release to see it differently, feel it differently, and respond differently. Once I shift my perspective, then my actions have an easier time following along. My bad habits or addictions don’t seem so difficult to untangle.
I also realize that I have to ask myself from time to time, “what is your why?” I need to be constantly reminded why I show up and then repeat that reason back to myself. Falling off the wagon has been my jam since starting this difficult healing journey. I find comfort in what I’ve known, even if it’s the cause of my pain and my imbalanced reactions. At least I know what to expect. I already know this script.
There was a time, not so long ago, that I was preparing myself for a life with limits since I convinced myself it was too hard to change. I began thinking of places I wouldn’t travel to because my body would be too uncomfortable. I thought of which activities I would enroll my kids into with the least amount of parent participation. And I was having anxiety about what career path I would go down that allowed for daily naps versus one that would fulfil my purpose.
I’m still scared that all this might not be worth it. That no matter what I do, I’ll always have to struggle with maintaining a healthy life, never feeling energized or ready to go. I will have to continue putting what little energy I have into building my façade that pretends like I’m not exhausted. I will constantly feel like I’m trapped with so much potential, but dealing with a body that has been too severely mistreated it has nothing left to give.
So what would it take for me to actually believe that I DO have it in me? That I have everything I need within me to do all the hard work and that I am worth every grueling step?
Would it be knowing that I have exactly 38 years left? What would I do with that limited time?
I would plan it out so that I used it to its fullest potential. I would put down my phone more and enjoy the stages of my children’s lives and watch them grow until they are 44 and 41. I would prioritize investing in my health and live comfortably. I would spend the rest of my money traveling and experiencing the world with my family. I would hug my husband longer and take in his smell. I would bitch a little less. And I would tell the people who I love that I love them AND why.
My deepest desires for myself are my whys. My whys are what I would do if I knew exactly how little time I had left.
So then why would I wait to start? Because the truth is I’m not guaranteed 38 more. But what I can tell you is that though the journey has been incredibly tough, there have been gems all along the way. I don’t have to wait until I’m at the top of the mountain, or even a little hill, to start seeing change and the benefits that come along with it.
So cheers to 38 and knowing exactly WHY I’m worth it.