I wrote the post below on August 15 and then forgot to publish it. So here’s a glimpse into my brain a few weeks ago.
Yesterday was my 36th birthday, and it was pretty terrible all the way up until lunchtime, despite the best attempts by almost everyone around me to make it a good day. Lately, I’ve been feeling tremendous pressure of all kinds–the pressure to make good decisions about my son’s life, since he’s eligible to start pre-K at our local elementary school and to play soccer on a team, for example. The pressure to get all the things done, and on time–grocery shopping so we have dinners, bill paying, the usual errands and chores, and all during the 3 hours I have between getting done work and getting Jax to bed each night. The pressure to be a decent wife, even though I often don’t feel like catering to anyone else’s needs once Jackson’s have been met. The pressure to do my job–and do it well well–during some intense time constraints and while adhering to deadlines. And so much more.
It feels like it never ends.
And then birthdays, well they add a certain pressure, too, don’t you think? There’s external pressure, with all the “What are you doing to celebrate?” and balloons and gifts and attention. Then there is the internal pressure. For me, this manifests as an intense need to spend my “last day” at age [whatever] in a unique or fun way. I typically try to pamper myself on the day before my birthday because I feel compelled to end that year on a high note and usher in the new year in a certain way–typically with a day of reflection, with a little self-care (eg, good food, a bubble bath, some reading) thrown in. Kind of like that old belief about how you ring in the New Year is how you’ll be spending your year.
This year, all attempts to profoundly and peacefully end my 36th year and kick off my 37th year seemed to backfire.
My primary goal for this week was to spend the day before my birthday coming up with a list of goals for the new year. Given my insomnia and other yuckiness from the day, I barely held it together and did not accomplish this task I thought would be fun. Correction: I didn’t hold it together at all. I cried all morning. Even in front of my boss and other co-workers. I was a sad, sorry mess–on my birthday. Which felt like failure. It also felt like the opposite of what everyone wanted me to be. I told myself I was failing to make 36 look graceful and beautiful. The judgments in my own head were loud and hard to stifle.
No list was made. But I’ve got it started in my head. And that’s what matters more than the date on which it gets written down.
I hope this year is more peaceful than some of the previous years. I wish for a break from (my perception of?) so much pressure on me. Whether it exists or not, the feeling is there.
September will usher in so many changes and goals. I’m feeling a little nervous about it all, which is to be expected I’m told. September also brings with it the beginning of autumn, which in my mind is simply the precursor to the dreaded winter. Once Christmas is over, I find myself fighting the funk–missing the warm, sun-filled days so much that I feel like I’m suffocating sometimes. It’s important for me to write down that list of goals for the upcoming year now, to put into writing my intentions for the cold season ahead.
What do you hope to see and do before 2013 is over?