Yesterday was my birthday. I’m horrible with birthdays, celebrations, and acknowledgements. For someone so outgoing and extroverted, I can feel so shut down and fearful of people and public situations that it feels a lot like what I think anxiety feels like. I have no idea when it started, but I guess it doesn’t matter. I just turned 49 years old yesterday and the same thing happened. I went to bed the night before so full of hope and excited about the next day. I walked the dogs and said my prayers like I do every day. I woke up on Saturday morning, the day of my birthday, and jumped in the shower and did all the stuff I knew to do to go get coffee and hang out with friends. The problem was I hadn’t made any plans with anyone. I didn’t want to make plans. I knew what was happening because I had done it so many years before and so many birthdays. I would wake up and get lost in the day and see how it unfolded. It usually ended with me being deflated, sad, and even more introverted. Nobody could have pulled me out of it, and believe me many had tried over the years. I was always so mortified that I felt that way but it never felt like I had a choice. It was like a default way of being. I had no choice. I fucking hated it and I hated my life during those moments.
That was yesterday. This is today. I’m 49 and 1 day today.
I’ve thought a lot today about who I’m going to be for the next 364 days and here’s what I’m thinking. Recently I was asked to say a little something about myself that I’d like people to know. I responded with this:
“I love “love” so much, I got the word tattooed on my arm; not only to let others know that love is what I’m all about, but to remind myself when I forget. There is no place I can’t make a difference when love is where I stand. When I embrace all the parts of me that I denied or avoided for so long (my white beard, my being a bear, for instance) it gives everyone permission to completely be themselves around me and in their lives. I can’t think of a greater gift than that.” – Harold Hal Kelly
In thinking about this upcoming year of life I’ve decided to do a couple of things to ensure that by this time next year, I won’t be in the same position of feeling lonely, sad and depressed. So here’s what I’m going to do…
- Each day I’ll share something in my life that I’m grateful for. It can be anything.
- Whatever I say I’m grateful for I’ll take a picture of and post it here or on some other social media.
- Celebrate my life and my skills and my accomplishments as I go into my 50’s.
- Plan trips to see musicians and bands I love throughout the year.
- Go see places I’ve always wanted to see or want to see again this year.
- Love what I’m doing and who I’m with or change it immediately.
So that’s my new year. I have no idea what to expect and that’s part of the appeal here. I can do nothing and get exactly what I got yesterday and today. I’d love to think that I can keep this going on my own but I’ll need reminders from time to time. I’ll put it in my calendar to remind me…that’s a good start.
So here’s to the next year…a year of gratitude, love and celebration of life. Thanks for reading and thanks for your support over the years. Lets do this…