And then it was mid-September

First off, kudos to those truly dedicated to their blogs and who post something everyday come hell or high water. I obviously have not yet cultivated that kind of stamina and honestly, did not make the time to write the past month. Where do I begin…I think my last posting was on August 22nd, the same day that I was laid off from my lackluster job. Yes there is lingering bitterness as I write and it is coming from my ego. (The ego never sleeps by the way. It’s like a watchdog always waiting and barking at any slight movement.) The following morning after being laid off we left forĀ  the Lake of the Ozarks for an extended weekend getaway with 5 other couples. I am glad we had that trip planned all along. It was good to be in a new landscape with some lighthearted friends while coping with the shame and disappointment of being laid off. Less than a week later I was off to Cincinnati to spend some R& R time with the family. Here is a secret: sad feelings are not a local thing. They can follow you if you allow them to. I LOVED being home and watching my nieces and nephew be silly, and at the same time I was missing T and my cats and my bed and my own personal space of sanity. If you can believe it I somehow booked our Mexico vacation a week later. Do the math and I haven’t been home for more than one week since August 22nd. Kind of takes it toll despite every effort I made to stick to my routine of exercise, meditation and relaxation. We came home a day before my 35th birthday and I honestly was not prepared to turn 35. It’s this stupid age that we all will arrive at sooner than later –if we are so blessed–and for a woman it’s when you start considering all of those things that never applied to you so long ago until now. Some examples:

1. Women age 35 an older have a higher risk of stroke when smoking and taking birth control. (Neither applies to me except for being 35.)

2. Fertility starts to decline after age 35.

3. 35+ is a dedicated age group in magazine articles–i.e. How to dress at 25, 35, 45+

And so on the morning of my 35th birthday, after an almost sleepless night, I woke up in tears. Lots of tears. Oh the tears lasted most of the day. Not even texts, voicemails, and FB postings of birthday wishes could comfort the tears. I was not receptive to being consoled at all that day. Today, however, brings some relief. As the emotions have washed away for another time I can think a little more clearly now. I decided that I needed to change my lens from that of negative milestones, to that of positive milestones. The ones that you don’t give yourself enough credit for and probably just take for granted most of the time. I know plenty of people who could benefit from this exercise. So here it goes….my personal milestones as of age 35:

1. Non-smoker for 7 years. Not. One. Cheat.
2. Overcame a bout of depression while living in Philadelphia.
3. Have lived on the West coast, East coast, and Midwest.
4. have my 2nd passport
5. Celebrated 8 year wedding anniversary
6. Swam in the Pacific ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea.
7. Stepped away from what I studied in college to see what other job interests might surface
8. Laid off twice and lived to tell about it
9. zip-lined in Catalina (would never do it again)
10. Gave the matron of honor speech at my sister’s wedding
11. Danced the Single Ladies dance at our college spring gala
12. Co-founded a service learning trip at a community college
13. Submitted a job proposal for a position that doesn’t exist at the local high school
14. posted a picture of myself in a bikini (top only) on FB
15. Have honest to goodness friends in Philadelphia, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, and Santa Clara.
16. Started my own book club (which needs to be tended to of course)
17. Am a godmother to the most amazing niece ever
18. Have cried to my mom about almost everything and anything. And still feel loved and unjudged by her.
19. Learned to sew! And made my own curtains, purses, pillowcases…
20. Drove to Wichita. By myself. For anyone who has been to Wichita you can appreciate this feat.
21. Have ridden the chunnel train from Paris to London.
22. Gave some encouraging words to a stranger at yoga class when I noticed him crying at the end of class

And so I will stop there. Tomorrow: the list of what my life is full of these days, as opposed to what is lacking….