I celebrated my 45th birthday this past weekend. Since my birthday occurs so soon after New Year’s, a few years ago, I began the tradition of making Birthday Resolutions rather than New Year’s Resolutions. As I think about what kind of resolutions I’d like to make, I reflected on how far I’ve come in the last 12 months of my life. So, before I make my Birthday Resolutions, I want to celebrate ME by acknowledging a few milestones.
Since my 44th birthday, I fortified my decision to separate from my husband by legally filing for divorce. It won’t be final until at least summer 2017, but filing was a huge step. The only thing that was bigger than filing, was my actual separation, which happened July 2015. I knew I wasn’t going to ever reconcile with him. I had to make the real, final, forever decision to end our marriage legally. It had been dead for years, but I was missing the Death Certificate. At some point, I’ll share my Unlove Story, because even in all the hurt and pain and emotional exhaustion there were moments of magic. Moments that need to be captured and shared. Moments that help me heal as I think of them now. But that’s a blog for another day.
Since my 44th birthday, I have traveled all over my home state of Michigan with my son. We’ve gone on adventures to the Upper Peninsula and our beloved city of Detroit. We hiked trails as well as navigated city streets. We ate lunches in the middle of a National Park and in museums and renowned cafes. We dipped our toes in the Great Lakes, snapped pictures of the Motor City from 740 feet, and climbed into a tree house. For most of these adventures, we had no itinerary, no plans, no agenda, just a desire to go. Just experience. Just enjoy.
Finding My Witnesses
Since my 44th birthday, I have fortified my group of Witnesses. Jen Hatmaker calls her people her Tribe. Others refer to their group of people their Village. Mine are my Witnesses. They are the group of people who make me stronger when my own Witness is weak and the Judge is strong. I’m not sure why, but since my 44th birthday, it feels like my group has gotten bigger and stronger. Actually, that’s not true. I do know why. When I broke free from my unhealthy marriage, I stopped trying to cultivate a dying relationship. I started investing time and attention towards people and relationships that I enjoyed and benefited me. I found more of my people. My people rescued me. And more importantly, I let them rescue me. Thank you for being my Witnesses.
Since my 44th birthday, I have been in a process of rediscovering who I am. I found a new grace with myself. I have forgiven myself for past mistakes. I am embracing new mistakes and missteps to reveal to me what I really stand for. I am protecting myself in ways that allow me to stay strong or be vulnerable appropriately. I no longer cry for what might be but isn’t. I am excited about my new possibilities, and looking at barriers with a new found courage. I can’t wait to find out where my new me will take me. I am recognizing that The Judge doesn’t have the power. I have the power, and with the strength of my Witness inside me, and the Witnesses all around me, I don’t have to hold back any longer.
Looking back at my 44th year, and the milestones I’ve accomplished, I want this year to continue to be a year of growth. So here goes…
By January 14, 2018, I will:
- Write 45 new blog posts. That’s one/week, with 7 weeks of hiatus if needed. Shoot, I’m counting this one as the 1st one, so it’s really 44.
- Eliminate the Time Suckers. Game Apps, Facebook marathon sessions, repeated reruns of Modern Family, HGTV, and Big Bang Theory (to name a few). Replace with reading books, writing, or just simply going to bed a little earlier.
- Lower the volume of The Judge even more. Raise the roof for The Witness.
- Pay attention for opportunities. Embrace them. Take advantage of them. Transform an opportunity into a memory.
- Capture the moments by writing them down and storing in the Thanks-living Jar that was given to me by my best friend as a birthday gift.
- I’d really, really love to read 45 books this year, but that one scares me. That’s a lot of books. And I mean real books. Not Sandra Brown or Janet Evanovich books. Books that challenge me. But sometimes the goal that scares you is the goal that you should do.
- Cut bait on the “I want to lose XX pounds this year.” That’s a Judge Resolution. I’m going to be like Elsa and “Let It Go.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for losing a few. But in the end, I want to be happy with myself no matter what the scale says.
- Update each of these resolutions on April 14, July 14 and October 14. I have to have checkpoints along the way or else they’ll get lost in the minutiae of daily life. Plus that will be 3 other blog posts that are already planned for me!
Thank you for being a part of my amazing 44th year. The creation of this blog as an outlet and a way to share my thoughts has also helped to transform me. I’m honored whenever anyone reads my thoughts and ramblings. Please join me on my 45th ride around the sun.