*Below are the words I wrote on my birthday a few days ago. I hope there’s something in them for you.
Birthdays are checkpoints. I always seem to reflect on my birthday.
This morning I woke up with words in my mind. I sat down with my guitar to capture them in a tune, and after I’d done so I realized that similar words had already been written by a friend in a song. It was a song I’d actually sung with him on his record. I have friggin talented friends, and I get to make music with them. That right there is enough blessing for one person.
Then, of course, I opened my Facebook to find kind articulate words from a dear friend that made me remember that being the hurricane of a woman that I am has some benefits, that it’s not all downsides.
Then she texted to say that it was a “birthday miracle!” and that I could come in for a birthday massage because evidently half of Calgary is home sick today, and her appointments all cancelled.
Here’s what I wrote in my journal a couple of days ago, while looking back on my 25th year…
“When I saw my 26th birthday coming from a month off, I felt kind of proud and optimistic. This year was a good one, but hard in new ways.
I LOST MY VOICE.
I physically lost my voice [struggling through a case of vocal nodules], and I lost my voice metaphorically too. I fought to be heard in ways that were probably desperate and by turns seemed childish or bitchy.
I spent so much of this year hiding.
[Many of you will think this is not true, as you’ve seen many of my adventures plastered all over social media. Friends, social media is selective. Posting cool photos of live performances and my grinning face does not mean I’m not hiding.]
I shook off all responsibility and I climbed mountains.
I was proud of myself.
I disappointed myself.
I loved and I lost.
I stood beside my brother on a boat and witnessed he and his Love give their lives to each other.
I stood up for myself.
I made new friends.
I surrounded myself with plants and sunlight.
I didn’t cry near as much as I used to.
But I cried when it counted.”
Today I biked to the park in -15 degrees and played frisbee with mittens on. I felt spontaneous and adventurous and alive, and delighted to be doing some of my favourite things, whatever the weather.
Maybe that’s what I’ll take into the next year. I’ve been going to this early morning outdoor fitness group that meets downtown at 6:13am all year round. They use the hashtag #weatherproof. I don’t actually know if my body is as weatherproof as the attitude of this fitness group; my joints ache and my muscles tense up in -3o, and I hope I’m not hurting myself by doing it. BUT. Can I live spontaneously, bask in the adventure, and feel fully delighted and alive, whatever the weather? Can I be weatherproof? A real smart lady said to me a few weeks ago, “I can’t control other people, I can only control how I react to them”. Do people and circumstances have control over my calm? My delight? My peace? My joy?
Check back in a year, and I’ll let you know.