Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Say It's My Birthday....(apologies to John, Paul, George and Ringo)

I really love birthdays...especially the one belonging to the royal MOI.
July even sounds pretty to me and it always has. It's not a landmark birthday this year, like one ending in "0" or even "5", which at my age is a good thing I suppose. But it's my special day, and I'm claiming every nanosecond of it. Additionally I reserve the right to be silly, funny, ridiculous and maybe even a little bratty, in the best possible way of course.

Shunning coyness at every opportunity, I will come right out and say that I turn 56 today, which means I'm several years away from another "significant" number. But my age doesn't bother me one iota. I guess it would be nice to be younger except that if I was, I wouldn't be exactly who and where I am today. Translate: I like me, I really really like me! Aaaaa-mazing. Who'd'a'thunk I would ever say that, and not feel embarrassed, or smug, or like a big fat liar uttering those words?!

My journey has been rich and full, though definitely NOT EASY some of the time. I've done a lot of work on self over the years...therapy, getting sober, journaling, another round of therapy, working steps of 12 step programs. All of it combines to make each year and each day significant and meaningful, and mostly GOOD. Always there is crap, both external (circumstances, bad luck, bad choices) as well as internal...generated by the committees of voices in my head telling me that I'm not worthy, fundamentally flawed, a bad person, stupid, ugly, too fat to know those guys (and gals). I'm not all better, but I'm A LOT BETTER. My ability to turn down the volume on the choir of negativity stridently chattering within has increased exponentially. At times, I can even hit the "mute" button on the inner noise and say, "thanks for sharing, now shut the f#*& up!" And my coping with the endless uncertainy of the external stuff has also skyrocketed. Yes, the evolution of Leslie, body, mind and spirit, keeps on keeping on as long as I strive to live in only today, each and every day, and do the next right thing. Staying alive helps greatly too! And that's what having a birthday helps us quantify.

Today I'm celebrating by working at my usual job, getting the gray hairs removed (better living through chemistry and Revlon), talking to my 2 international travelers (Jean in the DR with Peace Corps and Mark in Buenos Aires, Argentina for a semester), and having dinner with my husband and stateside son Stephen at the restaurant of my choice. And here's a biggie...after hair procedure and before dinner activity will be at least 30 minutes on the treadmill followed by strength training as per my Healthy Inspirations plan. Never before in my life would the gym visit make the cut for birthday activities. Never ever. But after about 5 weeks of consistent working out and seeing results and feeling so much better, more optimistic and more joy-filled as a result - I wouldn't miss the work out for anything. If I did, I know I wouldn't enjoy dinner as much. And I definitely wouldn't enjoy fully the chocolate caramel something or other that I WILL be eating for dessert! Happy Birthday to moi!

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