And the 20's are almost gone. Happy birthday to me. (yesterday) Here's to 29, the end of a decade...

It's nothing different, yet everything is not the same. I distinctly remember my mother turning 30 and how everyone made such a big deal of it. I was 8 or 9 at the time. Now that I am almost there, I don't really see the big deal. Well except that I keep getting older of course. And that puts me closer to the end, somehow. ha.

I don't really feel much different than I did at 16, or 23. Physically anyway. And I don't feel like I even look that much different either. I do, in fact, feel much smarter and more mature. But, time seems to have gone so fast that I don't see or feel much of a difference. Yet, the "big one" is looming, you know before the other "big one". Oh well.

Yet, in the last couple years, so much has changed and emotionally I have been challenged and transformed and internal changes have been incredible. This past year was a pivotal one for me. Becoming a parent of course changed me, external actions of my internal feelings, all over one little being. Now, two. But, there are so many other things that have changed inside of me. I've done a lot of self-discovery in the last year or so, who I am, who I was, where I come from, where I am going, what I have to give, to offer, how much I can take, what I choose to give and take and with whom, etc.

Let's be honest, with my parents separating and divorcing, it was shocking, yet not surprising, as I sensed it coming. It was, however, the crashing death of a "normal" childhood; fondly remembered in those warm, fuzzy feelings, suddenly shattered. It was the gaping hole of "what do I do now?" and "what will the future look like now?". Having kids, I had certain things I just thought would happen and expected and grandparents living in the same house was one of them. That going "home" is no more. It was, and still is, a grieving process. I've dealt with lots of anger, resentment, at certain people, at the situations, hurt, and lots of denial. Pretending if I don't see it, hear it, talk about it, it's just back home and normal. So, it's a lot of processing and I've just come to realize I can't put my expectations and wishes on anyone else and I just have to take what they can offer at that moment. That goes for my kids and husband and the rest of the world too. I know I have a problem with common sense and logic and feel the rest of the world should have it and use it too. But, sadly not everyone can or does. Oh well.

On a high-note, I really feel like I know myself now. I've been stretched and challenged. I've changed and responded and become more resilient, if not for myself, for my kids. I've reconnected with God, in a way I haven't in years. I'm trying to worry less and enjoy the moment more. I'm not going to try to live up to everyone else's assumptions, or edge anyone out. I know I won't have the cleanest house, or the fanciest car, or smartest kid who's reading Voltaire (see you gotta be smart to know who that is!), etc. But, I will know my home is welcoming and warm, our bodies are healthy and strong, our minds are sharpened, exposed, stimulated and we will experience a wide variety of things, memories will be made of fun, love, laughter, new places and sights, we will explore and discover and love.

Love. That's another thing I've learned. It's not always reciprocal. It's not always a feeling. It's a choice. It's a decision to love someone. It's unconditional and if you put conditions on it, then it's not love. You can make boundaries and "rules", especially on behaviors but sometimes love does more than just talk, it acts, or sometimes it just is there without talking or acting. It takes on many forms.

I've also learned that just because I fail, doesn't mean I'm a failure. I had (have) a tendency to be hard on myself, especially in my head. If i messed something up, I'd rather just scrap the whole project, the entire idea, than to fix or make a change in the way it's going and continue. To me, if i messed up one step, the whole thing was ruined and not worthy. I often felt that of myself too. If I slipped up, said something nasty I shouldn't have said or didn't do something I was supposed to, then that was it, I was a complete failure and should just go hide in a cave. No, I'm not going to dig into why I have weird feelings like this. I just did and sometimes do. I'm just being brutally honest, that's just the way it is. If my kid acts up, I obviously have failed as a parent to teach and train up my child correctly, right? But, alas, and thank God, it's not so.

Life is a continual learning process and I am still learning, even though I like to think I already know it all. I'll admit I don't. I welcome any chance to learn more, and open up new opportunities. With all that I've learned in the last year or so, I am feeling very confident to face this new looming decade head-on. 29, I'm welcoming you with open arms. You and I are going to be good friends. I know you'll be good to me this year.

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