I didn't quite know how I would feel on my birthday this year. I had a few what you'd call odds against me... and...well.... I've never loved the holiday.
Let's go back to the beginning. Growing up (into my teens) I tended to get a little depressed during the holidays. As a child I had grand expectations and huge dreams. My expectations and reality never quite met up. Christmas morning would come and I would ask if I could just sleep in! You could find me with my eyes glazed over staring at a wall in my family home videos. Literally looking as depressed as a girl who lost her beloved puppy.
It took me years to figure out why I hated the holidays that had an emphasis on personal attention and gift giving. Thanksgiving became my very favorite. No pressure. No expectations. Just a prime opportunity to begin my self-medicating download spiral on carbs and sugar.
At one point I began to sabotage this momentous personal day. I would start the morning out already prepping myself for negativity. I would prepare myself for not hearing from my parents or close people in my life, which often happened. I would count on whatever was being planned to bomb because people will let you down... and I didn't feel like anyone really cared enough for me to remember.
What an awful cycle!
I guess the harshest part of the birthday blues is that many of my birthday's were a reminder of the things that hurt my heart.
But, why was I expecting different things from the same people?
The people who were negative....were always negative. The people who forget, always forgot. The toxic folks that I wanted miracles from...never moved from their same spot.
Dang, what a profound realization when you accept that your expectations are ruining the beauty of your own life. ALSO.....your expectations can cloud the beautiful hearts and generosity of the people who really care!
Have I always overlooked everyone else because I've been focused on changing the unchangeable?
I've been on bed rest for 12 days now. I have definitely walked around my home a tiny bit and was allowed an outing or two as long as I didn't walk. Basically, I've watched a lot of Netflix and have studied every part of my bedroom ceiling... so I wasn't thinking this birthday would be too eventful.
The thing that made this year so very different for me though, was the attitude I went into it with.
For a very uncomfortable pregnant woman, I actually had a more positive attitude then I've ever had before in my life. This season has been a very tough one. We had to move from our home last week and it was a move we didn't want to make!! I had some health reports that made me sad and took the fun out of pregnancy eating! I had to stop working a little bit sooner than I had expected and it put a little stress in the mix. Add a few more things, a cherry on top and I've been at my max!
I had a personal epiphany recently. So very basic and so very real.
We all struggle. We have health struggles, personal struggles, fears and imbalances. There are however some people, who are dealing with life and death issues. The real crazy stuff. Just wanting to be given an additional day to be with the people they love.
If you have over 500 friends on FB then you're no doubt seeing this stuff all the time. The rise of funding websites breaks my heart because so many people simply need help.
I woke up on my birthday with my fingers on the gratitude switch!! For the first true time, I set it to ON!
I said, "Thank you God that my precious Daughter is healthy and happy. In spite of her tough roads, she has a wonderful attitude and a beautiful spirit."
"Thank you God that even though my son is across country, he loves me and we are so attached to each others hearts."
"Thank you God for my husband! He has done absolutely everything he can do to keep our lives intact while I've been on bed rest."
"Thank you God that even as I lay here in bed, my bills are paid and I'm able to take this time off."
"Thank you God that even though I don't have a relationship with all of my immediate family, I have an amazing extended family! Not to mention an incredible small but mighty group of friends who are my blood."
My husband set his alarm super early so he could get up and bring me breakfast in bed. I could hear him and Jaslyn in the kitchen making their surprises and it made me feel so much love. He came into the room with a tray of things, including cards and beautiful flowers. They both sat in bed with me while I ate my "preliminary" breakfast, and read the amazing cards. He explained that he was driving me away for my real breakfast.
So we went to a little breakfast spot (he had the car ready to come and go so I wouldn't have to walk) and we sat on this beautiful back patio. I could see the stress in his eyes cause he just really wanted me to be happy. We had a great time and afterwards I came back home for a nap.
Later on I had a prenatal massage while he and Jazzy made me the strawberry cake I was craving. Ryan had never made a cake before in his life, so I was totally in shock! They walked in to the bedroom after my nap with a large basket of my favorite things! Disney movies, makeup, mags, Candles and other awesome gifts. I LOVE gift baskets! I love to make them for people and I love to receive them. :)
For dinner, they picked up my favorite kind of food and made me a little Mexican buffet.
Throughout the day I received texts and calls from all the people who matter. My beautiful Family-In-Love, my close friends, people I hadn't talked to in years....AND Facebook people that I know and those I have no idea where they came from.
With every meaningful word and every heartfelt tribute, I couldn't focus on anything else but the positive amazing love that I was surrounded with.
I will always treasure my yesterday.
As I await the arrival of my third baby knowing what God has brought me through in my life, It's just a whole other side of beautiful.
I feel my negative layers starting to shed and a new perspective slowly creeping in.
If I can apply this feeling of gratitude towards all the areas of my life, I could change the entire outlook of my future. Not just the holidays, but every single moment.
We can literally focus on the joy from people who are joyful. We can concentrate on what is positive from places of positivity. We don't have to allow the toxicity to come close to us because we already know how to avoid it!
Yesterday produced some of the same results as any birthday in the past. You don't hear from certain family, some friends and you still have a few difficult life issues in the wings.
However, it's as if I had sprayed myself down with a sealant and all that was negative had no ability to even get a drop on my skin.
I believe that gratitude was the main ingredient. And all I can say is...I'm truly thankful.