My birthday was Monday. Historically, I have shied away from birthday celebrations because it's never really been a "great" day for me.
And it has nothing to do with age.
Bad things have happened on my birthday - I entered the world breech during an ice storm (sorry Mom). Hips pulled out of joint, brace for the first year, learning how to walk before I could crawl. I recall birthday parties cancelled due to bad weather. Even as I write this, there is a snow storm outside - the news says it's the worst since 1968. Oh ya! Then one year, the space shuttle blew up. Yup. That was a Tuesday during grade 9 exams. And then a few years ago, I lost a dear friend. That was beyond HARD. And every birthday since, he and his family are the first people I think about when I open my eyes.
I know my birthday REALLY isn't a bad thing and there have been so many fun celebrations along the way. Sleepovers in the basement. Scary movie marathons with BOYS over. My friend Janet threw me a surprise party for my 13th (it was a dance party). High school and university also had some pretty fun times (a nod to my colourful past). I shared a birthday with a co-worker. I have a crew of Aquarians that celebrate, starting on the 23rd (birthday week with Ilana). And in my 30s/40s, my family and close friends are amazing with their love (homemade cards, flowers, dinners out, more surprises - thanks Karen!).
I know I'm surrounded by love. But still, my birthday ... I want to ignore it. Like a dull aching pain. I hold my breath.
And then, a few months ago, I was introduced to a new concept. Levels. And the concept of Quarters. A light finally went off and I feel the need to share.
Levels represent ascending to a new challenge and reward. A promotion.
Quarters ... well, Q1 and Q4 are all about being cared for (child and adult). Q2? Well, that's all about taking care of others - career, home, children, spouse, pets.
But Q3 IS ALL ABOUT ME. It's the sweet spot. And I'm just on the cusp.
So, this year, I reframed my perception of my birthday. And I levelled up. Cuz, I mean, let's face it. Level 48 sounds WAY more badass than "I'm 48 years old."
This year, I acknowledged all that I accomplished. And I celebrated my "Level Up Day" with my family during an epic snow storm.
This year ...
I celebrated 16 years of marriage (21 years together). It's unusual for many couples to get this far.
My university girlfriends and I had our 9th annual mystery girls trip away. This fall will be our 10th anniversary.
I watched (in wonder) as two friends kicked cancer's ass and my cousin's son also got a clean bill of health. It makes my heart sing.
My cousin got married! So much adventure lies ahead.
My mom celebrated her 75th birthday! Milestone.
My son got his first job - earned his first pay check, paid taxes (that's mind blowing) and has since, been walking taller. He's responsible for the fun and safety of others (again, mind blowing). He was also accepted as a LIT at the camp where he wants to work. So proud.
My daughter and I were christened together on Mother's Day. And while she was diagnosed with an icky autoimmune disease that spring, she's been a force. Much to her rheumatologist's confusion (albeit joy), she is doing amazing. And just a few days before Level 48 arrived, he called to report her body is healing - without meds, which is extremely unusual with her disease.
I also started a business coaching course and a new clinic - things are happening. AND I'm STILL in school, taking a course in AIP/Paleo coaching so I can help others they way I helped my daughter.
I'm just scratching the surface. Holy crap. How lucky and I?
Level 48 is going to be AMAZING. And Q3 ... well, that's an adventure that is just starting to unfold.
And so I bidding my birthday blues good-bye. At Level 48 and Q3, I am smarter, wiser, stronger than I was at 28 or 38 years old. And I have to admit, Level 48 feels pretty damn good.