The past week or so has been rough. Not in the “oh no, another birthday is coming and what does it all mean?” kind of way, but in the “oh no, do I suck as A Person because I don’t know if I can handle more of this?” kind of way. The highlight of my week came in the form of a stranger in a parking lot, who asked me if I was the babysitter because I didn’t look like I just had a baby. As flattering as it was, at least Elizabeth Patch might applaud me for wishing she would have complimented my adept opposite-side driving skillz instead.
I’ve somehow (subconsciously?) stumbled across some articles [this one from Today and this one that was inspired by it] that have convinced me that it’s OK to feel like just maybe there will be something that I can’t handle, that maybe I’m two straws from breaking my camel’s back (or maybe even draining a bottle of vodka). [Note: I believe that any family that has endured a minimum of a half-dozen desert deployments deserves a hyperbolic camel, if not the promise of a pension.]
The never ending task list, the magical un-appearance of our stuff, the isolation of being so far away from everyone I love (but one, and I’m not even forgetting the dog), the exhaustion of a single (for now) mom… I feel none of it nor all of it is an excuse to be angry that it’s only 4:00 and still 2.5 hours until bedtime, that my sweet baby will NOT nap when I want him to, that I can’t finish typing an email without him banging on the keys, or that it takes 20 minutes to prepare to go anywhere. Certainly none of it justifies hanging up on my husband mid-Skype because he isn’t somehow capable of making the baby go to sleep from another time zone so that I can just make my f*ing dinner and relax.
I’ve done some reading to confirm my suspicion that it just might be possible that the stress in my life isn’t the end of the world. As in, something else could be. Or, as my latest in-progress read, The Happiness Project, has led me to believe, I am in full control of my decision to be happy or not, minutiae-be-damned.
Ultimately, as this birthday approached, it became clear that I needed to check my perspective. It’s time I wake up every day ready to kick ass at life (and as a 31-year-old).
My first instinct of how to be a Better Me was to convince myself that this birthday doesn’t matter. Really, I suppose it doesn’t. But expecting a Leo to not care about a birthday is like expecting my dog to refrain from humping pugs – it’s really hard to resist and we expect a reward for doing so. As such, it’s clear that there’s much work to be done here. In the mean time… pardon me while I go eat birthday cupcake for dinner.