Monday, September 27, 2010
In the long interim since my last post, I turned 50. It was a birthday I was dreading a bit to be totally honest. If I allowed myself, depressing thoughts that go along with aging could take over, but I tried not to dwell on those too much. You know the ones that come if you look too long in the mirror or ponder how it REALLY does seem like yesterday that your children were babies or, heck, that I was young myself just last week! I tried instead to dwell on the blessings of my life, past and present, and to remember that each day of life is a gift from God. I think of a friend and former coworker who lost her husband suddenly and tragically six months ago. His 52nd birthday would be today. I know they would be grateful for more time together.
I really don't feel my age most days. Inside is the same spirit of the young woman I once was. The one who has dreams for the future even though it is shorter today than yesterday. She's wiser from experience, but she feels just as youthful as ever. That is why it is a shock if I take that extra time in front of that mirror. The image in my mind is not the one I see in the reflection scaring back at me. I want to be one of those women who feel beautiful and secure in their age, but I've not gotten to that point yet, maybe because I've never before felt that beautiful. I have and do feel secure about my inner self, about who I really am, but I never have about what I look like on the outside. I don't mean to imply that this is something I dwell on that much anyway, but if I think about it at all, it is with some twinges of guilt that I don't take better care of my body. Then I see women who I think are beautiful at an older age and bigger size and wish I could just learn to be happy with all of me, including how I look. Conversely, I ask myself if I'm not happy with how I look, why don't I have the gumption to do something about it. This is one of those guilt cycles that I'm a professional at riding! That inner eye with which you examine yourself is so much more critical than the one with which you view others.
Guilt is something that I believe women are more prone to feeling. If I sit and think long enough, I can find a multitude of things to feel guilty about and sometimes I do this. I've given some thought to this lately and decided to look at a list of these guilts and see what I can do about some of them. Perhaps there are some messages in some of these guilt feelings that I need to take the time to interpret. Also, I think there are some that I need to just erase, recognizing them for the garbage that they are. I do wish I could give some of this professional guilting away. I know of some people who never seem to feel guilt about anything even when they should. Those who hurt and take advantage of others and never seem to feel a qualm about it.
Getting back to the birthday itself, I did end up having a great one. Family took the time to throw a surprise birthday party for me, my MIL(70th), and our niece(her 16th). Emily and my SIL, Melinda, had a big hand in getting the party together. Several family members and friends attended and helped in making me feel loved and happy. My friends at work had balloons, gifts,and cards to surprise when I went into work on my actual birthday, along with a birthday hat for me to put on as a joke. Sorry I don't have a pic of that to share.
Emily made me some really cool and green birthday presents. One was a tote bag made from old tshirts which she embellished with embroidery, fabric, and trims. The other is this awesome scarf which she knit from Tshirt "yarn". You can see these in a pic above. I couldn't get a good shot of the tote bag, but it is the navy you see, with a blue/white striped lining. Really it would be reversible if I could stand to hide the cute bird and flowers on the side. Love these!!! Mostly I got cards and money. Also shown above are the assortment of cards which ranged from hilarious to sweetly pretty. I have to say my favorite card of all was from my hubby who surprisingly picked out a card with just the words I needed to hear and which made me start to cry.
With the money I got for my birthday, I've bought some clothes, art supplies(including some nice acrylic, oil, and watercolor paint sets) and will use part of it to get an Iphone. We've never had internet on our phones before, so that will be a new experience. Can't wait to see my computer-shy hubby using an Iphone. Probably he'll end up catching on better than me! Also had a gift card to BAM from my brother and used it to get some art magazines because you know I needed some more of those!!