Birthday Vulnerabilities

Birthday Vulnerabilities

It’s the eve of my 44th birthday. The big one, double digits. I love celebrating my birthday. I get excited about my birthday every single year. And most years my birthday has gone down with a bash. Last year, on turning 43, I decided I wanted something intimate. And so, it was just my immediate family, my sister’s boyfriend and my cousin who is like a sister, joined in the celebrations. We went to Tigers Milk Camps Bay, ordered food, had tequila shots with pineapple and tabasco (my father bravely joined in), and then finished everything off with a coffee on the beach. It was perfect.

That was the 31st of January 2020. So much has changed since then. As I think about my birthday tomorrow, I’m struck by the fact that for the first time, there is no plan. This is largely because we are in a lockdown and managing a global crisis called COVID. Also, uncle kept us from buying alcohol since late December so there’s that.

I try and tell myself that this blog post should be about everything I am grateful for as I know that many people read the content I put out there. But the truth is that I am exhausted, stressed out, teary, anxious etc. I try and meditate on my word of the year and hope that by casting my eyes on the word “EASE” written in my bullet journal, some of the ink will magically slip into my system and put me in a state of ease.

But it’s not going to happen. I’m feeling stressed and anxious. I don’t know what the future holds and as my client said to me the other day, right now the best thing we can do for ourselves is to focus what’s in front of us.

So, what’s in front of me?

Right now, a ring light and sparkling water. The globe in my room is not working hence the ring light being on at night. This bugger, which is usually switched on during the day for my zoom calls, is pretty powerful. Maybe there is a life lesson there about versatility and light when we least expect it.

Or maybe the lesson is that light will come from a place that I might not expect. I’m still deciding which one resonates better with me. And maybe my sparkling water is there to remind me that the sparkle in my life will return. Not materialistic kind of sparkle but my zest for life.

My youngest son has fallen asleep close to me. He is the entertainer in our family and constantly reminds me to laugh and be silly. I hear my eldest son giggling as he is playing a soccer game with Shane. He has started a YouTube channel and is a natural with commentary and speaking off the cuff. Maybe there is a lesson to learn from him around taking a risk and starting something different in my business. Something I’ve been thinking about for a while.

And then I reflect on the most beautiful day I’ve had today. A day that started with a WhatsApp message to my sister inviting her to join me for a “quick” trip to cavendish and coffee. It turned out to be a full day out starting with breakfast, then some shopping at Cavendish, followed by a good few hours of sitting outside at a coffee shop literally in the forest. It started with myself, my sister and my mom. My husband and two sons joined thereafter.

While sitting at the coffee shop, I continuously found myself looking up to the trees. I found myself being grateful that I could be outside, be in nature, feel the sun on my skin and hear the sound of lots of people around me. As a calm extrovert, this scene was a perfect Saturday afternoon for me. Bellies full, I left recharged in ways I didn’t realise would happen today, but I certainly needed it. And I’m grateful that I could have this recharge.

And so, I go to bed tonight with a grateful heart and a soul that feels far more content than it was upon waking this morning.

I have lost a fair bit through COVID, but I still have the ability to feel the sun on my skin, look up to the trees and have coffee in the forest with the people who matter the most. And seeing how so many people have lost loved ones through this damn virus, I’ve come to realise today that I’m surrounded by gold.
Pure gold.

Here’s to 44. I’m open to the lessons it’s about to teach me. Happy birthday to me.

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