Today I am 39......or as my brother said, "365 days away from 40."
Life is short. We all hear that, but what does it mean to a person? For me, it has meant change.
At 27, when you get diagnosed with Leukemia you learn the meaning of life is short. When you bury your still born son, you learn the meaning of life is short. When your best friend's parent dies, you learn the meaning of life is short.
Each time I experienced a traumatic life altering event, I would literally stop to smell the roses, stop bitching about traffic, stop complaining about stupid crap....for about a month. In all honesty, life is filled with annoying shit and I did, like most people, continue to fall back into the pattern of complaints.
I am not sure if was the adoption of our girls, coming into my mid to late 30s, maturity, or the accumulation of life events, but the realization of daily events, good and bad, lasting just a day has helped me to embrace that day.
One day. One day only lasts one day. It is this that I try to remember.
For me, today is a present. In the past year I have made a conscious effort to be myself and lose all the unwanted pressure to be someone else, to behave differently, to pretend. I am loud, opinionated, sarcastic, swear way too much, crazy, honest, loyal, loving, thoughtful, generous, kind, and have a laugh and smile that do not quit. I am happy.
I AM HAPPY.
I CHOOSE to be HAPPY.
I can no longer wait for my day to be better. I can no longer wait for some other person to make a decision that will make me feel better. I can no longer wait for my spouse, my relative, my friend to make a choice or rise to the expectation that I have set for them. As I embrace myself and my personality, I am also learning to embrace others for who they are and learning to expect only what they can give.
It is my choice to get upset or mad when something does not go as planned or someone says something that I am not expecting. It is MY CHOICE. Somewhere in the last few years it dawned on me the majority of my time spent pissed off was because I chose to react this way. The person was not malicious in their intent. The traffic jam is just traffic, and again today is just ONE day.
People often comment that I am strong because I have weathered some storms. People often comment that I am always laughing or smiling. At 39, 365 days away from 40, I will tell you I CHOSE to be strong. I CHOSE to laugh and smile.
This is my life. I only get one and I'll be damned if I let someone else ruin it. I CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY.
Every day is a new day.
Every day is a do over.
If yesterday was shitty, there is always tomorrow.
I know some days are harder than others to make this choice. And some days, the world and people around me are too much to handle. On those days, I fall asleep to some reality show on Bravo knowing tomorrow is a new day.
The next 365 days I promise myself to continue down this path. To find some joy each day. To laugh. To smile. To be happy. To live each day the best I can and when I make a mistake, say sorry and look forward to tomorrow.
When 40 comes next year, I am hoping to be even happier, even stronger, and even better - that is my choice.
Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes and birthday love. I know I am blessed to have you all in my life.