Today was my birthday. Yet it was also an un-birthday. What I mean is that it really wasn’t celebrated in any traditional sense. And you know what?
It was pretty damn good.
I lounged around reading magazines, and felt no guilt. I played my Facebook games. I made myself a wonderful steak salad for lunch. I sweetly asked for, and promptly received, copious cups of coffee from husband. Husband (who cleans much better than I) cleaned up the kitchen and hey! We have a kitchen table again! Dinner was lovely; I roasted some purple carrots, made a simple and creamy pasta Alfredo with the most wonderful cheese from Whole Foods, and topped it all off with sauteed langostines. My birthday cake was this chocolate mousse ganache confection from Trader Joe’s. I received birthday hugs from Husband whenever I demanded them.
Could it have been better? Sure. But it was a lot better than last year. So the only family member I spoke to was my mother. So what. So a number of friends said nothing of my birthday. So what! Those that did hold a special place in my heart. So I had no presents to unwrap. So what! Instead, I received a check from my mom and one from the in-laws and today I spent them. They’ve not even been deposited, and I spent them. So I stayed home all day. So what! When you get down to it I’m really not all that social and I don’t know if I would have enjoyed going out with a big group of friends. I did it last year before I moved and left my job, with work friends, and I didn’t enjoy myself at all (but that speaks more about those friends than me). I might have enjoyed a dinner out, but at least in cooking for myself I was able to make it healthier and I was able to make it all taste exactly as I wanted it to.
I bought this quirky yet adorable bag:
I know. They’re weird and adorable and make you stare and make your brain kinda hurt and they’re totally not me. I don’t care. I like the idea of confusing others.
My other purchase might seem fairly boring to most. 10 days ago I saw this video; a video many of you might have seen. It made me cry. It gave me hope. It came to me on the wings of an unexplained beginning of some sort of inner peace. All of sudden, about 2 weeks or so ago, I started feeling…..good. Mentally and physically. Mentally strong. Physically neutral.
It started out as a feeling
Which then grew into a hope
Which then turned into a quiet thought
Which then turned into a quiet word
And then that word grew louder and louder
‘Til it was a battle cry
~Regina Spektor, “The Call”
That song makes me weep. I cry the ugly cry. But that beginning fully describes me lately. It was a feeling. Then I had cautious hope. And this is my battle cry. I’ve started doing this program, done by the man linked in the video above, called DDPYoga. I figured that if a disabled veteran who couldn’t walk without the aid of serious crutches, knee braces and a back brace could do this and transform…..well then, why not me? Honestly about 3 weeks ago I’d started to give up. The outlook was hazy. I’d just come out of a 3-week long back spasm brought on by absolutely nothing. Everyone says walking is the best exercise but what happens when walking is really bad for your bones? Specifically my pelvis and my spine. I couldn’t find anything that didn’t hurt like hell. But then I saw that video and started the program and joined the community site for it and everything changed.
I can’t actually be certain if my deep-seated happiness started before I saw Arthur’s video or the day after but it took me a few days to recognize the feeling. It is a happiness that is not because of another person; it is a happiness that is deep in me, bubbling up like a volcano that is waking up. I can’t explain where it came from. Have the natural supplements I’ve been taking finally kicked in? No clue. I’ve found inner peace and acceptance in regards to other things, too. I sent off an email to someone and while they didn’t really need to know that I’ve changed and have let them go, I needed to say it out loud to them. I needed to make it real. It reinforced my emotional/mental fortitude that I’m experiencing and made me realize I’m just fine without them.
Where was I? Oh yeah, the other birthday gift purchase. Ato go on top of my not-yoga-mat because I sweat like crazy doing this stuff; it’s unbelievable to me that I can get my heart rate up and that yoga isn’t some peaceful, easy pretzel thing made for thin, lithe healthy folks. This shit is hard but it’s going to be so worth it. And unlike anything else I’ve done, DDPYoga was created by someone with the same back injury as me so everything is done to benefit the back. The other purchase was a “ ” which I didn’t know existed. I’ve been using a latex pillow with piss poor results (smooth fabric meant I slipped off it and landed myself flat on the floor in what I dubbed the “dead frog” pose) because I have a problem putting weight on my shins or knees (kneeling/Table positions) thanks to the fibro. I normally would have continued on making do with what I have around the house but the birthday check pushed me to get something nice. After all, this isn’t going to be a passing phase.
So I am starting out my 35th year with a happiness I’ve not felt for a very long time, love from those that matter, an answer to a problem I’ve been dealing with for many years, a healthier lifestyle, chocolate cake, realistic expectations, hope and the faint outlines of promising future life plans.